Nurse, Mother Backs Question 6As a nurse and mother of two...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 25, 1992

Nurse, Mother Backs Question 6

As a nurse and mother of two daughters, I support Question 6, a law to prohibit state interference with a woman's reproductive decision before the embryo is viable.

Question 6 is not pro-abortion; it is pro-choice because it simply protects women's rights to privacy in making decisions about reproduction. Each case is unique; no legislation can possibly address each woman's situation when a difficult decision must be made.

Pregnancy is not a stroll in the park. It is nine months of physical change -- often morning sickness, weight gain, fluid retention, high blood pressure culminating in hours of contractions . . . the possibility of missed work or even losing the job that keeps a woman off welfare. To endure all that should be a woman's choice. . . .

Reproductive decisions belong to the woman, with counsel and support from her doctor and her loved ones.

Kay Garnish

Eldersburg

Question 6 Flawed

As a state legislator, I have voted the pro-life position during my entire tenure in office.

The purpose of this letter, however, is not to expound on the basis upon which I hold my views on this issue. . . . I believe that many pro-choice advocates would be opposed to S.B. 162 if they were aware of some of the parts of the legislation which I find most troubling:

* Notification.

Health General Article 20-103

(c) (1) The physician may perform the abortion, without notice to a parent or guardian of a minor if, in the professional judgment of the physician:

(I.) Notice to the parent or guardian may lead to physical or emotional abuse of the minor;

(II.) The minor is mature and capable of giving informed consent to an abortion; or

(III.) Notification would not be in the best interest of the minor.

My problem with the language is that the physician is making the determination that the minor "is mature and capable of giving informed consent to an abortion." The physician that is referred to in this instance -- most often -- will be the abortionist. . . . * Health General Article 20-209.

(A) In this section, "viable" means that stage when, in the best medical judgment of the attending physician, based on the particular facts of the case before the physician, there is a reasonable likelihood of the fetus's sustained survival outside the womb.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this substitute, the state may not interfere with the decision of a woman to terminate a pregnancy:

(1) Before the fetus is viable; or

(2) At any other time during the woman's pregnancy, if:

(I.) The termination procedure is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman; or

(II.) The fetus is affected by genetic defect or serious deformity or abnormality.

. . . The provisions of the bill which provide for an abortion "at any other time during the woman's pregnancy" if "the fetus is affected by a genetic defect" is a special concern of mine. There are many correctable genetic defects. . . . Del. Donald B. Ellicott

New Windsor

The writer represents Legislative District 4B in Carroll and Howard counties.

Too Danged Expensive? It's Better'n Baltimore

The leaves are beginning to fall and there is a chill in the air, so my buddy Bill and I found ourselves sitting around a wood stove cleaning our deer rifles and swapping lies about our past hunting trips. . . . After arguing over which of the presidential candidates would do the least damage to the country and which congressional candidate could best fill Beverly Byron's big shoes, and totally ignoring the abortion issue (a wise course considering we were both within reach of weapons), the subject of the proposed charter came up.

"You're in favor of this here charter, ain't you?" Bill asked.

When I replied that I was a strong supporter of the charter, listed as number 267 on the ballot this November, Bill told me . . . "I hear tell this charter will cost taxpayers more money. It seems to be too danged expensive."

"Well do you realize the charter has a built-in tax cap? And that under the present form of commissioner government, there is no tax cap?"

. . . "What about gettin' all these high-paid professional politicians in office? You know, like they have in some of these charter counties?"

"Bill, that happened in Baltimore County and places like that. This is Carroll County. Under our charter, each of the five council members will be paid $7,500, with an extra $500 for the council president. That's a total cost of $38,000 a year in salaries. The present commissioners are paid $30,000 a year for a total of $90,000. . . . "Yeah, but what about the county executive? They pay them fellers a lot of money."

"There won't be a county executive in the new charter. We'll have a professional county administrator, just like we have now."

"That's another thing. Them three fellers on the charter board who oppose the charter say we should have an elected county executive."

"You know, those three guys have always been opposed to charter government, so it's not news that they'd come up with some reason to still be opposed. . . . "And you know," I

continued, "charter has the County Council elected by districts, so that each area of the county will be represented. I know that you're from near Union Bridge, so your area of the county will finally have a voice."

. . . "And, of course, we'll be able to have our laws debated and voted on by representatives we elect. Under commissioner form of government, our local laws are decided by senators and delegates from Baltimore City and Montgomery County."

"Baltimore City?" Bill yelled. "That does it. Charter government may not be perfect, but it's a heck of a lot better than what we've got now." . . .

Frank H. Rammes

Finksburg

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