ACLU of Indiana Board Member Len Goldstein Passes Away at 97

The ACLU of Indiana family is saddened to learn that our friend and long time leader Len Goldstein passed away on April 20th, 2018.  The Goldstein family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the ACLU of Indiana or Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky.  If you do choose to make a donation to the ACLU of Indiana in Len's memory via our online donation link above, please send a quick note to Neil Hudelson so that we may inform the Goldstein family of your kind gift.  Below is a wonderful obituary from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.


Leonard Goldstein, a longtime successful Fort Wayne businessman and community leader for social justice causes, died Friday in Carmel, north of Indianapolis.

Goldstein, 97, and his wife, Rikki, had lived in Fort Wayne for 71 years before moving in late 2016 to Carmel to be closer to family. She survives.

A service was planned Monday morning at Achduth Vesholom Congregation in Fort Wayne, where the couple were longtime members, his obituary said. The burial ceremony was to take place at Lindenwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the ACLU or Planned Parenthood, his obituary said.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, the Goldsteins met while both were attending Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. They married and moved to Fort Wayne in 1945, they said during an October 2016 interview The News-Sentinel.

After working for local companies, Leonard Goldstein founded his own company, Midland Inc., which represented small and medium-sized companies trying to sell products overseas.

The Goldsteins both were very active in social issues in Fort Wayne.

In the mid-1970s, Leonard served one term on the Fort Wayne Community Schools board of school trustees, where he led the effort to push FWCS to desegregate its schools.

Leonard also was active in the leadership of the Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne, including helping start the Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University in Bloomington, which has become one of the top programs of its kind in the country.

Throughout his time in Fort Wayne, Leonard stayed active on the Jewish Federation board and its Community Relations Council committee.

He also was involved for more than 30 years with the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana (ACLU), which he described in 2016 as “a natural thing for me” because of his strong passion for ensuring people receive just and fair treatment.

That passion also inspired him to write frequent newspaper guest columns and letters to the editor, which he continued until just recently.

At the ACLU of Indiana, Leonard was known as a strong advocate for civil rights, and particularly for First Amendment protections guaranteeing separation of government and religion, the organization’s legal affairs director said in 2016.

After being an active volunteer at her children’s schools, Rikki helped start what is now the Women’s Bureau in 1976 and worked there for 20 years doing counseling and supervising programs that helped women re-enter the workforce after a divorce or death of a spouse, they said previously.

In 1996, at age 70, Rikki moved to Neighborhood Health Clinics in Fort Wayne, where she served as director of social work, outreach and other programs for 20 years before retiring in late August 2016.

Rikki helped found the Fort Wayne Ballet and served on its board of directors, they said in 2016. Leonard has served as board chairs at both Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. He also is a longtime member of the board and committees at The Phil.

The Goldsteins both served on the board of directors of the local Planned Parenthood organization during its early years in Fort Wayne.

Rikki and Leonard Goldstein each were presented Sagamore of the Wabash awards in 1994. The award is the highest honor the Indiana governor can give, and it typically is presented for distinguished service to the state or governor. Leonard also was a 2016 recipient of the Hoosier Jewish Legend honor, which is a Hall of Fame award from the Indiana Jewish Historical Society.

They also were longtime members of the Fortnightly Club in Fort Wayne, which provided an opportunity for husbands and wives to gather with other couples for “intellectual and social culture,” according to a December 2015 News-Sentinel story. One club member would present an essay on a topic, and then all would join in a discussion of the topic.

Date

Friday, April 27, 2018 - 10:00am

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Len Goldstein Headshot

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Indiana politicians have made a crusade of pushing abortion out of reach. This year, they’ve added more shame and punishment to their cruel agenda.
 
In March, Governor Eric Holcomb signed SEA 340, which requires health providers to submit a report to the state when a woman who has had an abortion seeks treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. Physicians who fail to submit these reports would face criminal penalties and possible jail time. 
 
The law’s proponents claim they are collecting information to protect women’s health. This ruse couldn’t be farther from the truth. The real intent of the law is to shame women, intimidate providers, and to collect information to be manipulated for an anti-abortion political agenda.
 
Leading medical authorities have affirmed abortion is one of the safest medical procedures with low complication rates. But this law specifically targets women and their medical providers with hurdles, burdens and intrusions of privacy with no legitimate medical or research justification.
 
The vague language in the law means that a woman who has had an abortion could be flagged and reported for a wide range of medical conditions. This does nothing to improve health care in Indiana. 
 
This law puts doctors in the untenable position of having to choose between complying with an irrational and ideologically-driven requirement, or facing potential jail time. The Indiana Academy of Family Physicians called the bill’s provisions “inappropriate in regard to current standards of care, research value, clinical relevance, or reasonable time frames for patient contact.” 
 
The law also singles out abortion clinics for unjustified inspections and requirements that are not imposed on other outpatient settings or hospitals – more proof that SEA 340 has nothing to do with protecting women’s health, and everything to do with targeting clinics and restricting women’s access to abortion care. 
 
That is why the ACLU of Indiana along with Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky are suing to block SEA 340 from taking effect and to protect women from being subjected to another attempt to undermine their reproductive rights. 
 
The law is on our side. The United States Supreme Court firmly ruled in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that medically unnecessary restrictions which do not improve the health and safety of patients are unconstitutional and should not be enforced. Over the last year, federal district and appellate courts have blocked or invalidated multiple Indiana laws that sought to restrict women’s access to abortion care, including HEA 1337, which was struck down by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals last week. 
 
Most people in this country believe, and the highest court in the land affirms, that a woman should be able to get abortion care with respect and dignity and without needless burdens. 
 
Indiana lawmakers should be improving women’s rights and health, not threatening them. 
 
Women need quality, evidence-based care; instead our politicians are intimidating their providers with bogus requirements that serve no legitimate medical purpose.
 
Once again Indiana politicians are barging into the exam room to shame women for their personal medical decisions, threaten their doctors with criminal penalties and erode women’s equality and freedom. We’re fighting back. 
 

Date

Monday, April 23, 2018 - 12:15pm

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Rally sign that reads "Abortion Access"

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Reproductive Freedom & Women's Rights

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Jane Henegar

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