The dangers posed to women and children in Cleveland have become increasingly apparent.
Furthermore, the city claims the number 1 worst infant mortality rate among the 50 largest cities in the U.S. (13.5 deaths per 1,000 live births), a ranking it shares with Detroit. Alarmingly, parts of Cleveland have infant mortality rates that exceed those of some third-world countries. In 2010, Ohio ranked 48th in the nation for infant mortality. The Ohio Senate Health Committee is combatting this ranking by holding hearings across the state to gather information and to raise awareness on the subject. Hopefully, more lives will be saved as a result.
But Cleveland women and children aren’t threatened by serial killers, kidnappers and infant mortality alone. Abortion ravages life in Cuyahoga County far more than it does anywhere else in Ohio. In 2011, 36 percent of Ohio’s abortions took place there: That’s 8,908 babies taken in one county in one year.
Thankfully, two of Cuyahoga County’s houses of horrors have been toppled this year: an abortion clinic and the house where Ariel Castro held three women for ten years.
After the Ohio Department of Health revealed multiple health and sanitation violations at Capital Care Network of Cuyahoga Falls, this abortion mill was shuttered. With its closing, one enemy to Cleveland’s women and children was defeated.
Yesterday, Ariel Castro’s house of horrors was razed. Michele Knight, one of the women who Castro kidnapped and held captive for ten years, appeared on the scene with yellow balloons, telling reporters that the balloons were for the millions of children who were never found–and for “the ones who passed away that were never heard.”
Knight, who lost her own unborn children to the violence of her kidnapper and captor, prayed for the mothers of missing children, asking that they have strength and hope that their chidlren will return to them.
Cleveland’s mothers need the strength and hope that Michele Knight is praying for. They need these things from the moment of their child’s conception and all throughout their lives.
Kidnapping. Murder. Infant mortality. Abortion. These challenges are great. But Clevelanders should not lose hope as Ohioans make progress and rally to bring the city back to life.