Letters: Abortion Ban, Alabama, Roe Vs. Wade, Supreme Court, Teach for America, Human Trafficking

Abortion bills absurdRe: "Abortion ban signed into law — It's nearly sure to be blocked as fight heads for high court," Thursday news story.Wake up, ladies! In the years since President Donald Trump and his accomplices have been in Congress, more bills restricting or banning abortion have been put into place than ever before. The Alabama Legislature has passed the first outright abortion ban in the nation, with no exceptions for rape, incest or age.Four states are passing "heartbeat" bills, which would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, five or six weeks into a pregnancy, before most women even know they're pregnant: Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio. States that want to add restrictions are Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Minnesota and New York. Some of the consequences of the various bills are fines and lengthy prison sentences for the doctors; and some states want to make it "murder" with a possibility of a death penalty. I can't begin to explain how extreme this is. Better not have a miscarriage — you might be prosecuted.Hopefully the courts will strike down these absurd bills. These are the test cases to overturn Roe vs. Wade, especially with Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.Sandy Elkins, PlanoSupreme Court is the goalThis is shameful. To use this abuse of the rights of women simply as a ploy to get this issue back before the Supreme Court is just wrong. This kind of action is what has made me pledge to make a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood to help them fight back for a woman's right to choose.Peggy Tucker, RichardsonReligion using governmentRe: "Meet pregnant woman 'at her point of need' — Here's why Southern Baptist pastor opposes a Texas bill to imprison women who receive abortions," Monday Viewpoints.The Rev. Jack Graham claims "traditional biblical views" about abortion, longing for the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, without any specific or persuasive biblical, secular or constitutional support. His expressed compassion for women faced with unplanned pregnancy is biblical, however, following the golden rule and even Jesus' refusal to condemn the poor woman caught in the then-capital offense of adultery. Advocates of overturning Roe contend that the government, not the woman herself, should make for each pregnant women her most personal of decisions. If based on a religious theory, an overturning of Roe would be an unconstitutional governmental establishment of religion. An alternatively flawed theory seems to be that, under the law, a non-viable fetus is a person — to be counted in the census and entitled to civil rights to sue, inherit, own property, etc. Neither such theory justifies governmental takeover of a pregnant woman's most private and personal decision.Why can't we Christians refrain from hoping for governmental regulation to impose on others our biblical views or unfounded secular theories and, instead, rely on love, kindness, and compassion?James Ellis, University ParkStand up, Christian leadersThe Rev. Jack Graham, a Baptist pastor, explains why he does not agree with the proposed bill in the state Legislature that provides for a possible charge of homicide and potential death penalty for any woman undergoing an abortion. He seems to imply it took courage on his part for doing so and that he deserves a pat on the back. But shouldn't it be a given that all Christian leaders voice opposition to such extreme measures? Are there really some out there who endorse such fanatical action? If there are, the church must be in far greater trouble than I thought.Fred R. Neary, Far North Dallas'Progressive' not negative wordRe: "Teach For America Works — Houston ISD severs ties, but DISD sees value," Wednesday Editorials.I need your editorial board to clarify its definition of "progressive." I have been a liberal Democrat since I voted for Lyndon Johnson for president. I consider myself a progressive and pro-reform. As a former high school teacher, I am also very much in favor of Teach For America. Yet in your editorial, you seem to insinuate that progressives are anti-reform. i.e. "Anti-reform candidates lined up in the last election for seats on the school board, with strong support from labor and progressive interests," and "that we will not head down the path of Houston, where a progressive political agenda has seized efforts to pull schools out of decline." Why is "progressive" such a negative word in this editorial? Ruth Ann Morrison, Highland VillageHotels can fight traffickingRe: "3 jailed in Odessa after girl reports being kidnapped, drugged, raped," March 31 Public Safety Briefs.I was deeply concerned when I read about the 14-year old girl who was taken from Garland to Odessa by two men and a woman who were charged with trafficking her for sex. But I was encouraged to hear how the girl was recovered. A person staying in a room adjacent to where she was being held captive overheard the three talking about sexually assaulting her and reported it. No human being should be able to purchase a child for sex. As a mother and a hotelier, I just could not ignore this heartbreaking form of abuse, especially when I learned how human traffickers often use hotels to commit this crime. That's why I have been working hard to train other hospitality leaders in Texas to spot the signs of human trafficking and report it. Last year I made a goal to help train 1,000 hoteliers in Texas with a human trafficking awareness training developed by the nonprofit, Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), and sponsored by Asian American Hotel Owners Association. To date, over 1,100 hospitality leaders in Texas have received this valuable training. This number is encouraging, but we must keep the momentum going and continue to train more hotels across the state. When hotel owners take the important steps to acknowledge this problem and train their employees to address it, more victims, like the girl found in Odessa, can get rescued.Trusha Patel, Austin, Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking  Continue reading...

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