“Right to Life” has been the slogan for unborn and unwanted babies. Pastors rally their congregations for these little ones, and members picket and protest for “Right to Life.”

Why does “right to life” only apply to the unborn? I believe that “right to life” means equal opportunity for health care for all.

There was a Nov. 10 article “Money may be plus for transplants.” Sadly and alarmingly, it went on to explain that the rich have the advantages for life-saving transplants even if they are not at the top (or sickest) on transplant lists. Being rich enables a person to afford more testing and travel, thereby getting his or her name on more transplant lists.

Who has the “right to life”? Why is a person of lesser means less important than someone who is wealthy?

Most often, a person with a chronic illness can’t work, is unemployed and in dire straits. This applies not only to those waiting for transplants, but many others with devastating conditions such as cancer and lupus.

What kind of civilization do we have that would deny “right to life” to those who do not have the means for their medicines, testing and operations? Who judges whether a school teacher or firefighter has a less important life than a Hollywood star?

Charlie Sheen recently revealed that he has HIV and has been on medication for four years. According to writer Mel Robbins of CNN: “Sheen will likely live a long life because he has the resources to access the best medical treatment in the world. Meanwhile, three in five people across the world lack access to anti-retroviral drugs and less than half of the people in the United States have their infection under control.”

It’s time that congregations picket and rally for “right to life” for those with chronic illness. The benefit spaghetti dinner or benefit pancake breakfast is not enough for a patient’s bills. Only a reform in our health system for “right to life” will be the answer.

Teresa Reno

North Canton

Guilt-free ?Thanksgiving

While President Obama is pardoning two turkeys for Thanksgiving, every one of us can exercise that same presidential power by choosing a nonviolent Thanksgiving observance that spares a turkey’s life.

And here are some good reasons:

•?You can brag about pardoning a turkey, just like Obama.

•?You truly are what you eat. Who wants to be a “butterball”?

•?Fruits and vegetables don’t have to carry government warning labels.

•?You won’t sweat the environment and food-resources-devastation guilt trip.

•?You won’t spend a sleepless night wondering how the turkey lived and died.

•?Your body will appreciate a holiday from saturated fat, cholesterol and hormones.

•?You won’t have to call the Poultry Hotline to keep your family out of the emergency room.

Seriously, this Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks for our good fortune, health and happiness with a life-affirming, cruelty-free feast of vegetables, fruits and grains.

Our own dinner will feature a soy or wheat-based roast, mashed potatoes, stuffed squash, candied yams, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. An Internet search on “vegetarian Thanksgiving” is getting us more recipes and other useful information than we could possibly use.

Art Broodermann

Akron