Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
By Smokey Briggs
Tuesday, August 24, 1999
logic and morals
The "parental notification" law takes effect next Wednesday. As
of September 1st, unmarried minor children won't be able to get an abortion
without the clinic telling mom and dad about it first.
Of course, there is a loophole written into the bill so that mom and
dad can be written out of the process. Abortion providers can skip the
notification process if a judge determines that the child is mature enough
to make the decision on her own. Remember that the next time elections
are coming up and you just can't find time to read up on the local judicial
What irks me is not that Texas passed this law, but that such a law
is necessary at all — and that opposition in the legislature was fairly
stiff. What kind of moron would suggest that a child we hold incompetent
to decide whether to smoke a cigarette or drink a beer is competent to
decide to end a life?
The logic just doesn't seem to follow.
But the abortion-advocate's stance is rooted in emotion, not logic.
There are no logical, or moral, or common sense root to the statement that
abortion is, "a woman's choice." As a society we have held that personal
choice must always be reined in when the choice harms another person.
I would argue that abortion probably does harm another person.
Of course the abortion-advocate argues that abortion doesn't end a life.
And this is the crux of the issue, isn't it? When does human life
The pro-abortion crowd argues that there is a point between conception
and birth where a child becomes a human being, and hence worthy of not
being killed. Unfortunately, there is no evidence or logic that points
us to that magical point. There is no line of reasoning that illuminates
this special moment where we transform from "blob of stuff" to "human being
with a soul." There is only an emotional guess.
A logical/moral approach would flow something like this:
— we hold human life to be sacred;
— we can't know when a new life becomes a human being, whether that
point be conception, birth, or somewhere in between;
— since we cannot know for sure, then it is logical to err on the side
of caution since this is in keeping with our firm principal that human
life is sacred;
— caution then dictates that we not abort newly conceived life, because
that life might be human.
Just for the record, I intensely dislike the term "pro-life." To me
it has smarmy, public relations ring to it. "Anti-abortion" is more
descriptive and more truthfull to me. And I am not necessarily dead-set
against abortion either. If the legislature were to come up with a bill
making such acts legal to the 300th trimester or so, I might be willing
to toss the logic and morals argument.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of
the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed
911 number poses problem outside the city
I am writing to express my disgust with the 911 system for Reeves
County. After the time and tax dollars spent assigning 911 addresses outside
of Pecos, persons outside the city limits still do not have an efficient
or reliable system for law enforcement to locate them in an emergency.
Sunday morning, at about 4 a.m., I was awakened by someone banging on
our back door. I went to the door and looked out to see a young man standing
there, with blood on his face and arms; he was asking for help because
he'd been in an accident. I told him I would call the police for him.
I dialed the number for the Pecos Police Department, and explained to
the dispatcher who I was, and that there was a man in need of help outside
my house. I gave her the 911 address that I had been given two years ago,
when they supposedly were setting up county residents for 911 emergency
service. I was extremely surprised when she told me they didn't have that
address on record (even though the number is posted on a blue and yellow
sign at my front gate). I then began giving directions to the house, as
this man stood outside, bleeding. About 30 minutes later, the officers
were finally able to find the house.
I have no problem with the performance of the officers. My problems
is with the fact that apparently all the time and money spent on setting
county residents up with 911 has been wasted. People who live in the county
should not be lulled into a false sense of security because of the 911
system. The police may not, after all, be able to locate you from simply
your 911 address...because it may not have been added to their database,
event after two years!
Fortunately, the young man at my door Sunday morning was not "seriously"
injured; however, the fact that the 911 system is not working right could
have contributed to a tragedy.
I hope the persons in charge of setting up the 911 service system in
the county read this and get these addresses added to the Police Department's
database, so they can actually do some good.
PAULA J. CONNER
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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Peggy McCracken, Webmaster
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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