From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Abortion; 'Superfreakonomics'

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Host Scott Simon shares a few listener letters about abortion in the health care debate, and the theories behind the book Superfreakonomics.


Time now for your letters.

(Soundbite of typing and music)

SIMON: Last week we asked listeners to weigh in on whether federal funds for abortion services should be included in any health care overhaul bill.

Art Maurer(ph) of Rochester New York writes: Although I respect a woman's right to choose, I see no reason why we should use government dollars to fund abortions or any other elected procedure not directly impacting a person's health - that includes Viagra and similar drugs.

In the case of abortion, while we need to be politically correct and concerned about serious problems with the mother's health, I can't overlook the health of the unborn child. Why should the government be supporting the killing of the unborn when neither the mother or child are at risk?

James Pabst(ph) wrote this on our Facebook page: It disappoints me greatly that we're still having these public debates. Funding for abortion doesn't equate with mandating that women have abortions. It's a sad fact that abortion is one of the many issues through which certain people want to foist(ph) their morality on others. Bottom line: it's the choice of women to make and we should support their freedom of choice through health care funding.

A couple weeks ago we spoke with economist Steve Levitt about his new book "SuperFreakonomics." Professor Levitt shared a few of his unconventional theories on a number of topics. He suggested that scientists might combat global warming by pumping sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere to cool global temperatures and that selling organs for money might improve the supply for transplants.

Robin McClellan of Potsdam, New York says he has a problem with the way Professor Levitt seemed to reach some of those conclusions. He writes: He draws correlations and presents them as causations. Science also requires that hypotheses be proven, not just stated. There's a reason why experiments are designed explicitly and we don't just run historical data through a series of statistical analyses - namely, it leads to erroneous conclusions.

The latest installment of our series, Mapping Main Street, took us along Main Street in Lewistown, Montana two weeks ago. Skye Bennett says she was excited to hear a piece about her native state and writes: As I was listening, I was amused by the - let's call them colorful locals. I could see them as if I was standing in front of them. I laughed and nodded with recognition while listening.

We'd like to hear from you. You can go to and click on the Contact the Show link, or post your thoughts in the comment section of each story. You can also reach out to us on Twitter. My Twitter name is nprscottsimon - all one word. Or you can tweet the entire staff at nprweekendedition - all one word. You can also join in on the discussion on Facebook. Go to

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from