Reproductive rights and responsibilityI agree with...

the Forum

November 15, 1991

Reproductive rights and responsibility

I agree with Stephanie Denmark (Other Voices, Nov. 5) that "Norplant is the most revolutionary contraceptive for women since the birth-control pill," and that it should not be used by government to single out groups for population control. Her arguments against using Norplant in that way are very convincing. However, Ms. Denmark could have taken one point a step further.

Instead of battling "over a woman's basic right to control her own body" and "who should control women's reproduction," it should be noted there are two people involved in human reproduction - one male and one female.

Women need to be crying out that men are responsible for their actions when it comes to sex. Women demanding to control their own reproduction, whether it be through Norplant or abortion, tell men that they are not responsible for their part in reproduction, thereby creating the idea that the woman will take care of the consequences.

The responsibility for the creation of a child lies with both people, not just the one who may have to carry that burden physically for nine months, and perhaps economically for much longer. Because the woman may have to carry the greater burden, women as a group need to start holding men accountable and demand that accountability as loudly as they shout for their right to control reproduction, in the bedroom as well as in the street.

Why are women the sole target of attempts to control reproduction? Perhaps because they appear to be willing to accept the sole responsibility for reproduction.

Scott A. Leonard


Taking exception

We take deep exception to Frank A. DeFilippo's column (Other Voices, Oct. 31). Mr. DiFilippo certainly has every right to express views and opinions of a political nature. In his eagerness, however, to do a "hatchet job" on Larry Gibson, he has implicitly questioned the credibility and assailed the real estate professionalism of this company. This we resent.

Had Mr. DiFilippo honestly and objectively researched the elements contained in his story and bothered to ascertain all the facts, he surely could not and would not have written this piece in the manner he did. The facts are these:

Manekin responded to a newspaper advertisement placed by the Christopher Columbus Science Center Commission inviting proposals from responsible developers. We responded to this request. We appeared before the commission. We were told by Stanley Heisler, chairman of the commission, that our presentation was extraordinarily good . . . But Mr. Heisler advised us that the decision to award this assignment to the Rouse Company was a most difficult one for him and for the commission, primarily because our submission and our qualifications were extraordinarily high. Obviously, we did not participate directly or otherwise in the decision-making process nor were we privy to the deliberations that took place. For Mr. DiFilippo to infer otherwise is blatant untruth of great proportions.

We are disappointed we were not selected; but, at the request of the chairman, we have assured the commission that we are ready and willing to assist the Christopher Columbus Center management in any way possible should we be called upon to do so.

Had Mr. DiFilippo been more diligent and objective in preparing his article, he would have learned that the Manekin organization has used the law firm of Shapiro and Olander as its legal counsel since 1975, long before either Mr. Gibson or Mr. Shapiro were involved in the political scene and long before Mayor Schmoke sought public office.

Bernard Manekin

The writer is chairman of the Manekin Corp.

Build a new theater

The state of Maryland must find the money to construct a new 3,000-seat theater in Baltimore. The useless Power Plant building should be demolished immediately to make way for the new theater. If we don't, we can expect to lose our reputation as a city which appreciates first-class performing arts.

Currently, the closest place Baltimoreans can see Broadway touring productions, such as "The Phantom of the Opera," is the Kennedy Center in Washington, where tickets are extremely difficult to obtain.

Baltimore has a sad history of failure when it comes to constructing adequate facilities for cultural and athletic purposes. The Baltimore Arena was inadequate from the beginning. If we had constructed a decent facility at the time, we would currently have NHL hockey and NBA basketball. Hockey fans in this area have to settle for minor-league play and our basketball team left for a major-league facility. The theater fans are about to suffer the same plight. Baltimore is becoming a minor-league theater town.

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