Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 21, 2005

Foes of abortion ought to support aid to children

Cynthia Tucker's column "After they're born, the compassion ends" (Opinion * Commentary, Feb. 14) cited a study concluding that "the states that imposed the most restrictions on access to abortion were also those that put the least money into health care or day care or housing aid for poor children."

She has pointed out the frustrating irony of the entire abortion rights argument: Who takes responsibility for the children and the young mothers?

The reasons for unplanned pregnancies are myriad and complex - among them, poor judgment or self-esteem, immaturity, drug and alcohol abuse, incest, date rape and lack of parental guidance or control - and none of these predicts a safe, healthy environment in which a child would be nurtured.

News stories surface daily about the plight of unplanned or unwanted children. Is it moral to condemn them to such suffering?

The amount of money and energy spent on the long-standing abortion rights debate and conflict is staggering. Wouldn't these resources be better spent in efforts to educate and develop the women who are faced with the problem of unplanned pregnancy?

These women need to be educated in their own self-worth. They need support to understand their opportunities and their value as women, as contributing members of society - and not just as sex objects.

I challenge anti-abortion advocates to search their hearts and their financial resources. How many are willing to adopt a child or provide monetary support for a child?

Talk is cheap. Let us all search our hearts and put our time and money where our mouths are.

Claudia Frantz

Severna Park

Cynthia Tucker's column "After they're born, compassion ends" correctly observes the disconnect in values among those who advocate anti-abortion sentiments and also support cutting programs that help poor children.

Underlying this perplexing rigidity is the puritanical notion that a poor, unmarried woman who finds herself pregnant deserves punishment, and so does her child.

As an adoptive parent, I resent the sanctimonious hypocrisy of those who decry not only abortion but also any funding that helps poor parents support the children they have.

Fran Ludman

Baltimore

Replace the officials who disdain public

It is unfortunate that City Planning Commission Chairman Peter Auchincloss and David C. Tanner, the executive director of the Board of Municipal Zoning and Appeals, object to evening planning and zoning board meetings ("Nighttime public hearings proposed," Feb. 15). Too often, their decisions have gone against the wishes and hopes of many city communities.

The special interests have easy, daytime access to City Hall and can influence these powerful decision-makers more readily than the regular citizen who often has to struggle and miss work to advocate for his or her neighborhood.

Perhaps the citizens of Baltimore should ask for the replacement of Mr. Auchincloss and Mr. Tanner with other professionals who appreciate the need for public involvement in deciding the fate of their neighborhoods.

Myles Hoenig

Baltimore

Wasting energy adds to world's instability

Thanks to Mike Tidwell for his work to create a safer future ("U.S. must join the world on cleaner energy," Opinion * Commentary, Feb. 16).

Global instability is a terrifying and real prospect with many sources. Political instability, intercultural conflicts and terrorism are dramatic and immediate concerns. But environmental instability is the scientifically certain long-range outcome of our energy consumption practices.

The United States' nonparticipation in the Kyoto treaty on global warming is an embarrassment today.

But it will become a regret in the unstable years to come, unless we begin to change to cleaner energy.

Joby Taylor

Baltimore

Delegate didn't harm any of his patients

The Maryland medical disciplinary board might want to rethink its priorities.

At a time when it is called upon to weed out bad doctors who contribute to our malpractice mess, it seeks instead to reprimand Del. Dan K. Morhaim for doing something that did not harm patients but facilitated their medical care and was also sensitive to the needs of a pregnant social work colleague ("Md. doctor accused of mishandling 3 living wills," Feb. 15).

If anything, Dr. Morhaim deserves a commendation.

Maggie Kunz

Baltimore

Morhaim's mistakes not front-page news

I was very disappointed to see the article on Del. Dan K. Morhaim's handling of living wills in his capacity as nursing home medical director ("Md. doctor accused of mishandling 3 living wills," Feb. 15).

If Dr. Morhaim, who is a physician, had not been in the public eye, my bet is that this article never would have seen the light of day.

Yet it made the front page, along with the killing of the former prime minister of Lebanon ("Bomb kills Lebanese ex-prime minister," Feb. 15) and the purchase of MCI by Verizon Communications ("Verizon to buy MCI, merging industry giants," Feb. 15).

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