Removal of elective abortion coverage ‘dismissive’ of women’s intellects
I am joined by many staff and faculty in regarding the decision to exclude so-called elective abortion from insurance coverage as frankly dismissive of women’s and girls’ experiences – and of their intellects.  I will defend the right of my colleagues and their daughters to have coverage for abortions that they – not their doctor, not their university – determine necessary.
The question of abortion coverage is not, as some have framed it, one of balancing Loyola Marymount University’s Catholic identity with its commitment to plurality and diversity of moral and religious sensibilities. This is, in part, exactly because there is no one “Catholic position” on abortion – not unless we are willing to conflate Catholicism with the teaching of modern bishops.  According to the Guttmacher Institute, approximately 22 per 1,000 Catholic women in the United States have had an abortion, and Catholic women are 29 percent more likely to have an abortion than Protestant women.
We would be rash to assume all these Catholic women perceive themselves as having committed a “particularly egregious evil” (Robert Caro, Loyolan, Sept. 26).  When we talk about Catholic identity, with whom are we willing to engage in conversation? I hope we are willing to speak with the women of LMU, who will disagree among themselves and sometimes fiercely about the morality of abortion – why shouldn’t they?  Our varied voices must surely count for something.
It is precisely matters of real moral significance that test the truth of LMU’s stated commitment to plurality and diversity. If abortion coverage is declared “off limits” on the grounds that we are a Catholic university, LMU will have failed this test, declaring a preemptory role over the conscience of its employees. Having done so, our university will have conceded that when it really matters, plurality and diversity do not really matter.
Anna Harrison
Associate Professor
Department of Theological Studies
Loyola Marymount University

Thanks for fundraiser coverage
Re: “‘The Wizard of Oz’ lyricist Yip Harburg, Bruria and Judge David Finkel, and former Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg to be honored,” (Argonaut, Oct 3).
Thank you for your coverage of the Oct. 5 fundraiser benefitting the Sholem Community and the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring. Prior to learning of this event, there were many people (including myself) unfamiliar with the progressive ideals and work of Yip Harburg – although many of his songs were so well-known to us – as well as unfamiliar or somewhat familiar with the other honorees and those who performed.
The program was wonderful – a memorable evening marked with performances both touching and humorous. One of the highlights was when 92-years-young, House Un-American Activities Committee-blacklisted, progressive African-American singer Hope Foye, sang, “Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe.” (Now I want to learn more about this remarkable woman, who might have earned a high level of fame in the U.S. had she not been forced to leave the country to work).
Not only were the benefitting nonprofit organizations grateful for your story (there were reprinted copies on hand), but it seemed fitting that this event and the honored individuals (who worked on behalf of civil rights, labor, women, children, renters, the LGBT community and more) should be noted in The Argonaut.
Regan Kibbee

Careless with traffic mitigation
Re: “Construction traffic madness” (Argonaut letters, Oct. 3).
I don’t want to beat a dead horse (maybe those responsible for the mess on Admiralty Way in Marina del Rey). I agree, no one apparently has given any thought to the mess that has been created with the construction nightmare we are now enduring.
One step that could have been taken would be to temporarily adjust the timing of the traffic lights so that more vehicles could move through intersections along Admiralty, especially in the area of Ralphs. The workers seem to take great pleasure stopping traffic instead of being more courteous and aware of the delays they are causing.
An effort could also have been made to study traffic patterns and attempt to schedule work on “off” hours. It is clear that no one cares about the residents and visitors to the area.
Ken Teicher
Marina del Rey

Trouble with cyclists
Re: “A watchful eye on cyclists, skaters,” (Argonaut letters, Oct. 3).
I couldn’t agree more with the letter writer. I also live in the Marina del Rey/Venice area and the situation with cyclists and skateboarders has become really dangerous, especially on the weekends.
Many of these people do not heed the traffic laws, road signs or traffic lights and are making the roads very dangerous for both pedestrians and car drivers.  When I drive I try to be extra careful but feel it’s like an obstacle course, and I’m afraid I will hit someone and then I will get blamed for it. I have never seen police in the area to stop these people.
Also, I walk regularly on the footpath that goes between Marina del Rey beach and the inlet (at the end of Via Marina), where there are clearly signs for no biking as it is a path for pedestrians, and yet every day there are cyclists biking down there so fast that I am particularly afraid for the elderly and infirm people as well as young children walking there.
Angela Durrant