Parental notification enables pregnant girls to secure...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 06, 2001

Parental notification enables pregnant girls to secure support

Cleo Braver of Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading abortion provider and promoter, called parental-notice legislation "frightening" in her column "Women want the right to make a choice" (Opinion

Commentary, Jan. 29).

What is truly frightening are frightened girls, some as young as 12 years old, facing the trauma of an unplanned pregnancy on their own. Without parental support and guidance they can undergo a surgical procedure with risk and complications that could affect them for the rest of their lives.

Parental involvement helps protect the adolescent faced with an extremely stressful and difficult situation by providing the support she needs from those who have her best interest at heart -- her parents.

In Maryland, parental permission is required before an aspirin can be given out; yet when it comes to abortion, parents can be kept in the dark.

Public opinion is strongly in favor of parental involvement laws. Yet Planned Parenthood continues to demonstrate who holds the extreme positions on abortion.

David Lam

Annapolis

The writer is executive director of Maryland Right to Life.

Cleo Braver's position on parental consent for minors seeking abortions illustrates just how extremist she and her organization truly are.

Parents have an absolute responsibility to monitor all aspects of their children's lives. Abortion is an invasive surgical procedure that can have serious physical and emotional side-effects.

Children who become pregnant need parental support to cope with this very difficult time. To advocate a position that would sever this vital link between parent and child is wrong and defies logic.

Our schools require parental consent before a school nurse can administer over-the-counter medications to our children.

Why would we not require that same parental consent before an abortionist can perform surgery on our children?

Curt Vinyard

Baltimore

Cleo Braver's assertion that America is "decidedly pro-choice, as demonstrated by the majority vote favoring the pro-choice candidates" is glib and erroneous.

Many pro-life candidates won and Al Gore's popular vote margin can't even be called razor-thin. And the pro-life candidate won the presidency.

The anti-choice, "pro-choice" rhetoric makes me think the camps ought to trade names.

It's the pro-choice camp that wants to take away the infinity of choices that inhere in any unborn child and [that] wants, in the case of parents with a lonely, afraid and pregnant 13-year-old, to take away their choice to guide their child by removing parental notification.

Stephen C. Hooper

Timonium

Funding faith, but not abortion, shows hypocrisy

President Bush justifies denying federal aid to any international family-planning organization that also offers abortion counseling, even if no federal funds pay for that counseling, arguing that there is no way to keep the two efforts separate.

Yet Mr. Bush supports offering federal aid to religious organizations providing social services. He argues that there is no constitutional problem, as such organizations will have no problem keeping their religious and social functions separate.

Am I missing something here? Or is there no end to Republican hypocrisy?

Jonathan Inskeep

Crofton

Competition among churches is no threat to freedom

In his column "Danger in funding the FOBs" (Jan. 31), Tom Teepen expresses mixed feelings, which I share, about funding faith-based organization. However he muddies the water with his comment about the Founding Fathers seeking to prevent divisive competition between churches by separating church and state.

I always thought the Constitution's "no establishment" clause was designed for the opposite purpose: to prevent a monopoly by an established state church and foster the freedom of churches to compete.

The Founding Fathers also designed the Constitution to prevent a state power monopoly, a goal we seem to have lost sight of while focusing on the chimera of a takeover by the religious right.

Stephen Pohl

Baltimore

Christian prayers suit our Christian-based nation

Regarding President Bush's inauguration, I would like to remind everyone that our forefathers, with Christian morals and values, founded America as a Christian nation ("Sectarian prayers made Bush inauguration divisive," letters, Jan. 24).

Freedom of religion does not require that Christians must hide their beliefs so as not to offend others.

America has no barbed wire or armed guards on its borders. Anyone is free to leave for a country more suited to his or her religious beliefs.

Carl Justice

Baltimore

Officer's racist remarks are unfit for a public servant

I am outraged by the conduct, on or off-duty, of Officer Paul Hoke ("Police e-mail sparks anger," Feb. 1).

While everyone tries to define statements in ways that support his or her cause, we still have objective criteria for right and wrong acts.

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