Re "Morality and Motherhood" (Aug. 21): So, Alice McKinney and Ra-Shonda Anderson have decided to bring a child into the world. Anderson has no job, has proven that she is not able to keep a job, is 17 years old, has already had one abortion, and may resort to welfare if she can't make it on her own.
Excuse me, but what is this immature girl thinking? (Or is she?) There is no 17-year-old in this country who has the maturity to nurture or to plan and direct the life of a child. The baby Anderson wants to bear is not like a job where she can take her "unscheduled vacation." A child is a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year job. And the responsibility lies with the parent to support the child, not with the welfare system.
For Anderson to have a child is morally wrong. Her goals should be to obtain an education, become a working, productive citizen and then take responsibility for having a child. What a selfish act to bring a child into the world that you know in advance that you cannot support. Whether or not McKinney has the "right" to bear a child is less of an issue. She, at least, is educated, self-supporting and mature enough to raise a child who will more than likely not end up on the welfare rolls.
"Morality and Motherhood" overlooked the most important and most neglected person involved: the infant brought into our world by the choice of a single parent, whether a teenager or someone more mature.
If the infant-to-be could speak, he or she might say: Why do you choose to bring me into your world where I will be deprived of both a father and of your presence while you work full time to support me?
The discussion of morality and motherhood seems to be missing something: a discussion of the morality of fatherhood. When will The Times start assigning reporters to investigate the moral dimensions of fathering a child out of wedlock or contributing genetic material to sperm banks?
The article "Morality and Motherhood" made me angry. I am a single mother by choice. I chose, not without much consideration, to divorce my daughter's father. I believe that I am providing the best environment and upbringing possible for her to become, as Alice McKinney puts it, "a benefit to society."
One would expect that I would be in support of other single women who choose, for various reasons to satisfy the urge to see one's own "biological inheritance grow and gain independence." Not so.
I spend six hours a day teaching pregnant and parenting teenagers. Many of these girls grew up without fathers and are bringing babies into the world without partners. Our society spends countless hours and money trying to combat the negative effects I witness every day on fatherless children.
The choice to bring a child into the world intentionally without a father is wrong and irresponsible. I am not suggesting that McKinney's sperm-donated child would definitely be a burden on society. I am speaking of the burden this choice places on the one person McKinney is not truly thinking about . . . her child.
No one doubts that two caring adults can probably do a better job raising a child than a single person can. However, because of death or divorce, one parent (of either sex) is sometimes the sole caregiver and the result is not always negative. Incidentally, the two-parent family of Ra-Shonda Anderson apparently has not been too successful in imparting traditional values to their daughter.
Putting moral questions aside, it seems quite obvious that a teenager who has not finished high school, cannot hold even a part-time job and is moving in with her teenage boyfriend is hardly a candidate for responsible parenthood.
She can hardly be compared with an educated, thoughtful professional woman whose plans include rearing to adulthood a person who will probably be a plus in the societal equation. It's not a matter of financial differences between the two women. It's much deeper than that. It's a question of basic maturity.
EDYTHE M. McGOVERN