Norplant foes must consider alternativesWhy is it that the...

the Forum

February 23, 1993

Norplant foes must consider alternatives

Why is it that the people who are in the most advantageous position to help the disadvantaged poor often serve as the greatest detriment to the process?

It is so necessary that something be done to break the vicious cycle of poverty and crime. The most obvious place to start is with the youth. Now that Norplant has been offered as an aid in that process, the same people who demand help would deny it to those who most need it.

These people are not interested in helping the victims of poverty as much as they are of grandstanding.

By the very fact that they have public recognition to criticize a new public policy, they have proven that they have escaped the very situation that would keep the unborn, newborn and teen-agers as victims. How sad that they would stand in the way of helping others.

Have the critics of Norplant considered the real dangers of not taking any action in this situation?

Teen pregnancy presents physical dangers far beyond those experienced with Norplant. In addition, many children born to teens suffer from hyper-activity, which can manifest itself in learning difficulties later. As a result, no one gets a proper education or a chance to enter into a productive life.

Let us put the whole issue in perspective. This is not a racial issue but one which anyone can afford who chooses the opportunity to live a productive life.

If that is social engineering to give people a chance at life, then perhaps we need more of it.

Instead of criticism, why don't these people use their collective energies to develop constructive alternatives? Grandstanding and candlelight vigils do little to save people from throwaway lives!

Gary C. Harn


Cut pork barrel

Before we are asked to pay more taxes, why can't Congress give up some of those perks and cut back on foreign aid?

The Grace Commission report showed how millions could be saved, but that would interfere with their pork barrel ways of doing business.

Jim Hamilton

White Marsh

Why wait? A Family Court should be created

I was very interested in what Judge Vincent E. Ferretti, Jr. had to say in the Forum on Feb. 12. I can identify with his frustration, but from the other side of the bench.

I dearly love my son, but I find it increasingly difficult to be a father to him.

You see, in the middle of the night, and against a court order, my then-wife relocated our son to Virginia. This action followed five years of unfettered visitation obstruction which sometimes lasted for days, sometimes weeks, and yes, even months.

I requested an emergency hearing and petitioned the court to have my son returned to Maryland in March 1992, when I learned of the abduction.

The emergency hearing began at the end of April and ended in the middle of May, and no, we weren't in court all that time.

Actually we spent less than two full days in court. The emergency hearing was pre-empted (bumped) by criminal cases and an overloaded docket and had to be spread out over the course of two months.

Most judges may spend more time and devote more judicial resources deciding cases involving custody and the break-up of families, but are the time and resources being spent when they are needed?

The key to successful emergency medical assistance is timing. No matter how dedicated and skilled he or she may be, a paramedic that arrives on the scene 10 minutes after an accident victim has died is of no use to the deceased. It's too late.

I don't think public outcry for Family Court is due to the failure of the current system to respond to the needs of the family. Rather, it is the failure to respond when needed . . .

The amount of time which passed between the emergency and the hearing worked to my then-wife's advantage.

It all but forced our son to have a stronger dependency on his mother because I was out of the picture until the judge again ordered her to permit visitation.

At times I think my case is the exception rather than the rule. To believe that is to diminish the purpose of the Governor's Task Force on Family Law.

I testified before the task force. While I was waiting to give my testimony, I heard stories like mine being told by parents I had never met until that day . . .

Until visitation obstruction and parental child abduction by the custodial parent are against the law, and the system is reorganized to render emergency attention at the time of the emergency, dedicated and concerned judges like Vincent E. Ferretti, Jr. will perceive the public is dissatisfied with their performance.

Judges should not be concerned with the political correctness of their performance. Rather, they should be concerned with even and unbiased application of family law in family matters.

If that means revamping the system to create a Family Court, so be it. We already have the judges, clerks and support personnel in place. What are we waiting for?

William A. McCann III


Destroying success

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