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Letters: Is there any common ground on reproductive rights? ‘Cost recovery’ hurting Rec and Parks program

Is there any common ground on reproductive rights?

Our human sexuality is a sacred gift from a loving Creator. At the same time how we deal with our sexuality is often very divisive, especially as it relates to women’s health.

The “March for Life” will be held on Jan. 24 in Washington, D.C. It is sponsored by those whose goal is to eliminate all abortions and deny women the right of their own bodies. Their rallying cry is “silence no more” and they are backed by the present administration and a number of states who would deny women an abortion even by rape or incest. Their hope, along with the president, is that with the Supreme Court having a 5-4 conservative majority, “Roe” might be completely overturned and women’s reproductive rights severely restricted.

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The rallying cry of those who believe that women should have a choice is the same, “we will be silent no more.” They believe that the right of a woman to her own body and women’s health should be primary. The right to safe and legal abortion is a fundamental human right. It has been proven that when women have the right to decide about their own bodies they have a more prosperous future. Should a woman’s reproductive rights be left to the woman, her doctor and to her relationship to her God?

Some couples practice sexual relations to produce a child. Other couples enjoy the gift of sexuality simply to strengthen their relationship. Both are valid reasons. What is troublesome is that some businesses claim religious freedom to deny couples contraception availability in their health plans. Some religious leaders have even gone so far as to tell their people that contraception is a sin, maybe even a mortal sin.

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Reproductive rights mean that a woman has affordable access to all reproductive health care options including not only abortion care but also birth control. Studies have proven that when contraception information is made available the number of unwanted pregnancies has been drastically reduced.

I used to believe there was such a thing as finding common ground. Over past several years I have regrettably begun to believe there is no such thing.

Wm. Louis Piel

Finksburg

‘Cost recovery’ hurting Rec and Parks program

I have been a member of the Carroll County Recreation and Parks (CCRP) group, Women in Progress (WIP), so wonderfully led by Tina Shupp, since May 2013. Over a six-year period, annual dues went from $5 to $30, and finally in 2020, to $60. After many members expressed concerns that the jump from $30 to $60 in one year may dissuade many members from staying in the group and not attracting new members to join, the annual dues were lowered back to $30. However, there were new stipulations placed on our WIP lead — that she only be allowed to participate three hours per month in WIP activities, and that she can schedule extra activities, but cannot attend or volunteer. This essentially removes our leader from participating in most of our activities.

“Cost recovery” is a term CCRP has used to justify this change. As a tax-paying citizen of Carroll County for 12 years, I had no idea one of CCRP’s primary goals was recovering money spent on programs for county residents.

WIP has been an innovative and successful program for many years. It offers social and recreational activities for women in our county. WIP members pay for all the activities they participate in during the year. In addition, this group has given back to the Carroll County community in very concrete ways, from volunteering in CCRP programs to patronizing Carroll County businesses. It was Tina Shupp’s vision that brought the WIP program to life. She should be able to continue that leadership vision into the future of WIP.

Marianne Schwartz

Taneytown

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