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Letter-to-the-editor: Response to Cardella’s self interview

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By: Gloria C. Endres

South Philly Resident

To the Editor:

In his most recent “self-interview” (July 17), Tom Cardella closes with a triple comment on “choice,” in response to a question about Medicare for All.

His three choices are (a) abortion, (b) the “right” school and (c) private versus public health plans. 

Each of these options could fuel a lengthy debate. Let me address only the first two.

Like most who say they approve a woman’s right to choose, Cardella does not provide the object of the verb. Choose what? Unless the mother’s life is in imminent danger, abortion has only one purpose: to end the life of an unborn child. Even the semantics of fetal viability under Roe v. Wade does not change the scientific fact that a human life is terminated. If the abortion is performed at Planned Parenthood, there is also the likelihood that the fetal tissue will be sold to researchers, increasing PP’s profit. Cardella should add safer “choices”  like abstinence, contraception or even sterilization. 

School choice also has a variety of connotations. Of course, every family has a “right” to choose a public, charter, cyber or private school. However, the conditions that allow that choice to become final might include location in a public school catchment area; private or magnet school admission requirements; desegregation rules; and finally, who pays for it. 

So there is no absolute right to choose any school if the right conditions do not exist. Parents may, for example, move into certain neighborhoods just to be part of a certain catchment. 

Being for “school choice” also implies being for vouchers or EITC scholarships, which are funded by taxpayers. Of course, these are also conditional on meeting certain criteria. So there are no absolute choices. 

See, nothing is as simple as Cardella makes it sound. There are always conditions, consequences and costs built into all life decisions. We need to examine all of them before we make any plans. 


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