Better women's health

means 'family planning'

Regarding your March 30 article "On family planning, US vs. much of the world": Steven Mosher of the Population Research Institute hopes that "five years down the road we're taking all the money [for family planning] and putting it into women's primary healthcare." But Mr. Mosher misses the point. Primary healthcare includes prevention, and nothing is more fundamental to a woman's health than giving her the means to control her fertility. Women in Bangladesh or Kenya aren't being forced to use contraceptives; women are demanding contraceptives in ever increasing numbers. Indeed, women are very sophisticated once they have the right tools - knowledge of and choice in methods - to make informed decisions about their fertility and their family size.

Women around the world have voted for family planning. They are hardly the "elites" cited by Bush administration allies who are seeking to preserve the status quo.
Chris Wright
Alexandria, Va.
The writer is an international health specialist.

Unfounded fear of nuclear reactors

Regarding your March 29 article "After nuclear's meltdown, a cautious revival": One should find an occasion to say that we learned a great deal from both Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, just as we learn from airplane accidents, examining them so the knowledge can be applied to prevent repeat accidents. A greater danger is the fact that the media are preaching panic with respect to nuclear power, while other potential dangers are passed over in silence. Burning fossil fuels dumps uncontrolled amounts of noxious material into the environment, and more radioactivity than the nuclear power industry.

As far as a repeat of 9/11 upon a nuclear reactor, it's unlikely. The containment structure of a reactor is not an attractive target. It is smaller and less lofty than were the World Trade Center towers, and its walls of three-foot-thick reinforced concrete can hardly be compared to the Twin Towers' curtain wall.
Berol Robinson
Meudon, France

Considering global warming and Kyoto

Regarding your March 30 editorial "Europe's Cold Sweat Over Kyoto": I am surprised that you imply that (1) global climate change is a certain and provable phenomenon, (2) it is certainly caused by humans, and (3) it is somehow demonstrably accelerating. The issue is infinitely more complicated, and it's unfair to your readers to insinuate a problem when one may or may not exist. I am not suggesting that we ignore what may be global warming, but to embrace it as fully true is a problem that could damage markets the world over.
Drew Hendrix

Europe should go ahead with its greenhouse-gas reductions and impose a carbon tax on goods and services imported from the US, Russia, and China as a way of maintaining their competitiveness with the biggest polluting nations unwilling to curb carbon-dioxide emissions. The stick of a carbon tax is the only way to get the world moving on this critical issue.
Jeff Softley
Los Angeles
Director, Earth Day Energy Fast

French vote against Chirac, not reform

Regarding your March 30 editorial " 'Oui' to European Reform": I disagree that "the French Socialists made this election a referendum against reform." The French people know reform is unavoidable and accept that. But not the version of reform from President Jacques Chirac, whose tax cuts only benefit the upper class. So the anti-Chirac vote is not a pro-Socialist one. It's a call for more social justice, not less reform.
Bernard Marchois
Chevigny Saint Sauveur, France

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