In mid-October the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act (S. 139) comes before the Senate. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is expected to be a key vote in this historic bill that aims to reduce the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause global warming. This is a great opportunity for Iowa to play a leading role in the great global-warming debate.

The Climate Stewardship Act is a bipartisan, business-friendly bill that proposes a "cap and trade" system to reward companies that cut global-warming pollution beyond government requirements, encouraging innovation and creating incentives for companies to find the least-costly technologies to achieve clean-air standards.

Harkin has a chance to demonstrate his leadership and reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere - the very same ones that cause global warming and, inevitably, the droughts that plague Iowa farmers. A vote for the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act (S. 139) is a commitment to our future, and the livelihood of farmers around the world. Global warming affects us all, and since America is a country whose carbon emissions are great enough to single-handedly alter the Earth's climate, it is our responsibility to do our part. It starts with Iowa. Let's set an example for the rest of the country and urge Senator Harkin to support the Climate Stewardship Act (S. 139).

Leslie Perrigo

The Abortion/Breast-Cancer Link

Every October, the breast-cancer-awareness movement comes out in force. None of the hierarchy will speak the truth about the abortion/breast-cancer link. A close correlation has been demonstrated in a large number of scientific studies. Women are not informed about this risk. I believe legislation should be proposed that would require informed consent before a woman obtains an abortion.

Animal studies have revealed the biology of the abortion/breast cancer link. The breast in early pregnancy grows rapidly with undifferentiated cells. These cells are prone to cancer unless differentiation takes place in the third trimester. In fact, carrying a baby to term protects women from breast cancer. Stopping a first-trimester pregnancy suddenly leaves these cells vulnerable.

My wife developed breast cancer at age 31 and she has no family history. She had an abortion at age 20. She underwent mastectomy in March 2002. She did delay first childbirth until age 28, and she used birth-control pills. Her goal is to inform women everywhere about abortion and these other risk factors.

Breast cancer rates are increasing. According to the American Cancer Society, in 1962 there were 63,000 cases or breast cancer. In 2003, it is predicted there will be 213,000. There may be many reasons for this increase, but I believe there must be some effect from the 1.5 million abortions that have occurred annually since 1973.

The bulk of the medical studies have shown anywhere from 1.3 to 4.0 times the risk of cancer in women who have had an abortion. Some studies have shown more severe risk when a woman obtains the abortion later in pregnancy, such as the 11- to 17-week range. Some studies show that the younger the woman, the more risk.

I believe that eventually, the link between breast cancer and abortion will be accepted. It may be a while. It took decades for the link between tobacco and cancer to be accepted. The first study linking tobacco and cancer was published in 1928; the surgeon general's warning did not appear until 1966.

Thomas Messe, M.D.
Groton, Connecticut

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