Editor: Roger Simon continues to use his column to foster his pro-abortion stand. While he has every right to his private opinion, he has at least the responsibility to get the issue right. He published a letter from a reader (Aug. 19) who suggested that a life spent in its totality in the womb and then aborted was "a beautiful way to live a life."
He identified the issue as "whether one person or group of people can harass another out of his or her constitutional rights," an opinion Mr. Simon applauded and reiterated. The Constitution guarantees life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The issue is whether the empowered can take away the life of the powerless. Pro-life activists are no different from the civil rights activists of the '60s. They speak for and are seeking protection for those who cannot do so themselves.
David S. Hungerford, M.D.
Editor: It is an outrage that the U.S. Justice Department has filed a brief in support of an Operation Rescue motion to prevent U.S. District Judge Patrick Kelly from intervening in the organization's attempts to violently shut down three abortion clinics in Wichita, Kan.
Clearly the Justice Department is motivated by the anti-abortion position of the Bush administration. The president is doing everything in his power to keep women from having safe and legal abortions.
What the Bush administration is saying is that women seeking abortions are not a protected class because not all women are seeking abortions. It's like saying African-Americans seeking the vote are not a protected class because not all African Americans vote.
Mr. Bush is squirming because he knows that the majority of Americans are pro-choice. Otherwise he would be endorsing the lawless terrorist tactics of Operation Rescue.
Mr. Bush's selection of Clarence Thomas to sit on the Supreme Court is an example. Judge Thomas roundly criticized Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court opinion that gave married couples the right to obtain contraceptives and furnished the legal underpinning for the landmark Roe v. Wade decision eight years later.
If ever an issue sinks Mr. Bush in 1992, his anti-abortion stance will do it. The issue of whether or not women become second-class citizens is a biggie and it will not go away.
Gerald Ben Shargel.
Took an Oath
Editor: In response to the letter by Dr. Laszlo Trazkovich, Dr. Yolanda Huet-Vaughn joined the Army knowing that one day she might have to defend her country. At the same time she didn't refuse those Army pay checks that she was receiving once a month, paid for by all of us taxpayers.
Dr. Trazkovich and Dr. Huet-Vaughn both swore an oath to the medical profession to save lives, only Dr. Vaughn swore an even bigger oath to defend the country she was paid to serve. What if there was a loyal soldier in the war who needed her particular specialty and she was at home safe and sound and refusing to report for duty in the gulf? The Army could have dealt with her even more harshly. Refusing a direct order in wartime is not like committing a crime in civilian life.
Scott C. Poe
Shore's Best Bet
Editor: While Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller's redistricting plan isn't perfect, it's the best of the Democratic leadership's plans as far as the Eastern Shore is concerned.
For the Eastern Shore there have been two objectives in redistricting. First, the shore must be kept together in one district. Second, we've been wanting to get Southern Maryland out of the First District.
The Miller plan is the only Democratic leadership plan that meets the first criteria. It also meets the second. While it would be preferable not to have Baltimore County in the district, if that's the price that has to be paid to meet the first criteria, so be it.
Baltimore's insensitivity to the Eastern Shore's concerns is demonstrated by Charles Hazard's Aug. 25 cartoon of the proposed First District. First, any full shore district can be drawn into a cartoon as Mr. Hazard did: that's the natural contour of the Eastern Shore. Second, he even misspells Worcester ("Worchester") County.
If someone can draw a better First District meeting the above criteria, that's fine but for now the Miller plan is our best bet.
Editor: I commend your Aug. 24 editorial condemning Boris Yeltsin's behavior, believing in freedom of speech and media throughout the world.
Mr. Yeltsin exposed himself to be another uncivilized dictator by closing down newspapers and banning freedom of speech which he obtained from Mikhail Gorbachev. In many civilized European countries and Japan, communist parties exist and are given constitutional freedom to express their views.
Critics who called Mr. Yeltsin a hero or winner have forgotten that it was Mr. Gorbachev who initiated perestroika and freedom. After all, Mr. Gorbachev is the one who allowed the Soviet people to speak out.
He performed a great service to his country. He allowed the Berlin Wall to come down. What he did was something unthinkable during Stalin's era and required enormous bravery. For that he became a Nobel peace laureate.
When people have little to eat, it is easy for Mr. Yeltsin to rally
against the government and to get votes. Raising fists in front of the mob, banning newspapers and taking control of all government communications facilities does not solve the economic catastrophe.
Where were Mr. Yeltsin and other Russian critics when Mr. Gorbachev proposed glasnost and perestroika six years ago? I hope that President Bush is consistent enough to join The Sun editorial in condemning Boris Yeltsin's anti-democratic behavior.
Editor: With the speed of summer lightning, school days will once again be with us.
Parental involvement, in relationship to a youngster's success in school, is very important. Parents should be aware that there is nothing that will help their offspring more than active interest in all phases of their academic endeavors. For too long, many have stated that more money is needed to improve education. Others have stressed the importance of discipline and more homework. Nothing, however, is more valuable to the entire learning process than parental involvement. American education cannot improve if parents do not play a major role. As we embark on a new school year, let us all work to provide the best education possible to our young people.
John A. Micklos.