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Debating Abortion From the Heart

June 04, 2005

Regarding your May 31 article about late-term abortions ("A Late Decision, a Lasting Anguish"): I have a few thoughts to share. As the mother of a baby with Down syndrome, I have met hundreds of other parents of children with Down syndrome in real life and in online support groups. Rather than feelings of guilt, regret and depression, the mothers who give their babies with Down syndrome a chance at life are filled with joy, hope and love. Rather than experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, they are experiencing pride at their children's accomplishments.

And right now, instead of looking at my baby's ashes on the mantle, my home is filled with shared laughter as I watch his big sister cover him with kisses.

With early intervention, many children with Down syndrome are growing up to live full and meaningful lives -- working, paying taxes, getting married and contributing to society. What a shame some families deprive themselves of the opportunity to see just how big their hearts can grow.

Shannon Deisen

Fernandina Beach, Fla.

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Your article kicked me right in the gut -- especially Paige, who aborted her 25-week-old fetus, Emma, because she could not bear to imagine surgeons cutting open Emma's tiny chest to rebuild her heart. In the 1950s, my mama lovingly raised a child with an inoperable heart defect. And she and my daddy bore it when surgeons finally knew how to cut open my adult-sized chest, twice, to rebuild my heart. I'm glad I got the chance at life that Paige denied her daughter.

Nancy J. Doman

Garden Grove

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Re Michael Ramirez's May 28 cartoon: I have no problem with a young girl getting an abortion without parental consent because the alternative may be to force her to give birth to a child without her consent -- a particularly onerous form of child labor -- or to seek an illegal abortion.

Pro-lifers don't get it. Abortions will take place if unwanted pregnancies occur. Giving birth to a child is a big deal -- physically, emotionally and financially. So much so that free women and girls will rarely choose to give birth to unwanted children, regardless of the self-righteous, hypocritical lip service to the contrary.

Laura J. Rift

Canoga Park

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