Radical ProposalOn the first day of the new Congress, the...


February 03, 1993

Radical Proposal

On the first day of the new Congress, the "Freedom of Choice Act" was reintroduced.

While some proponents of FOCA claim that it merely codifies Roe v. Wade, an examination of the facts shows that it actually goes much further.

The American Civil Liberties Union, one of the leading supporters of the bill, stated in its recently published handbook, "Civil Liberties in the 102nd Congress," that parental notification and consent requirements would be prohibited by FOCA.

Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has found parental consent and notice requirements to be consistent with Roe v. Wade in the past -- e.g. Planned Parenthood v. Ashcroft, 1983 -- the claim that FOCA merely codifies Roe would appear to be inaccurate.

I believe that the average parent will find this provision troubling. Should not public policy support, rather than pre-empt, parental authority and responsibility for the moral and physical well-being of children?

Even President Clinton, a supporter of abortion, said during the campaign that he favored allowing states to require parental notice, impose a 24-hour waiting period, prohibit abortions after viability and exempt religiously affiliated hospitals from performing abortions. FOCA bars the states from enacting even these moderate restraints.

Will President Clinton, a "new kind of Democrat," live up to his campaign rhetoric and fight this radical proposal?

Charles R. Serio


The Deportees

Your Dec. 29 editorial, "Israel's Deportees," left me with a sense of shame that I should read such rubbish in the only remaining major "newspaper" in our town.

The soft touch that your newspaper uses in dealing with Israel exposes the bias and callous disregard for a large number of Muslim Baltimoreans who feel the pain that others of their faith are subjected to in many parts of the world, including Arab countries.

To write that the only winner in this would be the 396 extremists, including any terrorists among them, who are gleefully shivering in their tent camp, is the ultimate in lack of feeling for others. How can the author use such a word as "gleeful" is beyond comprehension.

Are we to assume that the author would also say that the homeless in Baltimore stay out in the cold of winter because it makes them "gleeful," that a man is willing to be separated from his family and thrown into the cold mountains during the winter because he feels "gleeful"?

In one paragraph the editorial took the liberty of labeling the deportees as extremists with some terrorists among them.

What proof other than words uttered by Israel do you have to make such a sweeping statement?

The fact that Israel did not make any evidence against the deportees public did not stop The Sun from repeating the accusations as facts. . .

Israel has committed an act that is illegal under international law. To say that others do the same or worse does not make it right for Israel.

Security Council resolutions should be enforced equally or not at all.

Ahmed G. Awad


Politics as Usual

The day after promising America that he would reform politics so that power and privilege no longer control; the day after promising to give the capital back to the people; the day after promising to bring about the change the American people had summoned, President Clinton could not bring himself to act decisively and courageously to terminate the embarrassment caused by the revelation that his nominee as attorney general had consciously violated the law.

Rather, the president had to wait until tens of thousands of hard-working, child-rearing Americans voiced their collective disgust with his continuing support of a confessed lawbreaker.

Where is the courage and resolve to end politics as usual, Mr. President? How many more promises will be broken?

Edwin R. Goodlander


Do You Get It?

Rather than commending the Baltimore County legislative delegation for having the courage to view the state's persistent budget deficits with the thoughtful eye of a fiscal conservative, The Sun in its Jan. 12 editorial ("They Just Don't Get It") lambastes these legislators for rejecting the money-is-the-magic-bullet solution to the state's fiscal problems.

And rather than condemning Gov. William Donald Schaefer and the General Assembly leadership for flagrant partisan politicking during the recent legislative redistricting process and for the denial of major committee chairmanships for county legislators, The Sun simply shrugs. I guess The Sun thinks that by refusing to go along with politics as usual, we in the county are getting the "freeze-out" we deserve.

Baltimore County's adamant "no tax increase" stance stems not from selfishness and greed but from the exercise of good economic sense. Maryland's economy is reeling from huge defense cutbacks, ongoing business downsizing, rising unemployment and shrinking revenues. Past experience shows that tax increases will not solve the deep-rooted fiscal problems Maryland is experiencing.

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