Opposing Views on Taneytown Clinic Vote

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 04, 1995

Saying "no" to abortion referral and counseling "services," the Taneytown City Council accurately voted the will of the vast majority of the people living here. This democratic exercise in local control scored a victory for citizens of reason here and across mainstream America who see through the euphemistic deceit of the abortion death mentality. Indeed, the people have spoken here!

The majority of Taneytown residents are well-informed. They know legitimate health services when they see them. And they welcome such. But they also know that the killing of innocent children is not and never will be a "health service" nor an answer to social problems.

And regardless of their beliefs on abortion, or their educational and financial status, many parents here do not want their minor children referred for abortion surgery behind their backs by health service workers who possess the legal authority to do just that. They strongly want to safeguard against usurpation of their parental rights and prerogatives.

Taneytown residents and their duly elected town officials are prudent, sensible, upright people who care about their neighbors -- so much so that they are willing to "pass" on the present offer of local services while looking forward with vigilant hopes of expanding the family-strengthening services already existing in Taneytown and environs.

Vincent Perticone

Taneytown

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May 14 was Mother's Day, a day to celebrate mothers and the roles they play in their families. It was a day for families -- if you believe the television commercials and newspaper ads for Hallmark and FTD products -- just like June Cleaver's and Claire Huxtable's.

Those of us whose occupations bring us into daily contact with mothers and their families, such as the police, doctors, nurses and social workers, to name a few, know "it just ain't so."

That's why I became infuriated while reading the May 14 article in The Sun, "Vote Exposes Taneytown's Differences." Plans for a new community health care clinic in Taneytown are being scrapped. Three council members seem to be responsible for this. One of these council members was named in the article and a newly elected council member who agrees with the veto, were quoted in the article stating their reasons for opposing the clinic.

In addition to providing childhood inoculations, child abuse counseling and a multitude of other medical and counseling services, the clinic would most likely address family planning issues for those who requested it, including the option of abortion. Federal and state laws mandate that women be informed about all of their options and that they are guaranteed access to the option they chose whether they are wealthy or low-income.

The availability of information on abortion is why Brian Etzler was quoted as being against the state's funding for a clinic in Taneytown. These state funds come from the taxes of all working people of Maryland, not just Mr. Etzler. He was quoted as saying "too bad," with regards to the other types of services that would have been available to the low-income children of Taneytown, in Taneytown. He feels his personal beliefs against abortion are justifiable for keeping the clinic from opening in Taneytown. All of this comes at a time when childhood diseases are reaching epidemic proportions again in this country. . . .

Henry Heine, a council member, stated his vote was "to reflect the views of the residents." The residents had voted 3-2 against Question 6. Did these residents vote against public health care in general? Or was it against the tax dollars funding abortions for the low-income? Question 6 passed with support in Carroll County and in Maryland as a whole. It is now state law. . . .

I grew up in Taneytown. I knew of council member Etzler while growing up and going to school there. I moved from Taneytown in 1973 to accept state employment in another Maryland county, a job I've held for 22 years. The alternative, had I remained in Taneytown, would have been to work at one of the two factories, both long since closed. I still have family in Taneytown. Family that is fortunate enough, like Mr. Etzler's I'm sure, to have access to private health care. . . .

My sympathy is for the children of Taneytown who are being denied access to health care in their own hometown. Perhaps the parents of these children will come out to vote in the next local election in order to turn the tide so access to health care, including abortion, can be had in Taneytown despite one's own personal view on abortion, whether it be pro-life or pro-choice. And perhaps I need to seriously consider making Taneytown my home again in order to vote against Mr. Etzler, for his self-prophesy, and Mr. Heine, for his vote against the health care clinic. But one doesn't need to reside in a community to be outraged at the injustice being inflicted upon that community by a few. The care and support given to Oklahoma City in the past few weeks is proof of that.

Sharon Frock

Laurel

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