NC doctor: I’m sick of state lawmakers interfering in medical decisions | Opinion

Medical advice

As a physician, I am horrified that Republicans in the N.C. General Assembly are intent on taking away our freedom to make health care decisions.

First, they took away our ability to make reproductive health decisions in consultation with our doctor. More recently, they tried taking away our right to mask in public should we, or our physicians, recommend it for health reasons.

Though lawmakers have now agreed to revise the mask bill, no citizen of North Carolina should be forced to submit to a legislator’s medical advice rather than following evidence-based medical practice.

Dr. Mindy Oshrain, Durham

Mask bill

When he originally proposed his mask ban, Sen. Buck Newton said it would allow citizens to wear masks for health reasons, even though it wasn’t written that way. He said it wasn’t meant to be enforced on “grannies.”

But any law can be enforced based on an officer’s opinion. Here’s how I know:

In 1969. three of us were promoting North Carolina’s Land of Oz theme park across the South. While in a small town near Charlotte, coming from a TV interview, we were walking down the main street in our Oz character costumes when a deputy sheriff stopped us and told us he was taking us to jail for violating the N.C. mask law.

In a true Andy Griffith moment, we were brought fully costumed before the sheriff. He laughed and asked his deputy “What would the children do if we arrested the Cowardly lion and his friends?”

Fortunately, we walked out of the jail and back to our hotel.

If Newton thinks the law can’t be used indiscriminately, he’s wrong. Put the health protection back in the law, please.

Jarles Alberg, Raleigh


The writer is founder of Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Freedom.

I am a woman who had a miscarriage, and an abortion when it was illegal. I also faced the death of twin sons, and experienced the joyful births of two healthy sons.

No man sitting behind closed doors in Raleigh should be making lifetime decisions for me against my will.

I know for certain that abortion bans do not stop abortions. They only stop safe, legal ones.

I support people having the fundamental right to control their own bodies and access to the health care they want and need.

Melva Fager Okun, Carrboro

Stop interfering

I volunteer at a Wake County public school. Every day I see the dedication of the teachers and staff. They teach letters, reading, math and science, but more importantly they teach character, kindness, how to share and how to treat one another.

I am tired of N.C. lawmakers trying to tell teachers how to do their jobs.

Unless you have a student in school, or help out at a school, you have no business interfering by establishing new restrictive laws or administrative procedures.

Please, legislators, stay out of the classroom — or come and volunteer — but do not add additional paperwork requirements that take teachers away from teaching.

Mary Fallon, Durham

Justice Alito

Regarding “NYT: Flag carried by Jan. 6 rioters flew at Alito’s vacation home,” (May 22) and related articles:

We have suffered through years of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s “upside down” legal opinions and analysis.

Why are we only now learning, over four years later, that he hung our country’s flag upside down outside his home — injudiciously signaling his contempt for the democratic election of President Biden?

This news confirms that Alito is unfit to sit on the highest court of our Land.

Gary Jackson, Durham

Memorial Day

Our American history has been written in books, but the true story of America can also be seen at places like Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. There, thousands of names on white crosses and Stars of David line the grassy hills. It is here that our American story is told.

On Monday, Memorial Day, we honor them all for their service. We respect all of them them for what they did, and we remember them for who they were and what they could have been.

Kirk Polizzi, Wilmington