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Norplant for AFDC Mothers

July 12, 1994

As a teacher of biology, I found Alexander Cockburn's "Eugenics Nuts Would Have Loved Norplant" (Column Left, June 30) very interesting. However, I think Cockburn missed the point of Norplant for Aid to Families with Dependent Children mothers.

The point of Norplant for AFDC mothers is one of responsibility. That responsibility is for the AFDC mother, having had one child at a child's age, to ensure she not have another as long as she and the child are the responsibility of the state. One can even support the argument that a mistake having been made--once--that the child and mother should be supported so that the mother can rear the child.

It is bad judgment, and perhaps forgivable for her to have the first child. Subsequent children show a complete lack of responsibility and poor judgment on her part, and should be prevented by the most humane means available. Norplant sounds like a good idea to me.

Note that Norplant is not inhumane, it is not sterilization, and if policy is applied equitability irrespective of race or ethnicity, the policy is fair. Enough is enough. Statistics aside, one child supported by the public is enough. Somewhere, somehow the parents of children have to take responsibility for conceiving children. Norplant sounds like an acceptable approach to me.

MARTIN BERNSTEIN

Long Beach

* Frankly, I don't care how many children a woman chooses to have. However, I do care how my tax dollars are spent. A woman can chose to have as many children as she wants, as long as I don't have to support them. People who think as Cockburn does that there should be no limit to the number of children a woman has on welfare should pay the welfare costs and not expect the burden to be borne by taxpayers.

MARGOT LOWE

Santa Monica

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