Story misrepresented action by Congress on minors and 0...

Letters to the Editor

July 24, 1998

Story misrepresented action by Congress on minors and 0) abortion

On July 15, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to make it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines to circumvent a state law requiring parental or judicial involvement in the minor's abortion decision.

From your misleading July 16 headline, "House votes 276-150 to restrict abortions for minors," one would have thought that a federal parental involvement bill had been passed.

A better headline might have been "Statutory rapists restricted from hiding pregnancy and crime" or "Parents' rights and responsibilities in abortion decision upheld."

Minors aren't prevented from having abortions or punished for having abortions under this law. This law would punish adult sexual partners, in-laws and perfect strangers who transport underage girls across state lines to obtain abortions while the parents are kept in the dark. This is not a radical idea that Republicans came up with to "[demonstrate] their election-year commitment to conservative activities."

The public strongly supports the concept of this legislation. A national poll of 1,000 registered voters, conducted June 6-8 by Baseline & Associates, asked: "Should a person be able to take a minor girl across state lines to obtain an abortion without her parents' knowledge?" Seventy-eight percent strongly disagreed and 7 percent somewhat disagreed, for a total of 85 percent, while 3 percent somewhat agreed and 6 percent strongly agreed.

Apparently this is an idea endorsed by people of all political stripes, including many who identify themselves as "pro-choice." This legislation is only common-sense. The Child Custody Protection Act is much-needed to help parents protect their young daughters from these dangerous situations.

David Lam

Annapolis

The writer is executive director of Maryland Right to Life Inc.

We should have pity for horses on city streets

Horse-drawn carriages and carts have no place on busy Baltimore streets. This "charming" custom is cruel to the horses and presents a danger to humans as well. The horses and ponies cannot speak for themselves.

Exploitation of these beautiful creatures is inhumane. It calls for action on the part of city officials and support of all those who care.

Susan B. Nestler

Towson

Applause for the heroes who saved drowning man

The two Greek sailors who dove into the Inner Harbor to rescue a drowning 79-year-old Baltimorean (Greek visitors help pull man from harbor, July 14) may not have spoken much English, but they understood the more important universal language of courage and compassion.

The pair of Baltimore police officers who responded to the rescue scene and successfully performed CPR on the unconscious victim possessed life-saving skills we should all work to achieve.

The American Red Cross applauds the efforts of those who helped save a life in our city and encourages every citizen to be prepared for emergencies by learning CPR and water-safety skills.

Joan Pankey

Baltimore

The writer is director of health services for the American Red Cross Central Maryland Chapter.

Support for candidates who favor phonics urged

A recent Letter to the Editor,"It's time for state officials to act on reading problems" (July 7), correctly pointed out the clear superiority of phonics-based teaching.

However, the letter failed to note the efforts of several elected officials to promote the use of phonics in state schools.

In the past legislative session, Del. Nancy Jacobs, a Harford Republican, introduced a bill sponsored by 22 Republicans that would have made phonics the primary method of teaching reading in Maryland schools. Unfortunately, despite strong Republican support, the bill was killed in committee.

Test results have overwhelmingly proven phonics to be the best method for teaching reading.

In this election year, voters should support candidates who have shown that they want to do what is best for our children.

Janet Greenip

Annapolis

The writer, a Republican delegate in the General Assembly representing the 33rd District, is running for re-election.

Fond remembrances of Kennywood Park

Susan Reimer's delightful article "Park of Memories" about Kennywood Park in the Travel section (July 19) brought back many pleasant memories of my childhood in the 1930s.

I did not live in Pittsburgh but 200 miles away in southeastern Ohio. However, my sister with her husband and young son live in Wilkinsburg.

Summer visits to them always meant a trip to Kennywood. There, my sister took me on my first roller coaster (we pronounced it "roley") ride. I well remember the Old Mill, the man shot out of a cannon, the Whip and the Dodge-em Cars. Kennywood has always been to me the epitome of amusement parks, as the Carnegie is of museums.

Congratulations to Ms. Reimer for a great piece of journalism.

Robert C. Tompkins

Towson

Day-care providers look at issue of responsibility

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