Letters To The Editor


April 25, 2007

Abortion ruling is affirmation of life

On a Sunday when our nation was mourning over the slaughter at Virginia Tech, it is unfortunate that The Sun chose to use some of its editorial space to bemoan the Supreme Court decision to uphold the ban on partial-birth abortion ("Undermining abortion rights," editorial, April 22).

The Sun admits that "no reasonable person can contest the grim details of the disputed, late-term procedure, which involves partial removal of the fetus and crushing the skull for easier evacuation."

The outpouring of grief over the shootings at Virginia Tech is an affirmation of the value and dignity of all human life.

A more appropriate response to the tragedy would be to impose some reasonable limits on the extreme individualism and irresponsible use of freedom that constitute a threat to the common good and the rights of the most vulnerable.

Maybe the Supreme Court decision on abortion is a first step.

Could reasonable restrictions of guns be the next?

Father Peter Lyons


The writer is pastor of St. Ann and St. Wenceslaus Roman Catholic churches.

Late-term abortion really is barbaric

In the editorial "Undermining abortion rights" (April 22), The Sun continues its callous disregard for human life through its position on partial-birth abortion.

In the first paragraph, the editorial refers to the pro-life campaign to exploit the "perceived barbarity" of the procedure.

In the third paragraph, The Sun describes the details of partial-birth abortion as including "partial removal of the fetus and crushing the skull."

Would The Sun's editors please answer this question: If the procedure described above is merely "perceived barbarity," what would true barbarity look like?

James R. Cook


Right to abortion still on the books

Columnist Ellen Goodman's misguided diatribe about the recent Supreme Court ruling that upholds the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act is filled with questionable claims that need to be challenged ("What a difference a justice makes for women's rights," Opinion * Commentary, April 20).

First, Ms. Goodman needs to be reminded that 16 Democrats in the U.S. Senate and more than 50 Democrats in the House of Representatives voted with the Republicans to ensure passage of the partial-birth abortion ban.

This law was indeed a bipartisan effort.

Next, Ms. Goodman suggests Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was "overturning a precedent." That's not the case.

The convoluted and controversial ruling in the case of Roe v. Wade, in which Justice Harry Blackmun, speaking for the court's majority, was able to find a personal privacy right to have an abortion in the penumbra of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and 14th Amendments, remains intact - although the words "privacy" and "abortion" cannot be found in any amendment.

Finally, like it or not, abortions will continue.

This ruling just ensures that this repulsive procedure for ending a fetal life in the second or third trimester of a pregnancy will cease.

Lawrence J. Klos


Prosecuting women won't stop abortion

Preventing unwanted pregnancies should be the General Assembly's goal, not punishing doctors who perform a medical procedure a woman has concluded is in her best interest ("Md. abortion change unlikely," April 20).

Our response to the Supreme Court's recent abortion decision should be to expand efforts that reduce births by unwed teenagers.

These efforts should include birth control counseling as well as local efforts to help delay young mothers' second pregnancies until they are better able to raise a family; efforts to encourage noncustodial fathers to be a positive influence on their children; and efforts to promote abstinence.

Abortions should be safe, legal and rare.

Having prosecutors hover around the operating room won't make that happen.

Samuel I. Rosenberg


The writer is a member of the House of Delegates.

Fire companies need auditing help

I read with apprehension the article "Former treasurer of volunteer fire company charged with theft" (April 12).

It appears to me that better oversight is needed to ensure that federal, state and local government funding to the statewide Emergency Medical System and fire companies complies with the financial management practices and generally accepted government auditing standards.

In a November 2006 special review audit of the Maryland State Firemen's Association, the state's Office of Legislative Audits reported a number of questionable practices.

I strongly believe it's time for state auditors to assist volunteer fire companies in making an evaluation of their financial management practices and lead them onto the road to efficiency, keeping in mind that state dollars are limited.

Dick Johnson


The writer is the founder and former president of the Golden Hour Coalition Inc.

Fantasies of fraud disenfranchise poor

The Sun's article "Administration tried to curb election turnout in key states" (April 19) was long overdue.

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