Support foster children

Re: “CPS gets critical review — Lawmakers eager to reform agency that handles foster care, but funding remains challenge,” Monday news story and “‘Heartbeat bill’ easily advances — In all, panel approves 7 abortion proposals in long, one-sided session,” March 17 Metro & Business story.

The news in these two stories is infuriating. The Legislature easily pushes through a law to require women to have unplanned children. Yet they can’t find funding to support the thousands who are already in the foster system. The first law that should be passed is that no law restricting abortion can be passed without an accompanying law that requires that these children are clothed, fed and sheltered — and have families to love and look after them.

Gaye Maris, Dallas

Not our problem to solve

Re: “Friend won’t leave her 4-year-old,” by Carolyn Hax, Thursday Comics & Puzzles column.

I wish all lawmakers who support the heartbeat bill and other draconian anti-abortion measures would read this Carolyn Hax column and take to heart the following advice offered to a well-meaning friend over addressing a perceived issue regarding another friend: “Is this really a problem, must it be solved, and, if so, is it my problem to solve?”

There are a multitude of factors behind the difficult decision over having an abortion, and I ask how the personal choice between a woman and her physician to terminate an early pregnancy should be anyone else’s problem to solve? If abortion goes against one’s belief system, don’t have one. If one’s motive is to “save lives,” I ascertain the greater problem to be solved is putting more teeth behind punitive legislation for anyone failing a standard field sobriety test as this action, not abortion, surely affects the greater public at large.

Ellice Lovelady, Corinth

Customer always loses

In my humble opinion, when the Texas Legislature, in its inordinate wisdom, decided to deregulate electricity in Texas, they created two entirely unequal classes. The elephant on the scales is the investor/shareholder. The hummingbird on the other side is the user/consumer/customer.

The recent disaster and recent revelations have only confirmed my opinion. Anytime that there is a conflict between those two entities, the loser is always the customer. We have no power and will continue to suffer at the whims of the moneyed class.

And, since the moneyed class funds the election of the members of the Legislature, forever it will always be. Unless you get out and vote them out of office!

Mac Hopkin, Frisco

Encourage voting

Texas has low voter turnout, and one party wants to further restrict your right to vote. Instead, we should look for ways to encourage more voting. Make voting day a holiday, expand early voting, extend the hours of voting, increase and publicize where people can vote. Allow voting by mail, more drop-off locations for voting and eliminate current rules restricting when ballots can be counted.

Deliberately making it harder to vote hurts our democracy. Texas members of the military and other overseas citizens vote by mail. Seniors and others need more options to vote, not fewer.

Fred Wells, Dallas

Close gun sales loopholes

Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz have a rare opportunity to help close a loophole in current law that allows gun sales between individuals online, at gun shows and person-to-person, without the buyer background check required of licensed gun dealers. HR 8, passed by the House and now under consideration by the Senate, would require universal background checks for all gun sales.

Texas gun owners who support gun safety, as I do, should take action now to ask for vigorous support for this common-sense measure from our senators and recruit others willing to do so. This bill would require every gun sale to use the background check system currently in place — a system that since 1994 has prevented over 3 million gun sales to unauthorized persons. It would not restrict gun transfers between family members or prevent the loan of guns to hunters.

Surveys show this measure is supported by 93% of Americans — including a majority of gun owners and Republicans. It’s good politics, it’s good policy and it’s the right thing to do to curb senseless gun violence.

Howard Vestal, University Park

Fund tuberculosis research

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is an airborne disease that spreads via respiratory droplets that usually affects the lungs. Over the past 200 years, TB has killed more people than malaria, cholera, yellow fever, the bubonic plague, influenza, polio, Ebola and HIV combined.

However, to this day, there is no new vaccine for tuberculosis. The only TB vaccine available is called BCG, fully developed in 1921, exactly 100 years ago. It has very poor efficacy in preventing pulmonary TB.

Considering the speed of development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines, this raises the question of why TB care and prevention are so neglected. Half to two-thirds of tuberculosis programs report service disruptions due to COVID-19 and failure to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 would cause a loss in years of progress.

A troubling decline in new TB cases is being reported during country lockdowns with a rise in undetected cases. This is a great opportunity to make a change in the world.

In light of World TB Day, which is today, I am urging Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to pass legislation including $1 billion for bilateral tuberculosis research.

Amelie Jacobs, Dallas