Letter to the Editor: Marilyn Gootman
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Letter to the Editor: Marilyn Gootman

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Let’s put party politics aside. Whether one party is better for Israel or whether one party is better for our economy is a matter of opinion.

As Jews, we have more pressing, urgent issues right now — issues that are based on actual facts and not opinions, issues where Jews across the religious spectrum (miraculously) agree.

Our first amendment right to practice our religion is under serious threat. Let’s look at the abortion issue to explain the nature of this threat. Until a baby takes its first breath, Jewish law considers it to be part of a woman’s body. According to Jewish law, it is permissible and sometimes even obligatory to terminate a pregnancy when it poses a danger to a mother’s physical or mental health.

The Supreme Court decision now makes it impossible in many states for a pregnant Jewish woman whose life is endangered by her pregnancy to legally terminate her pregnancy, contradicting Jewish practice. What ever happened to the separation of church and state? Did the judges honestly set aside their religious beliefs when making this decision?

Will there be no end to this? Will the ability of patients, male or female, to make other medical decisions with their doctors be restricted in the future? What about birth control? What about circumcision? What about kosher slaughtering? Will all these and others be outlawed in the future, as they already are in some countries?

In addition, any candidate who is opposed to regulating automatic rifles is also a threat to our lives, both as Americans and especially as Jews. All Americans go to grocery stores, shopping malls and theaters — favorite venues for shooters with automatic rifles.

But another favorite venue is synagogues and other Jewish institutions. Yes, sadly, we have armed guards but, as we saw in Buffalo, when faced with automatic rifles, they are no match.

This is an urgent plea to all Jewish voters to focus on the facts and examine the position of every political candidate individually, regardless of political affiliation.

Does the candidate support or oppose a woman’s right to choose?
Does the candidate support or oppose automatic rifle restrictions?

Let’s put party politics aside and let the answers to these vital, fundamental questions take top priority in the upcoming election.

Marilyn Gootman, Athens

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