Local Volunteers of America helping create greater A.C.

On behalf of members of the business community in the greater Atlantic City region, I would like to applaud the work being done by Volunteers of America Delaware Valley (VOADV). The Press of Atlantic City has recently published several articles examining challenging issues as they relate to the overall state of our city. Each of these articles highlighted the efforts of the VOADV to overcome these challenges.

VOADV is one of the organizations working to make Atlantic City a better place. We at the Greater Atlantic City Chamber have witnessed firsthand the success of their efforts throughout the city. VOADV’s Homeless Navigator and Safe Return programs connect Atlantic City’s most vulnerable populations with the direct, streamlined assistance they need. Members of their outreach team can be found throughout the city at any given hour of the day, ready to act and respond immediately.

We have seen many businesses throughout Atlantic City directly benefit from VOADV’s efforts in several ways. VOADV provides support to business owners, who know they can rely on their presence and assistance when it’s needed most. Their work also helps business owners engage the community and law enforcement to ensure their businesses operate safely — helping to further cultivate a growing, thriving business community.

VOADV’s deep-rooted passion and unwavering commitment is a beacon of hope for Atlantic City. The chamber is committed to partnering with VOADV and other organizations like it committed to making Atlantic City a better place to live and work.

Joseph D. Kelly

Atlantic City

President, Greater Atlantic City Chamber

Acceptance of ending lives a slippery slope

As the country and perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court obsess over the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade, it seems important to reflect on some historical facts — particularly the views of Margaret Sanger, who is credited with creating Planned Parenthood. The current brouhaha over the closing of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood abortion clinic and the recent passage of abortion restriction laws in some states have exacerbated the pro and con rhetoric.

Sanger was an early proponent of informed birth control for the non-wealthy women of the world. The rich had the devices, methods and treatments available to them for some time. Being the daughter of a mother (who died at age 49) who had 18 pregnancies and 11 births, Sanger recognized that contraception methods were legally prevented from being available to the masses and she sought to remedy this. Although a staunch advocate of birth prevention, she found abortion to be anathema to her. She believed that birth control was a panacea for the health and financial well-being of the population. While she later somewhat endorsed pseudo-eugenics through sterilization of certain individuals, this view was also shared by others. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote a majority opinion ruling that a state statute permitting compulsory sterilization didn’t necessarily violate the 14th Amendment’s Due Process clause.

Some claim Sanger did promote abortion in cases to save the mother’s life, but not to cavalierly extinguish a living being.

Of course, Sanger’s campaign for effective birth control was initiated long before the availability of birth control pills and other methods. It’s ironic that the populace is so riled up over the abortion issue despite the universal availability of so many contraception methods — even though rape needs to be addressed. As the case of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell (convicted of first-degree murder) has shown, the termination of the life of any living human organism is a very slippery slope — which could lead to acceptance of euthanasia in other circumstances. Society can easily succumb to being indifferent to the wrongheadedness of the ending of a life, if we continue to ignore the rights of any living being — as evinced by a beating heart.

Ron Smith

Brigantine

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