Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 20

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home : letters : letters to the editor May 24, 2016

2/19/2014 2:00:00 PM
From the Editor's Desk - MOVE THE QUESTION
By Sherwood Olin


I have decided to stop editing letters to the editor that address the topic of abortion.

Unless or until future circumstances require, I am not going to accept them anymore, which is to say The Lincoln County News is not going to publish them.

Unless something happens to make abortion a local story, I sincerely hope the letters we print on the subject this week will be the last batch I edit on my watch.

This was a difficult decision to come to and it was some years in the making. I did not make it lightly because I recognize doing so imposes a personal decision of mine on the editorial policy of this newspaper. Going forward, it could inhibit, however slightly, the scope of information I allow The Lincoln County News to present to you.

This is a very big deal, at least to me.

Working in an industry based on the principles of free speech and a free press, it is my belief our letters page needs more opinions, not less. During my tenure as editor, we have printed almost every single letter we have received, and we will continue to do so.

However, like no other subject in American life, abortion inflames passions and maintains division. It is an extremely difficult topic that lives at the intersection of religion, politics, race, and economics. No wonder the debate never ends.

At some point though, this issue comes down to a fundamental question every individual needs to answer for him or herself. How you answer that question informs your perspective and because it is so fundamental, once answered, it is not a question people are inclined to reconsider.

For that reason, I don't see letters on this subject as making a case so much as challenging the other side to come out and fight. These are less letters of persuasion and more like literary Molotov cocktails.

In this edition, we present the third and final week of submissions in this latest round. These writers are responding to the letter writers last week who were responding to the original writer in this latest sequence. His letter appeared Feb. 6.

Uninterrupted, these volleys could go on back and forth for another month or more. Enough.

Right now, as Chief Justice John Roberts famously said in 2003, abortion is matter of settled law.

Therefore, unless or until something happens to create a local angle, something that moves the issue to the fore for Lincoln County residents; unless or until then, I am taking the position that, given all that has been said, there is no need to say more.



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