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'America and Its Poor'

August 11, 1985

After reading the July 30 article on the poverty of children I feel sick at heart and somewhat helpless. For the last five years I have been voting in every election to pass any and all federal and local measures to aid or increase social services. After finding out that in the last four years (Reagan years) funding for children has dropped 11%, I wonder what else I can do.

As a volunteer for a local youth and women's shelter, I spend a lot of time talking about the problems addressed in your article. People seem to be receptive and to be concerned about these problems. The question is, if the public is concerned and does care, how can these statistics continue to rise? I suspect it is the selfish "Yuppie" attitude that the Reagan Administration has fostered that is bringing about these alarming trends.

Your article states that more than 1 million teen-agers become pregnant each year. It further states that these teen-agers are usually unmarried, poor, and 80% are likely to have another child within the next year. Yet there are large groups of people lobbying to pass "squeal laws" in the family planning centers, advocating the prohibition of abortion and voting to cut funds available to these young mothers and their children. The majority of these people are upper middle class "Christians" who do all these things in the name of morality. I find it not only ironic but also disgusting.

NANCY DUNN

Long Beach

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