‘Heartbeat’ bills hurt women


“Heartbeat” bills are a smoke screen that denies women access to a constitutionally protected medical procedure (“Anti-abortion forces find hope in Arkansas fetal heartbeat law; Other states, including Ohio, considering similar measures,” March 17).

Shortening the time frame for elective abortion and denying access in the case of birth defects will effectively outlaw the procedure.

These bills are another attempt to humiliate women and mislead the public about fetal size and development.

The Blade should report on the history of those who would deny women control of their fertility and the role that plays in repressing their freedom and economic opportunity.


Sabra Road


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Kitten worth more than fetus?

It is a felony to kill a kitten (“Findlay man arraigned for breaking kitten’s neck; Rescue aide faces count of animal cruelty,” Feb. 21). It is a constitutional right to kill an unborn child. God help us.




Prosecutor should be consistent

In your article about the parole of Michael Ustaszewski, Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates voices her opposition to the parole and is quoted: “I think life is life” (“Parole action rankles prosecutor; Julia Bates contends life sentences should be served as such,” Feb. 23). She means that he was sentenced to life and should serve a life term.

Ms. Bates defends the integrity of the original case, saying: “It didn’t get thrown out on appeal.”

But in 2001, a court threw out Danny Brown’s murder conviction and ruled that he should be granted a new trial, a decision upheld by the 6th District Court of Appeals. He still hasn’t gotten one.

How can Ms. Bates be a purist about punishment but not the exoneration of Mr. Brown? He was freed after serving 19 years in prison when DNA evidence pointed to someone else. For Mr. Ustaszewski, “life is life,” but for Mr. Brown freedom is not really freedom.

Rather than engaging in self-serving indignation, Ms. Bates would increase her credibility and the integrity of Toledo’s criminal justice system by granting Mr. Brown a new trial or releasing him as a suspect in an investigation that is not even taking place.


Robinwood Avenue


Prosecutor’s office fails to get tough

It is disheartening to learn that the Lucas County Prosecutor’s office arranged a plea bargain and dismissed a charge of aggravated robbery with a firearms specification for a lesser nongun-related charge (“Toledo woman pleads in robbery near UT,” Feb. 27).

With the focus on gun violence in America, the last thing you would want to do is dismiss a serious gun charge in exchange for a guilty plea on a lesser charge.

Aggressive prosecution of gun-related crimes would send a strong message to the public that these types of crimes will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Unfortunately, it appears that the county prosecutor’s office will plea-bargain such charges away.


Harley Street