Who decides?

I have read the back and forth between all these men concerning Hal Ritter’s Oct. 6 column and his follow-up offering Oct. 20 regarding abortion. Lots of “why,” “when,” “what” and “we” but no mention of the crux of the problem — and that’s the “who.” Who decides? Who decides your future? Who decides what is best for your health? Who decides what is best for your family? Who decides what you do with your body?

Answer: This decision belongs to the woman, her family and her doctors.

The decision does not lie with retired counselor and teacher Hal Ritter or pro-life advocates Eric Holloway, David Nemati or John Pisciotta. And this decision certainly doesn’t belong to state Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn or U.S. Rep. Bill Flores.

Bottom line: If you don’t believe in abortion, then don’t have one. This is an intensely personal and private decision that women have to make, and you guys need to stay out of it.

Cheryl Foster, Waco

Time for tradition

How refreshing and hopeful Richland Mall has decided to close on Thanksgiving Day. God, family and country is what America means to most of us. You can choose in what order you wish to put this in, it’s still a free country.

I am aware that CBL Properties would not have made the decision to close Richland Mall if the stores were blowing out the doors in sales on Thanksgiving. Regardless, maybe other retail businesses will follow suit and close, giving their employees time to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends. Don’t give up on our great country even if you are disgusted with the bizarre election antics of our two candidates running for president and our mainstream news media. Baylor University had its “come-to-Jesus” moment. America will have its.

Bess Tucker, Waco

Toxic concerns

East Waco is gathering public support for environmental protection. It has three known toxic sites. A report shows the Southwest Chemical/Blue building on Peach Street was guilty of violations since 1950.

Low-income minorities bear the cost of environmental degradation, which is an injustice. Environmental contaminants may be carried long-distances into other communities far from its origin. Environmental quality and inadequate access to health care after exposure are also disproportionate. Toxic exposure is linked to a host of physical, psychological and emotional disabilities, chronic illnesses, neuro-behavioral disorders, learning disabilities and even death.

Individuals and entities responsible for spillage into our air, water and soil and the site cleanup have failed us. The Environmental Protection Agency and Texas Commission for Environmental Quality have failed us. How can we have healthy living and wellness under these circumstances?

Jeanette Bell, Waco