2017-02-03 / Letters

Event coverage should have covered both sides

To the editor:

I read the front page of last week’s Sentry, and it left me wondering about a few things. First I wondered if the story of Danielle Deaver crossed your mind when you decided to print the contributed photos and information from Holy Cross School? Did you think about the 10 horrific days she spent with her wanted child dying inside her? This happened because politicians she had never met decided to ban necessary medical procedures to appease those with uninformed agendas.

Maybe you haven’t heard Danielle’s story. Perhaps you thought about Mirna Ramírez, who was jailed for 12 years for the misfortune of going into early labor? She did so in a country whose stance on abortion is so strict that even the suspicion of one is enough to send an innocent woman to prison.

Surely when selecting the ironic headline about the “Power of prayer” you thought about the thousands of poor souls that died in the United States before Roe v. Wade due to dangerous illegal abortions. No? But you did contemplate the now many documented cases of pregnant women’s lives being put at risk when Catholic hospitals will not even treat infections lest they be considered interfering with a pregnancy?

While you were at Holy Cross listening to Bishop Robert Deeley’s talk, did he mention Savita Halappanavar? She died after being unable to access an emergency abortion. Was she not a “beautiful gift” to her family? Did she not deserve the right to live? Did you ask Bishop Deeley about her?

And finally I wondered how any respectable newspaper would publish such a biased and one-sided piece about an incredibly divisive and complicated issue? It is one thing to highlight a school play or volunteer food drive without gathering multiple points of view. These are often secular, non-partisan events in a town that bring us together.

Regardless of where the Sentry and its staff stand on the issue of reproductive rights, you owe it to the South Portland and Cape Elizabeth communities to represent political issues such as abortion with a balanced perspective. This is a basic tenant of professional journalism.

Shiva Darbandi South Portland

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