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2 Slayings at Abortion Clinic

August 10, 1994

* As you stated in your editorial ("When Extremism Becomes Terrorism," July 30), "Nothing can justify the outrage that occurred in Pensacola." As a pro-lifer, I could not agree more. If the alleged perpetrator of this crime against humanity is found guilty, then the death penalty is a just punishment.

The murders of those two people, and the wounding of another, are bad news for the pro-life movement because, first and foremost, two lives were lost. That is not what the pro-life movement is about. Secondly, it is bad news because the liberal Establishment and the liberal media, of which The Times is a glaring example, are all too willing to condemn everyone in the pro-life movement for the actions of three nuts. Let's be clear about this. Regardless of the unjustifiable murders of three people in Florida, the big picture has not changed. Killing unborn children is still immoral, monstrous and wrong.

JEFFREY C. AYER

Yorba Linda

* At least The Times does admit that the vast majority of anti-abortion Americans, myself included, do not support the killing of abortionists. There is enough killing done at abortion clinics already.

Anti-abortion activists who are contemplating violence must remember that they have no more right to kill an abortionist than an abortionist has to kill an unborn child. But pro-abortion advocates like The Times should realize that, like slavery, the abortion issue will no go away until abortion itself has gone away.

MLISSA SIMPSON

Huntington Beach

* The incident of a second murder of a physician performing abortions (and of his volunteer companion) is appalling (July 30). Yet, it is not so incredible because the killer had been given publicity for advocating this kind of murder. In fact, this man, a former minister (dismissed from his church), was given legitimacy in the public eye by being invited to appear on several radio and TV talk shows.

People with off-the-wall moral beliefs (e.g., it's not only OK but morally justifiable to kill doctors who perform abortions) are at least psychologically unstable. Inviting such a person as a guest on popular talk shows feeds the fires of his passion and further encourages him to justify to his "audience" and to himself that his moral stand is acceptable.

I find it indefensible that the media should have as a guest a man who "has traveled the country over encouraging anti-abortion violence," saying that "murdering abortion providers was tantamount to 'justifiable homicide' " (July 30).

Those who honor "the morality of violence against doctors" as a legitimate topic for debate in the media and invite speakers who advocate murder bear some responsibility for violence leading to murder.

ROSE M. BROMWICH

Van Nuys

* As a strong supporter of the pro-choice movement I, as most other citizens of all beliefs, am appalled and angered by the wanton murder of doctors who perform abortions. I am frightened by the cheapening of the value of life as shown by drive-by shootings, freeway shootings, carjack shootings, bombings and all the other terrorism and violence in our daily lives.

I read that Paul Hill, the accused murderer of Dr. John Britton, believes that abortion is murder and thus considers his act to be "righteous retribution." I can't believe that I am the only one who finds it hard to reconcile that it is all right for the state to take a life by capital punishment and consider it "righteous retribution." Where is the distinction?

GLORIA DREXLER

Santa Monica

* So once again anti-abortion-rights activism results in coldblooded murder. And once again the leadership of the anti-choice movement scrambles to distance itself from the crimes of its followers. But to succeed, they must persuade the people that there is no connection whatsoever between their messages of hate and intolerance and the actions of hate and intolerance splashing across the headlines.

Truly, they do not advocate murder or the oppression of the rights of others, not in so many words. But when they exhort their minions to assert their rights to free expression at the clear expense of the rights of others to obtain legally offered services, is it not logical that the followers will view the rights of those who disagree with them as devalued, and therefore not worthy of consideration?

When the leaders proclaim abortion to be a crime against Almighty God, does it not follow that some zealous "Soldiers of Christ" will take up arms to avenge their Lord's honor? When the leaders denounce abortion as murder most heinous, does it not follow that some will seek to assert justice through execution?

They who sow the seeds of hatred will reap the harvest of violence and bloodshed, and let no person think that a hasty statement of denial can sever the clear connection between the self-righteous cause and the tragic effect.

BRIAN DALTON

Santa Barbara

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