In response to Sandra Abercrombie ("Elect Republicans," May 19": Sure, elect more Republicans to create that business-friendly, Texas-type state that completely guts regulations. You know, the type that creates great unregulated business-friendly places where fertilizer plant explosions level the entire city.

And maybe she should take a peek at how many poor people are incarcerated in good old Texas. The prison industry would love to add more jobs to our state. Great idea for increasing employment in Oregon. And they love to put people to death in Texas, too! At a record-setting rate this year in good old, fun-loving Texas.

And we could subsidize the big companies with all the middle-class tax dollars, that should really make Oregon a business-friendly place, you think?

Now I personally don't think Alan Bates is a very good example of a Democrat either, but I sure don't think Republicans will help anyone but themselves! So the reality for me is that we need good Democrats in office if we want change that works for everyone.

Look at Washington. I would much rather have our two Democrats who hold office now than a Republican named Ted Cruz from Texas! — Joel Jones, Medford

A recent article on vaccinations quoted a local author: "People who choose not to vaccinate according to the CDC are making a thoughtful, careful decision. It's the most educated people who are choosing to do things a little differently." Using this logic, those who follow the advice of health care experts and vaccinate their children are not making a thoughtful, careful decision, and are clearly less educated people.

Arrogance will not heal a young child struggling to breathe from whooping cough. Failure to vaccinate puts your family at risk as well as neighbors and the entire community. Vaccinating is a responsibility that comes with being a parent.

Worried about what enters your child's body? So are doctors. Think about the billions of bacteria, viruses and parasites that are naturally present on this wonderful planet. Many enter the body. Some are good, some are bad. Vaccines are simply a response to some really terrible things that occasionally and organically enter human bodies.

Don't take my word for it. Check in with your doctor for more information. And always fact check self esteem-fueled statements in the media. — Dan Van Dyke, Ashland

Adam and Eve may not have been conceived, but all the rest of us certainly were. Aside from Ms. Morey's comments about Godheads and Voltaire and the rest of it, let's talk about the reality of human life.

At no point in time after conception could the human embryo ever become anything nonhuman. He or she is a unique human being growing and developing toward the moment of birth. We all understand that acorns are early forms of oak trees, and will never be maple trees or cats or dogs. Similarly, the moment of conception creates a unique human being that will never be another life form.

The politics of abortion mean that we live in a schizophrenic society in which a man can be convicted of two murders when he murders a pregnant woman, but the same pregnant woman can legally kill her own unborn baby.

The baby in the mother's womb deserves consistent protection, no matter if she is threatened by a third party or by her own mother. I applaud the state of Arkansas for beginning the process of defining as persons all humans from the moment of conception. — Kristin O'Driscoll, Jacksonville

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