ABORTION'S YOUTH CRUSADE

"THE SURVIVORS" BY TAMARA JONES [APRIL 18] was typical of The Washington Post's one-sided views on the pro-life/pro-choice issue. However, I thought the choice of headline words, "From the ashes of the antiabortion movement, a new generation emerges," was appropriate. Several million murdered pre-born children does constitute a lot of ashes, doesn't it? And what's left of the "new generation" does have a reason to be upset.

It's difficult for any of us to imagine how different our nation, indeed our world, would be if those millions of dead babies had been allowed the chance to live. I am a teacher, and most teachers know the value of a child. A few of the children I have taught over the years have been born to unwed mothers. How precious is each and every one of these children! It is so refreshing to see that this growing group of teenagers, who are now missing so many of their would-be peers, have taken up the cause.

The challenge for each of us is to protect those who are not able to speak for themselves. It may not be a popular cause; often causes of the heart that require great courage are not popular. The author was correct when she referred to the violent incidents, even murders, that have occurred at abortion clinics. Certainly, millions of deaths have occurred in those clinics. In fact, for every two people who enter a clinic, usually only one survives.

SHIRLEE TEETS

Stafford

NOW THAT WE NO LONGER HAVE TO fear communism, The Post has declared a new threat to the republic; namely, a lawless, Christian subculture whose aim it is to convert and conquer. Perhaps, we should hunt down these dangerous and conquering Christians. Perhaps we can create a kind of American "gulag," where the "new enemy" can be ensconced.

ALBIN WOZNIAK

Brookeville

TAMARA JONES'S PIECE TAKES A PErfectly natural phenomenon in any long-term human rights movement -- young people growing up in and joining the movement -- and twists it into the thesis that the existing movement is faltering (the March for Life described as an "annual show of dwindling force"; "from the ashes of the antiabortion movement . . ."). The lack of research apparent in the rest of her article is indicative. There have been about 37 million abortions since 1973, not 20 million, according to figures we put together from the Centers for Disease Control and the Alan Guttmacher Institute. And the numbers attending the March for Life have mostly increased, not dwindled, over the last 20 years, with figures varying depending on the weather.

Bravo to the increasing numbers of teenagers and twentysomethings peacefully participating in pro-life masses and rallies. They are attracted, like previous generations, by the intellectual and emotional force of the pro-life message. And will be for as many generations as it takes.

HELEN M. ALVARE

National Conference of Catholic Bishops

Washington

THERE ARE MANY FORMS OF VIOLENCE, including self-described pro-life youth advocating death to those who disagree with them, imposing pregnancy and birth on people they don't know, seeking to ban contraceptives and abortions in the same breath. Thanks, but I'll stick with those on the pro-choice side and their more highly evolved, compassionate view of life.

TAMAR ABRAMS

Arlington

I AM VERY PROUD OF THIS NEW GENeration. They willingly and passionately fight for their beliefs. It takes a lot of courage to stand and be counted when they know it will lead to ridicule at best, or injury at worst. I fear for them also, because that courage can be manipulated by older and more cynical people.

The abortion debate is one that will go on forever, like the religious debates that feed it and feed on it. But the way I read our Constitution, we are all free to choose our gods, so long as we don't hinder another's right to choose. And though I personally feel an abortion is killing a child, I will respect, and if necessary fight for, another's right to believe differently.

NEIL A. FREUEN

Centreville

AS A CHRISTIAN, I AM OPPOSED TO abortion, but I never thought of my children's generation being decimated by the practice. It was enlightening, but also frightening, to read of the tactics being used by young people claiming to love God. The most disturbing part of the article for me was reading about Joshua Graff. The Bible verse chosen for the placard at the banquet he attended was incomplete. The complete text of that verse is, "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). To act justly without having mercy is not following God.

CHERIE HERRMAN

Canton, Conn.

WHATEVER ONE THINKS ABOUT THe merits of the abortion and of the antiabortion movements, the odious equating of abortion to the Holocaust by antiabortionists should alienate all those who might otherwise favor their cause. How can one reasonably compare the coldblooded murder of 6 million Jews, defenseless and guilty of no crime other than religious or perceived racial differences, by the most brutal dictatorship in modern history, with the individual choice of a woman to abort a fetus?

NELSON MARANS

Silver Spring

IT'S SAD WHEN KIDS DISGUISE INTOLerance and a desire to quash reproductive rights with religion in a country where religious freedom is supposed to be sacred.

Frankly, I'm tired of Christians imposing their "values" on the rest of us. If they don't want to have sex, undergo abortions or use birth control, then they don't have to. But to challenge a law that has saved the lives of millions of women and to tell kids with raging hormones to practice abstinence when sexuality is all around them is as sinful as the way they use the Bible to contort theology and manipulate belief systems.

A "Children's Crusade"? I doubt it. To me, it's just more of the religious right imposing on the rest of the world.

MAXINE HILLARY

Fredericksburg

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