Why can't one be pro-choice and pro-life?Mary M. Shaffrey...

the Forum

February 18, 1992

Why can't one be pro-choice and pro-life?

Mary M. Shaffrey (Forum Feb. 3) complains The Evening Sun is "editorializing" when it refers to those who oppose abortion as "anti-abortion" rather than "pro-life." To the contrary, the paper is avoiding the invidious implication in "pro-life" that those who are pro-choice are therefore "anti-life." We profoundly resent any such suggestion.

As parents of four children, my wife and I have some awareness of the definition of "pro-life." This awareness runs through the long, hopeful and anxious period of pregnancy, through the multiple hazards of infancy and childhood and into the trials and emotional upheavals of youth and young adulthood.

Don't dare tell us we are not "pro-life." We have spent a hundred sleepless nights worrying about a sick child, and a thousand anxious days in fear of the dangers out in the neighborhood and the world.

We know all about the challenge of opening children's eyes to the wonders of the Earth, of instilling in each of them a sense of kindness and responsibility to their fellow human beings. We know about imparting a love of knowledge and accomplishment as well as helping them with their homework.

We are now grandparents, reveling in the enjoyment of new lives. We wouldn't trade the experience of parenthood for all the worldly goods and professional success that this mortal coil could offer.

My wife and I went through these events because that was what we wanted. And that's the key to the whole agonizing, wonderful and fulfilling experience. It was our choice. That's what "pro-choice" means. And, by God, we are pro-life.

Gwinn Owens

Baltimore

Guns save lives

In response to Dr. Lawrence Pakula's Feb. 7 letter, "Handguns an epidemic that is killing kids": Dr. Pakula fails to mention how many kids are saved by firearms each day, each year.

Look at the facts: There are over 50,000 deaths a year in the U.S. from motor vehicles; how many are children? There were 283 deaths last year from drug abuse in Maryland; how many were kids? How many kids are killed in fires in Maryland and the United States? More than 1,200 kids under 14 drown while swimming, and more than 17,000 get hospital treatment after nearly drowning. Every year, one kid is killed, 1,000 injured on bicycles. There are over 100,000 skateboard injuries a year. More than 150,000 kids under 13 are injured in sports.

With all the violent crime in Maryland, all this letter did was dissuade honest law-abiding gun owners from keeping firearms in their homes for self-defense. I know Dr. Pakula is not talking for all the pediatricians, not for the eight or 10 I talk to on the shooting range every weekend along with other doctors, lawyers and their families.

Every year, 2.7 million women and 4.2 million men are victimized in the United States. Our families do not want to become a statistic. Families that shoot together stay together.

T. J. Jory

Baltimore

Streetcar story

Gilbert Sandler's "A ride down Howard" (Baltimore Glimpses, Feb. 4) suggests that streetcars operated on North Howard Street as late as 1950. In fact, Howard Street was one of the first major arteries to lose fixed-wheel transit.

The federal government, in a Roosevelt-era public works project, paid for the rebuilding and extension of Howard Street with the proviso that streetcars be eliminated from the roadway. Streetcars were rerouted off Howard Street in 1939; in 1940, trackless trolley service was inaugurated. Trackless trolleys were the mainstay of the busy shopping thoroughfare until diesel buses took over in 1959 only to have streetcars return in 1992.

James A. Genthner

Baltimore

Cruelty to horses

It's good to learn Maryland's horse racing industry is suffering along with other businesses. It is to be hoped that the industry will go out of business all across the country, which would put an end to its brutal cruelty to innocent horses.

B. J. Small

Baltimore

Pat's the one

Pat Buchanan is the most honest, articulate, thoughtful and courageous candidate running for president in either party. His proposals are essentially the same as those President Reagan used to stimulate the longest period of prosperity in post-war America.

Pat Buchanan is the leader we need in the White House in the 1990s.

Richard Weiss

Annapolis

Straight talk

Anna Quindlen's Feb. 6 column, "Evan's two moms: no big thing," is the second I've read in The Evening Sun promotin marriage between gay couples. The other, by an attorney, was published a couple of months ago in Other Voices.

The idea is to me, and to a lot of other so-called "straight" people, repulsive. I'd like to hear an opinion on the other side. How many gay columnists do you have? Are you afraid to publish straight people's letters of disgust?

The idea goes against all that is decent and moral and all the people who believe God made man and woman as his helpmate, as the Bible states. You can publish all the editorials you want, and I can do without The Evening Sun.

Patsy Browning

Baltimore

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