LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Mayor needs to focus on crumbling city issues

Dear Mayor Joven,

I am greatly disappointed to see you are pushing this authoritarian ordinance. I do not use this term lightly, I do not believe the government has a place to decide what women can and cannot do with their bodies, or anyone else for that matter. You can disagree with me, but you can not disagree with the fact that the Supreme Court has already ruled on this issue once in 1973 and again in 1992. Not only that, but the separation of church and state is written into our constitution, and while you have the right to believe whatever you want, you do not have the right to force your philosophical and religious beliefs on others. This is a basic pillar of American democracy and your ignorance of it makes me think you might need a refresher course on constitutional law.

You could just as easily be focusing on our crumbling infrastructure, our contaminated groundwater, or our rapidly growing homeless population. Instead you choose to further divide people based on religious dogma and fear monger over culture war issues. The fact that you question others’ faith based on whether or not they agree with your worldview is laughably childish, seeing as you are clearly using people’s faith to gain power and further a political agenda.

If anything we need more access to family planning, not less. I know that having an abortion is a tragic situation and I do not mean to make light of it, but I think out of anyone involved in these situations the mother has the most skin in the game, and the state should have no say in the matter. Women are more than just baby factories, despite your fantasy traditionalist power dynamic. Studies consistently show that when women have access to these facilities it ultimately ends up with better health outcomes for the mother and if/when she decides to have children they will be better off than a baby that is unplanned for. I would be happy to send you these studies if you have an interest in seeing the empirical data.

What you fail to realize is that women will still get abortions even if your proposal were to pass, they will just have to go across state lines, or worse, receive less than adequate medical treatment because they are forced to resort to “back alley” abortions. Not to mention there are no clinics here that offer abortions and there haven’t been for years, so this whole thing is a meaningless virtue signal designed to waste time and taxpayers’ money while you score cheap political points with the conservative fundamentalists. Please, focus on something productive and quit with the divisive rhetoric.

You are wasting your time with this and quite frankly making an ass of yourself in the process. You could have been a mayor that was remembered for helping the working families of Odessa, maybe even ran for state office after your term, but instead you will be remembered as the guy who threw a temper tantrum and questioned someone’s faith in a zoom meeting because they didn’t fall in line.

If you want to live in a theocratic dictatorship I suggest visiting Saudi Arabia, I hear it’s nice this time of year.

Bradyn Westbrook