Ohio Right to Life consistently relies on perpetuating the myth that abortions are not safe in order to support their agenda to outlaw the procedure (“Out of touch on abortion,” Feb. 19). The fact is, out of 25,473 abortions performed in Ohio in 2012 there were 47 complications, a rate of 0.18 percent. Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures a woman can undergo.
In a state that hosts some of the best hospitals in the world, some women cannot access safe, legal reproductive health care because the governor and Ohio Right to Life have put politics above people.
The Kasich administration is abusing its authority to close abortion clinics. Roy Croy, a retired member of the Ohio Department of Health, recently said that abortion clinics in Ohio were closing “not for any serious or even truly legitimate reason, but for politics.”
The Kasich administration has forced reliable medical professionals to resign from the Ohio Department of Health.
Rather than focusing on putting Ohioans back to work so they can support their families, Gov. Kasich used the state budget to put into place unprecedented restrictions on reproductive care in Ohio — including efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and other family planning providers.
Opponents of choice love to call out the supposed extremism in keeping abortion clinics open. But I can think of nothing more extreme than women needing medical care and having to leave their state or, worse, turn to dangerous measures because hospitals and abortion clinics are being restricted by politically motivated laws that prevent them from helping their patients.
In Ohio, women are not making decisions about their health care or their families alone. Unfortunately, Gov. Kasich has interjected himself between women and their doctors.
Sixty percent of women who obtained an abortion in Ohio in 2012 were already mothers who had experienced the joys and heartbreaks of birthing and raising children. When choosing to have an abortion, they were making the decision they felt was best for themselves and the children they already have.
The women of Ohio should be able to make decisions about their bodies, their families and their lives in consultation with their doctors.
Worrying about having a politician in the medical room each and every time a woman makes a decision to abort or continue a pregnancy is extreme. Trusting the women of Ohio to make decisions about their lives and having the resources available to make those decisions a reality is far from extreme. It should be closer to reality than it is in Ohio.
Editor’s note: The writer is a post-graduate legal intern for NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.
Equal right to marry
This is in response to the Feb. 26 letter “Overtaken by intolerance.”
This country is based on a Constitution that deliberately separates church and state. If you are an American citizen, you should have all the same rights as everyone else, and that includes marriage.
Marriage is not a religious contract, it is a lawful, binding contract recognized by the state between two people. The state should not discriminate by color, race, sex, religion, gender or any other reason.
This country is a melting pot of different people, and our laws protect us from discrimination.
The current tide of states recognizing gay marriage is not an attack on religion. Religious intolerance is the problem.
If certain churches want to discriminate and refuse service to American citizens of any sexual persuasion, just remember the old question, “What would Jesus do?” He turned no one away and treated all as equal.
Time for wisdom and reflection
Bloody civil war in Syria, sectarian violence in Iraq and intensifying religious conflicts throughout the sub-Saharan African countries, between religious extremists, are all being constantly reported.
News of violence and massacres has become so commonplace, that our senses have become numb. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people are victims of religiously motivated violence.
For those who still care about their faith tradition or religion, it is time for serious reflection and concerted action. It is time to reflect and reclaim the essence of our faith traditions, each of which claims peace and love as its centerpiece.
It is time to reclaim our humanity through the deep wisdom of our faith traditions. Let voices of worship arise and mingle with heartfelt cries of peace from churches, synagogues, mosques and temples.
It is time to reflect on the enormity of violence. Instead of letting religions be used to gain power and prestige, to win elections and wage wars, it is time to utilize its wisdom to create common ground for the future of all humanity.
We should not allow the extremists of our faiths to define them, or for others to stereotype because of the extremists. Instead, let our own best practices, our compassion, love and spirituality, define us and our faith.
How borrowers get trapped
Betty Lin-Fisher should be commended for the article about Loan Max and the horrific treatment of Jamela Lott (“Auto-title loans put owner in bind,” Feb. 9).
I am thankful for those who came forward to help by paying off the loan and helping the family to secure housing. Unfortunately, this family is one of hundreds in Akron and thousands in Ohio caught in the financial trap set by Loan Max and others.
Companies like Loan Max target unsophisticated families who are in need of just a few hundred dollars to pay some unplanned bill. Families turn to Loan Max and companies like it not realizing the trap they are getting into.
They offer easy and fast money to those with a car title. But with fees and interest, the original $1,000 loan can be $1,538 before you even walk out the door. The loan company will roll the note over (for an additional fee). The borrower is trapped.
The phone calls for the money are endless. The threat of losing their only means of transportation forces people to either come up with the outrageous amount of money or have their car towed and sold, leaving them with no way to get to work and still owing an outstanding debt.
The only way to stop these loan sharks is to do what many states have done, make them illegal, but many legislators do not know what companies like Loan Max do, or so they say.
Do not look for much help from Columbus. The lobbyists for the payday and car-title lenders have deep pockets to contribute to the re-election of those in power.
Question of priority
There are about 40 million African-American people in this country. About one-third live in poverty. To compound the problem, some 70 percent of African-American babies are born to unmarried women.
There are more African-American men in jail or prison than are going to college. African-Americans are killing each other over corners or gang colors.
But you know what African-Americans are talking about? A word, a mean-spirited, derogatory word, the one rappers are using, the one African-Americans want to sanction white people for using.
Don’t African-American people have far more important issues to be worrying about than that disgusting, derogatory word? This is being asked by a person who is African-American, poor and has his own issues.
Washington T. Ray
As a follower of Christ, I have the religious freedom not to do business with others who may not share my religious beliefs. This does not mean that I judge them because that is the job of God, not me.
No one has the right to force me to sin against the Lord, who we all will one day stand in front of and be held accountable.
“Tolerance” is the term for modern-day bigotry against Christians or any religion that does not endorse and embrace sin that is so clearly defined in the Bible.
If your religion forbids you from serving me because of my religious beliefs, please hold true to your religion and do not serve me. And please stop trying to rewrite our Constitution.