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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, May 13, 2018 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

Brown's advocacy doesn't serve all

Having read Liz Brown's May 5 piece, “Women's issues go far beyond gender,” it is clear Brown has served for many years and is an accomplished politician. She has been involved in many important issues and pieces of legislation. Her appointment as chair of the Senate Ethics Committee and position on the Senate Appropriations Committee speak to her facility and intelligence. Brown is correct, of course, that an elected official, of any sex, must be interested in issues beyond gender. When looking at the broader view, these issues are everyone's issues.

Consider the woman unable to obtain or afford birth control, faced with trying to raise a child with limited resources, education and health care. While this parent may, to quote Brown's website, be “in the best position to make decisions about their children's upbringing,” she may be unable to implement them due to cuts to Medicaid, Planned Parenthood and/or public education. If this child grows up without proper health care, insufficient educational opportunities, and with, heaven forbid, abuse or neglect, he or she becomes the “issue” of every citizen of this state.

Planned Parenthood has long provided low cost/no cost birth control and health care to both men and women, as well as health-testing services; these are its primary functions. Government money cannot be used to fund abortion services, which are legal in this country. Protesting against Planned Parenthood on the National Day of Prayer, alongside her male colleagues, does not prove Brown's assertion that she represents everyone in the 15th District and that she “will advocate for issues that will make Indiana better for everyone.” I don't believe she is succeeding.

To all you capable, energetic, thoughtful women out there: We do need you, your voices, your perspective, your resolve to find sensible answers to the difficult questions facing our state and the nation. Every day should be a national day of prayer, whatever form that prayer might take.

Kate Black

Fort Wayne

Mocking Catholicism cheapens message

How offensive and disgusting that The Journal Gazette chose to feature the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as part of the AIDS Walk.

These individuals may feel they're ending a stigma and promoting respect for people afflicted with HIV/AIDS, but the message is nullified by doing it in a way that mocks and degrades the Catholic Church. The attempt at highlighting diversity fails miserably when making fun of one's religion and selfless vocation. Hate and ignorance grow when we forget that respect applies to every race, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation.

For the newspaper not to see this on the same deplorable level as blackface is truly unsettling.

Paul J. Federspiel

Fort Wayne

Firsthand experience shows Lutheran quality

I was lying in my hospital bed in the advanced cardiac therapy unit at Lutheran Hospital on April 25 when I read the article about Lutheran Hospital and the “D” grade it received in the Leapfrog survey. I thought it unfair on behalf of all of the front-line workers, whom I experienced as “grade A.”

Despite some of Community Health System's corporate decisions and the apparent frustrations and mistrust these decisions have caused in the past, the doctors, nurses, technicians, and nutrition and environmental services workers who treated me or served me far exceeded my expectations.

My natural inclination is to stay as far away as possible from the “rabbit hole” of our U.S. health care delivery system. My fear of “the system” quickly gave way to the feeling that I was at the right place at the right time after being admitted to Lutheran from the ER. All the doctors, hospitalists, nurses and other professionals answered my questions, communicated clearly and spent time with me, putting my mind at ease.

Let there be no doubt that the care provided by the professionals at Lutheran Hospital is excellent.

Michelle M. Bandor

Fort Wayne

Bill would backtrack on worker protections

In 2017, 178 workers nationwide were killed on the job or died of work-related injuries. That number is far too high, and much more still needs to be done to ensure that workers remain safe on the job. It is also important to remember that this number could have been much higher if it were not for key protections workers have won over the years.

But a bill in Congress, misleadingly called the Regulatory Accountability Act, risks backsliding on the progress we have made.

The bill purports to reduce burdensome government regulations. In reality, it would undermine worker and consumer safety to benefit big business. Under the bill, the already-lengthy review process for federal protections would be mired in endless red tape, adding new study and review requirements designed to grind the process to a halt. The bill would give more opportunities for lobbyists to block common-sense regulatory protections. Under the bill, cost to industry, not benefit to the public, will be the primary consideration in setting new standards. This is an unacceptable change which would hurt Hoosiers from all walks of life.

The bill risks taking us back to a darker time in our history when workers and consumers lacked the basic protections we rely upon today. I know all too well what it was like to be a worker before we enjoyed increased safeguards and workplace protections. I worked for five years in the early 1950s at the H.K. Porter plant in Huntington, making asbestos brake shoes. I worked without a dust mask to protect me from carcinogenic asbestos fibers, without a safety representative to advocate for workers and under management that was not safety-conscious. Even people living near the plant were affected by the asbestos dust being blown into their neighborhoods.

 Having seen the deadly cost of lax safety protection, it is unconscionable to think that Congress could pass a bill to undermine worker safety. I hope that Sens. Todd Young and Joe Donnelly stand up for all Hoosiers and reject the dangerous Regulatory Accountability Act.

ROGER MILLER

Fort Wayne

Henry leadership lacks on Electric Works

I have been confused and concerned lately with the new Tom Henry.

Over the past few years, the mayor has led several bold initiatives that have attracted new companies, residents and national recognition. Yet in the last few months, his leadership on the once-in-a-generation Electric Works project has been almost nonexistent. His public comments, while supportive, are few and far between. He has endorsed public financing, but at only 80 percent of the indicated need. And he just took the unusual step of removing a key member from the Legacy board (an Electric Works supporter) with no sensible justification.

If he opposes the project, I would rather see him come right out and say it.

Josh Spencer

Fort Wayne