OPINIONS ON ABORTION RIGHTS
EDITOR'S NOTE: The House of Delegates passed and Gov. William DonaldSchaefer signed into law Monday Delegate Lawrence A. LaMotte's bill to affirm the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 legalization of abortion. We have been asking readers if they think abortions should be legal and readily available in Carroll, if parents should be notified if children plan an abortion, and if minors should be required to undergo counseling first. Here are some of the replies we received:
From: Betty M. Spicer
Abortion should be legal and available for everyone if not too far in the pregnancy.
Minors should be required toundergo counseling first -- but not have to notify parents.
A woman's body is her own to do with what she thinks is right for her.
* From: Lynn Schumacher
I think abortions should be restricted.
It is not right to take away the life of a helpless human being to compensate for the error of another -- that only compounds the trauma.
If someone becomes pregnant through irresponsibility, she should not kill the baby to escape her responsibility for carelessness. If she can't handle being a mother, she can let someone adopt it.
I even feel that in the case of rape, the baby should not have to pay for the crime. It's a tough issue, but even if abortion was allowed in the event of rape or other extreme circumstances only, it would be better than making abortion legal for any reason.
I definitely think a lot of counseling should be mandatory for anyone considering abortion. The counseling should include the girl's parents if she is a minor.
I believe in the sanctity of human life and that pre-born children should be protected under the U.S. Constitution.
* From: Bonnie Hunt
I believe that abortions should be illegal except in extreme circumstances, for example, rape, and the abortion be done in the very, very earliest stages.
Also, if the baby is diagnosed to be severely retarded or a damagedembryo.
Too many people use abortion as birth control, and that'swrong.
* From: Wilmer C. Erb Sr.
Abortion is murder: They shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Galations 5:21).
Abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thess 5:22).
Absolutely no abortion in Carroll!
Wake up before you end up in Hell.
*From: Diane F. Decker
In the matter of abortion I feel the rights are for the unborn child.
It is every woman's choice before conception not to get in a position where a life will be taken.
At the time of conception, a new life begins. It grows, so how can that not be a living soul?
Only in extreme circumstances should an abortion be legal. God did not intend on having human lives taken, especially a life who cannot speak for itself or choose what sin his mother has committed.
As for children having abortions, children should not be having sex.
Let's get God back where he belongs, first in all our lives and there will be no need for an abortion bill.
DON'T CONDEMN LIFE
From: John B. Calafos
In The Carroll County Sun, Feb. 17, 1991, Jeff Griffith gives us the stories of three women to show us "the value of the right to choose."
Yes, we have become a "pro-choice generation" looking out for No.1. We even make it sound so American: "the freedom to choose."
When I was in school, we were taught the value of human life, which couldn't be bought at any price.
Now, human life is weighed against personal convenience, whether it be education, job promotion, family size, etc. Above all, we must have "quality of life."
That which 30years ago would have been morally wrong now has the backing of our judicial and legislative systems, and sad to say, some of our clergy.
One of the problems of being pro-choice is that it allows us the freedom to hide from ourselves the seriousness of what we are doing. Then we put ourselves in danger of losing the point of reference needed to guarantee basic human rights.
When we have to make a choice concerning innocent human life, whether for ourselves or for others, there is no choice. We cannot let the "right to decide" become superior to the "right to life." If we do, the "choice" becomes our god.
Then we will have become the most shallow of creatures, for we will not have arrived; we will have lost our way.
In her Nobel Prize speech, Mother Teresa said, "The poorest countries in the world are those with legalized abortion."
That's the way it is.
THANKS FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
From: Lisa Sasala
and Trisha Remmey
Recreation and Parks
The Carroll County Teen Recreation Council would like to thank Westminster Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Inc., the Spider Web Inc. and Thunderhead Bowling Lanes for their donations of soda, T-shirts and free bowling games which they contributed to the Lock-In, held at the Four Seasons Sports Complex Feb. 2.
We would also like to thank the many dedicated parents and other adults who gave up their evening, and their sleep, to help chaperon. The council is grateful for all of their assistance.
We have heard teens lament that there is "nothing to do," they are too old for kid stuff and too young for adult activities.
Two hundred and sixty-five high school students found plenty to do that night and had a great time using theathletic facilities at Four Seasons, as well as all-night movies andmusic.
Thanks again to all of those who helped make that possible.
IRISH, BRITISH WANTED
From: Susan Evans
I am starting a socially oriented non-profit club for expatriate British and Irish in the area.
Hopefully, we will be able to meet on a regular basis. The first meeting will be at Eldersburg Library, but I have not set a date yet.
Please encourage anyone interested to call me at 795-7259, preferably between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
* From: Laurie Ann Pallack
Yes, most definitely, abortions should be legal in Carroll County.
No, parents should not have to benotified if children plan an abortion.
Yes, if wanted, those minors may be required to undergo counseling first.
I am a teen-ager who is now attending school. If I would become pregnant at any time in my life where I was not ready or prepared to have a baby, like now, I would most definitely have an abortion.
I'm not saying that I would not have used contraceptives. I would have.
