IN RESPONSE TO THE ARTICLE ON JOHN C. Willke, president of National Right to Life: He continually refers to the pro-choice movement as "pro-abortion" {April 22}. This is extremely inaccurate in that there are hundreds of pro-choice activists and supporters who are against abortion but emphatically support a woman's right to choose what happens to her body.

Consider the court case concerning the planned Nazi march in Skokie, Ill. I am Jewish and am outraged by Nazi dogma, but that has nothing to do with their right to express their viewpoint. They were even defended by a Jewish lawyer in the ACLU, whose task and purpose was simply to uphold the rights outlined in the Constitution of the United States.

Whether one chooses motherhood, adoption or abortion, it is an individual decision and not to be made by others.



AS DO MOST, I MAINTAIN INTENSE BEliefs on the abortion issue, and I adjure Mr. Willke to have a qualified opinion concerning abortion given the fact that he is incapable of spiritually or physically experiencing one.

Abortion, in any circumstance, is a difficult decision best left to those who are directly affected without harassment, intimidation or legislation by those who are not.



SO ONE OF THE REASONS THE WASHINGton Post editors decided not to run "disturbing" pictures of first-trimester suction abortions was that they were "too graphic for a magazine readily accessible to children." I wonder if another reason might be that people (and yes, even some "children" old enough to have abortions) do not want to know about what really goes on in an abortion. Too many people are being shielded from the harsh realities that there are "recognizable arms and legs" involved.

Pictures may be graphic, but then abortion is not pretty. No matter how strong some women's desire to hold onto abortion as a "right," abortion must be seen in all its ugliness before people are qualified to judge whether it is merely a private matter of personal choice.




I'VE BEEN A PLASTICS ENGINEER SINCE 1971 and have been privileged to either work in exciting, environmentally encouraging projects or have friends who do. The article "Give Plastic a Chance" {April 22} is an example of what I've faced for many years -- trying to convince people that plastics have a place in our society.

Friends of mine work in medical plastics, the aerospace industry and others. I've never said plastics couldn't be biodegradable, but is that what we want? We need to look at the total picture, from raw materials (Earth's resources) to the final resting place, be it recycling, incineration or landfill. Aside from stabilizing most landfills, did you know that plastics also make the Baltimore incinerator work more efficiently?




THE FACT THAT RICHARD COHEN found zoos troubling is a positive sign {Critic at Large, April 22}. If more people consider what impact institutionalizing animals has on the wildlife rather than on the observers, then perhaps some day we will be a more just and kind nation that respects the rights of all living creatures.

Because Mr. Cohen is an admitted animal enthusiast, his views on circuses are probably more harsh than the ambiguous ones he harbors toward zoos. I hope so. In truth, noble elephants and majestic cats are locked in cages and forced to travel in railroad cars from one city to the next, day after day, month after month, so paying customers can gasp at wild animals performing idiotic human tricks.

Thank you, Mr. Cohen, for encouraging your readers to think about their attitudes regarding the proper treatment of wild animals. The message we should be passing on to our children is not one of superiority over all others. It should be one of compassion and empathy.


Humane Educator Washington Humane Society


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