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Tragedy, Heartbreak Found on Both Sides of the Abortion Issue

October 26, 2000

I read Patti Davis' article ("Abortion: The Tragic, Forgotten Reality," Oct. 13) with great sadness. The stories she related were heart-wrenching indeed, yet those affected most by those hard decisions she illustrated were barely mentioned: the unborn children--they are the tragic, forgotten reality in abortion.

Two years ago, my brother and his wife adopted a child who is such an integral, delightful, joyful part of our family. How grateful we all are to the birth mother and father who were selfless enough to bless the lives of our family with the child they were not ready to raise. How tragic for all of us if his life had been extinguished as a matter of convenience.

The word "choice" is thrown around by our politicians, but here is wherein the choice lies. The choice is to not participate in sexual activity unless you are ready for the consequences. The choice is for women to break from the destructive restraints of the feminist rhetoric and choose to rediscover the traits that are inherently their own--to uphold and applaud the powerful, noble, nurturing nature of womanhood and to champion the rights of children, not the killing of them.

JENNIFER HATCH

Thousand Oaks

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Thank you, Patti Davis, for putting a face on what has become a political issue. In all the swirling talk about a woman's right to choose, one fact is always omitted: No woman wants to undergo an abortion; it is always the last sad choice. The reasons that a woman finds herself needing to make that choice are varied, but no woman ever gets pregnant just so she can experience that procedure.

ESTHER YOUTAN

Tarzana

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I read Patti Davis' article and cried. I cried for the two women in the story, for the hundreds, thousands and millions of women who have died or will die trying to have an abortion because someone decided that abortions are evil, murder or immoral.

I cried because Al Gore has forgotten that this election is also about women's issues, not just education and prescriptions for the elderly. This election is about who will be making the legal decisions in the future on any issue but, most important, whether women will be able to have safe abortions performed by doctors who are not afraid for their lives. I cried because I don't know if my daughter or her daughter will be able to have an abortion no matter what the reason. I cried because people who know absolutely nothing about me or my life or my family are trying to make decisions for me.

CHRIS JACOBOVITZ

Burbank

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Pro-lifers would have us believe that women who have abortions do so callously and without thought to anyone but themselves, when the contrary is actually true. Parenthood is the single greatest responsibility a woman will ever face and is not one that should be entered into without careful consideration.

Whatever one's emotional feelings about abortion, the decision of when--or even if--a woman should become a parent should never be placed in the hands of a religious movement or the government.

There are a great number of factors involved when a woman decides to carry or terminate an unplanned pregnancy, and we need to respect her right to a personal and private decision. Should that right be taken away, the consequences will be nothing less than tragic.

AMY FERGUSON

Valley Village

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We do not agree with Patti Davis, who seems to believe that abortion is the only alternative to an unwanted teenage pregnancy or a pregnancy where there is potential for a child with a disability.

There are alternatives.

Our first child, Marie, was born with a disability. She died at 6 months. What a tragic mistake it would have been if she had been aborted. Of course we were saddened that our child was born with a disability where she had little or no movement in her arms and legs. Her condition made her susceptible to respiratory problems. In all other ways, Marie was bright and responsive. In that six months, she brought much joy into our lives.

A little more than six months after Marie's death, we adopted Cindy, who is now 35. We are grateful her birth mother did not abort her. We went to the hospital to get her.

We have no regrets--only gratitude--that they were not victims of abortion.

JIM and MARGARET HAMILTON

Whittier

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As sad and tragic as Patti Davis' two abortion stories were, it's even sadder that those two aborted babies will never have any stories of their own to tell.

MARY ANN GILMORE

Orange

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