Abortion clinic worker: Stop targeting me and my co-workers

·5 min read
Ashad Hajela

Abortion staff

As a staff member at a N.C. abortion clinic, my colleagues and I have long dealt with harassment and violence — from protesters posting our private information online, to vitriol directed at us as we come to work, to threats communicated to us and our families. This kind of harassment is an occupational hazard for providing legal, necessary and compassionate care to our patients.

In recent years it has escalated nationwide. This year, Knoxville, Tenn. clinic was burned to the ground and a man in Michigan was recently charged with setting fire to another clinic.

Protesters have brought guns outside our clinics, and we are all too aware of providers who’ve been murdered for this work.

We know our job comes with these dangers, but we continue this work because we are committed to our patients. Patients and staff deserve better than to have to walk a gauntlet of harassment when seeking and providing healthcare.

We know more than most what it’s like to be targeted and demonized because of our work. We don’t wish that on anyone, and hope that even those who don’t agree with our work extend that same sentiment to us.

Amber Gavin, Raleigh

Killing an officer

Another law enforcement officer has been killed, Wake County sheriff’s deputy Ned Byrd on Aug. 11. It is past time for a law that would require the death penalty for those convicted of killing a law enforcement officer.

North Carolina must send a message to all that murder or attempted murder will not be tolerated. There is absolutely no reason anyone should kill or attempt to kill. It is time to stop the decades of death penalty appeals and endless excuses. Our law enforcement officers need our help and support now.

Ashley Robbins, Elm City

It’s not gun laws

As is my tradition, I lit a memorial candle for the Wake County sheriff’s deputy whose life was needlessly taken. Afterward, I pondered whether we have made even a shred of progress as a result of the continuous tightening of our gun laws. I think not.

What we need is a new direction, a new focus, a tightening of people laws. Children and others need to be taught to fear the consequence of using a firearm to kill or wound another human being.

Habitual criminals who routinely use or possess guns illegally don’t need to live among the rest of us. Tighter gun laws simply don’t work.

Howard A. Goodman, Cary

Todd Ishee

The writer is the retired warden of the Federal Correctional Complex at Butner.

Regarding “After tough years, NC prisons chief is departing...,” (Aug. 11):

Commissioner Todd Ishee’s ability to relate with N.C. Department of Corrections line staff demonstrated his greatest strength: his presence in the system. He is a believer that you must be with the employees and tell them how much they are appreciated. He did this by generally visiting two prisons a week.

After working in corrections for more than 45 years, I’ll be the first to admit we have a lot of unresolved issues, the primary one being staffing. But I’ll also tell you that I’ve never seen an administrator embrace his staff like Ishee did. I say to him: Good luck and thank you.

Art Beeler, Franklinton

Mar-a-Lago search

Here is what I would like addressed about the search at Donald Trump’s home. We have no idea of why these materials were at Mar-a-Lago in the first place. These were not mementos. But, they were specifically chosen and packed to move from the White House.

It wasn’t an accident these particular documents were withheld when others were returned. Our only hope of finding out the truth of these matters is the FBI and Department of Justice, which are now being continuously attacked by Republicans.

Ned Gardner, Apex

Third parties

Efforts of the Green Party to present their own candidates in N.C. are an exercise in futility. Their noble aspirations would be better served if they supported candidates of the party most likely to deliver the results they are looking for.

They tend to be spoilers in the political process, and they assure the election of candidates who are generally opposed to all their initiatives.

Those who abstain from any party identification and call themselves independents need to heed the same warning. They have minimal impact upon the formation of public policy and the preservation of the values which we cherish as American people. They vote on Election Day, and this may be the extent of their involvement. They could do so much more, and we all would be better off.

Thomas K. Spence Jr., Sanford

About that tip...

The pandemic is waning and many people are eating out again, but prices have jumped. So why not cut back on your tip? Here’s why:

Your server earns $2.13 per hour. They must share tips with the hostess, bartender and maybe other servers. If you are in a fancy restaurant, your server may take a ride share service to get there because they can’t afford to live nearby. That can cost $30-plus a day.

I used to be a server. If you can afford to eat out, you owe a tip to those who are making your meal enjoyable. They need the money more than you do.

David Dickinson, Durham