Teen-agers are going to have their minds made up whether or not to have an abortion. One way or another, if one wants to have one, they will find a way, legal or illegal.
I would not want my parents to find out if I had anabortion, for fear of just about everything that one could be afraidof.
If I was the one who got pregnant, then I should be the one who decides to keep it or not.
This decision to have an abortion isvery personal for each person who decides to have sex, using contraceptives, etc., and still gets pregnant.
It just would not at all be fair for us girl teen-agers, after using the right protection, getting pregnant, and then not even getting an abortion without our parents' consent.
We would be the ones who fall into the scary trap. Therefore, if these minors decide to have an abortion, they should be the ones who should decide to undergo counseling first. Because time is very precious when pregnant and then wanting to get an abortion.
I am strongly for pro-choice abortion. Of course, women should have the right whether or not to have an abortion. I just wouldn't want tobecome pregnant and then I couldn't get an abortion without my parents' consent. I would rather die before I would have to tell them.
I know so many teen-agers that feel the exact same way I do. Who knows, maybe there needs to be a lot more communication among parents andteens, then there wouldn't be these types of problems.
* From: Mrs. Daniel Gaudin
Abortions should not be legal for well-known reasons.
* From: Catherine Ditman
Yes, abortions should be legal and readily available everywhere.
Birth control should be given first priority in our education, so people are informed from an early age.
Abortion is surgery and should not be used as a substitute; but birth control is not 100 percent effective, nor always available, as in cases of rape or incest when the pregnancy is suddenly precipitated.
The government -- here's that old saw again -- has no business regulating people's private lives, especially in such personal and private areas.
I love and feel compassion for humanity. It hurts to see unwanted babies born. Those poor kids have two strikes against them already, and to top it all off, they add to the overpopulation problems of this planet.
Please, let's think with our heads and not just our emotions. Let's consider the long-range impact of such important decisions.
I'm not pro-abortion, I'm pro-choice. It's a very private matter. Let's leave it that way, where adults are concerned.
Yes, minors should be required to undergo counseling, but their parents should be left out of it. Parents aren't always the most understanding folks on earth -- for some, that is an understatement.
But kids "in trouble" may not be aware of all the options, or be too panicked, ashamed or just plain scared to seek them out.
They are children, and as such, adults are responsible for their welfare. Kids should be allowed to tell their parents if they so wish, not forced to.
Mr. Haines, I call your name and yea, Mr. LaMotte.
* From: Richard C. Schwartz
Abortion is against a woman -- not for her. Hitler murdered millions.
Abortion, unless under extreme circumstances, is forfeiture ofa little one's life.
How can we sleep or expect God's blessing when we destroy millions as Nazism did?
The basic difference is thatthey killed all ages, while we kill only unborn kids.
Will we "progress" to the elderly next?
* From: Peter Parlette
Abortion should not be legal and readily available in Carroll County.
Parents should be notified if their child plans an abortion.
Any woman, minor or adult, contemplating an abortion should undergo counseling first.
* From: Paula P. Tignall
Abortion in our state and across the nation is used for birth control or just convenience.
Only 3 percent of the abortions nationwide have anything to do with rape, incest or those circumstances forever cited by pro-abortion forces.
Also, statistics show that abortion is not a primarily teen-age or lower class pregnancy solution, it is primarily a solution turned to by middle-class America.
The truth of the enormity of this problem is not told by the media, and people are ignorant of the facts.
I personally know of several women intheir 30s who have had "questionable" pregnancies lately. Doctors performed intra-uterine tests and found some abnormalities.
These women were offered abortion as an alternative throughout their pregnancies until the seventh and eighth months. All of them delivered fine, healthy children. And we don't think this is a national disgrace!
The bills that are currently under consideration in the Maryland legislature are shams -- the parental notification bill leaves it up to the doctor's discretion if the parents should be contacted.
Are theabortionists going to take the money right out of their own hands? Of course not.
It is unconscionable that in Maryland a teen-ager must have parental consent to have their ears pierced, yet they can have an abortion without any parental knowledge.
There are millions of couples across our nation who would do anything to have an infant to care for and love. Shouldn't we spend our money networking those teen-agers who choose to have their children and give them up for adoption and these waiting couples?
Would you choose to live the rest of your life knowing you killed your child or knowing that your baby has a fine home and parents that will love them?
Our priorities as a nation and a people are all wrong. Life is precious in any form andmust be protected.
* From: Amy M. Gilford
Strong families are the cornerstone of a healthy society.
Knowing this, what kind of legislator would push so vehemently to drive a legal wedge between responsible parents and their children?
Larry LaMotte may not need the final say on whoever does what to his daughters, but most other parents do.
No Carroll County public school nurse may give a student an aspirin unless a note from home is already on file in the office -- prior parental consent -- and LaMotte thinks it's OK for an unregulated physician to perform major surgery on my daughter without my consent or knowledge!
He also doesn't think that my daughter should have any legal recourse if the abortion is botched. If abortion is such a compassionate choice for troubled teens who can't go to their parents, why does it cost so much ($275 and up)?
Our local Crisis Pregnancy Centers offer compassionate care for free.
These so-called clean bills are nothing but a dirty deal for families.