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Killing our own in the name of progress

Published: January 28, 2013

“Norman man reviews how things have changed in 40 years” (News, Jan. 20) quotes Professor Carla Spivack: “Roe and the pill were sort of really the key events in giving women full citizenship and the ability to participate in society.” It's time, from a purely legal framework, to question our denial of civil rights to a minority group of U.S. citizens.

In 1971, I joined the U.S. Air Force. I've participated in improving opportunities for women in military careers. In 1973, a pregnant Air Force airman could have been forced out of the service. In 2013, I serve with aircrew members who have birthed children during their careers. In 1973, the Air Force work environment was hostile toward women. In 2013, Air Force leaders have zero tolerance for a hostile environment. In 1973, there were no women fighter pilots. In 2013, the first female fighter pilot is now the wing commander of one of the largest fighter wings.

Women's participation in society has arrived. For a decade I helped protect innocent Kurds, Shiites and citizens of Kosovo from despots who murdered at random. So why are we spending billions of tax dollars on protecting citizens of other countries while we kill hundreds of thousands of our own U.S. citizens every year in the name of progress? In 1857, the Supreme Court said Dred Scott wasn't fully human. Perhaps in the next 40 years, we will call all people “human.”

Pat Rupel, Edmond