Reimer full of rancor

April 13, 2011

In this country, women have a legal right to abortion but possess no legal right to federal dollars to pay for them. Polls suggest this restriction is supported by the majority of Americans.

Throughout Ms. Reimer's entire column ("Anti-abortion or anti-woman's health?" April 11), she expresses outrage and suspicions that a "handful of ideologues in Congress" a "handful of ideologues in Congress" and a "small group who gather at the Planned Parenthood clinic praying and reading the Bible" are motivated less by "the fetus' right to life, than my right to live a life unencumbered by the religious beliefs of someone else."

Her expressions of outrage and suspicion about infringement of rights in this column is restricted only to those belonging to herself. Taking a human life is a moral decision of the highest order whether in the case of capital punishment, war, or abortion. It always involves the consideration of the value and rights of at least two human lives. The equation and laws regarding these actions are some of the most difficult for free, moral and democratic societies to make. Her statements utterly fail to respect the other side's position or grant that the overwhelming motivation for them may be that this is about a fetus' right to life.

I am in accord with Ms. Reimer in her hope that no one I know or care about ever faces an unwanted pregnancy and a decision to continue that pregnancy or to abort. I also agree that the legal right to abortion needs to be safe. Ms. Reimer possesses the inalienable right to hold and express her views and I respect and understand the position she so poorly defended. But her closing statement characterizes the rancor she possesses toward those who hold opposing views. She "wonders if they are praying for an end to abortion or just for the closing of a safe place for a woman to seek one." Providing a forum for her to air unfounded suspicions, to malign the views of what may be the majority of Americans and to immaturely rant only about her rights was a poor decision on the part of the editorial staff of The Baltimore Sun. It was also a waste of valuable column space that could have been devoted to advancing the discussion about this very serious and difficult issue.

Mary Jo Hofmann, Baltimore

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