Missed OpportunityTwo years ago, Maryland voters...


August 24, 1994

Missed Opportunity

Two years ago, Maryland voters overwhelmingly reaffirmed a woman's right to choose. One of the organizations leading that fight, the National Abortion Rights Action League of Maryland, has spent years protecting and defending this right.

But recently, it seems to have given up. NARAL doesn't seem to care about the number of people who expect them to take the next step -- seeking full funding for Medicaid abortions to ensure that all women, regardless of income, are treated equally under the law.

The fate of this issue depends on who is elected the next governor of Maryland. NARAL has the opportunity to influence this outcome by endorsing a candidate in the primary.

But, according to Robert Timberg's piece in The Sun Aug. 14, the organization has chosen to sit this one out.

NARAL has been a trailblazer in protecting and defending a woman's right to choose. It is missing an extremely important opportunity by sitting on the fence during the primary.

Alice Kelly


West Virginia

Willis Case Rowe's letter Aug. 9 brought up an old charge that resurfaces periodically: that "there is legally no such state as West Virginia."

Mr. Rowe cites the constitutional provision that a new state cannot be formed out of an existing state without the consent of the existing state and the approval of Congress.

As it happened, the creation of West Virginia complied with those requirements. It happened this way:

When the Virginia legislature, in early 1861, carried out secession proceedings, delegates from the western counties, choosing to remain loyal to the Union, withdrew to Wheeling and formed the Restored Government of Virginia.

The fact that the two U.S. senators elected by the legislature of this restored government were seated in the Senate is evidence that Congress recognized the restored government and its legislature as the lawful government of Virginia -- as did (needless to say) President Lincoln.

Once the restored government had obtained congressional recognition as the legal government of Virginia, it passed a resolution, which was approved in a referendum by an overwhelming majority of voters, calling for the formation of a new state.

A bill admitting the new state to the Union passed both the Senate and the House, and only then did Lincoln, after considering the opinions of an evenly-divided cabinet, sign it into law.

Although the creation of the state of West Virginia may have involved some legal fancy footwork, it followed the procedure specified by the Constitution.

Mary Crawford Clawsey


Cal is Great

Anybody who smears Cal Ripken Jr. in front of me has definitely thrown the gauntlet. Arthur Holst's Aug. 17 letter should never have even been printed, not in this town anyway.

I have also been to Camden Yards with my own kids and been treated to other children "screaming frantically" each and every time the player of their dreams stepped from the dugout. I wished they would just sit down and watch the game.

Does it occur to Mr. Holst that Cal Ripken might be gathering his wits and concentration while going out on the field? Is a player required to wave to every scream he hears in a stadium of 50,000?

Even if it was my own son that he failed to recognize, I certainly would be mature enough to realize he might have something else on his mind, like winning the game.

Strike or not, Cal Ripken Jr. does not deserve to be criticized in that manner. He has always exemplified team spirit, hard work, perseverance and love of the game.

He will go down in history as one of the greatest players to ever grace the diamond.

Georgia Corso


Time Capsule

When the Constellation is put in dry-dock, the old warship should be not only repaired but restored to her true condition.

Whether or not the vessel is the original Constellation of 1797, the basic form of the hull is that of an 1850s corvette, which is very different from the earlier frigate.

Restoring her as a War-of-1812 frigate would be a historical faux pas on the order of restoring a Da Vinci as though it were a Michelangelo.

The Constellation is the only wooden warship dating from the mid-1800s, a time of dramatic change in naval architecture. To fail to rebuild the ship as the corvette that she is misses an opportunity for the city to present to the world a truly unique time capsule of a naval era long passed.

Gregory S. Paul


Africa's Dreadful Inheritance of Colonialism

Your editorial, "The Trouble With Africa," Aug. 10, is on an important subject, and I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of your description of current conditions.

I think that the omission of the causes of these conditions, however, is a very serious oversight. Sometimes incomplete facts can be very misleading.

An editorial is not an historical treatise, but it certainly ought not // omit essential background.

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