We hope the citizens of Maryland are aware of the unfairness to low-income women and the danger to the rights of all women implicit in Gov. William Donald Schaefer's decision to go back on his promise to work for liberalization of Medicaid funding for poor women seeking abortions.
As reported in The Post, Gov. Schaefer says he intends to allocate more funds for adoption, rather than abortion. Does this mean that a woman, just because she cannot afford to pay for an abortion -- a service legally available to any woman who can pay -- can be forced to serve as an involuntary broodmare for a childless couple? Is it not exploitation -- or slavery -- to force a woman to involuntarily undergo the emotional and physical burden of pregnancy for someone else's benefit?
Nor is adoption an effective solution to the problem of unwanted children. There is a 95 percent chance that a woman who gives birth will keep the child, even if she originally intended not to, because of the bonding that takes place with birth. This occurs with poor and single teen mothers just as with others -- most of these women keep their babies even if they can't adequately support them and must resort to public assistance. And what about minority and handicapped babies? The only children readily adoptable, unfortunately, are healthy white infants. Is the state prepared to care for children who are not adopted?
We hope that the citizens of Maryland will join us in expressing their objections to this infringement on women's rights -- if the rights of poor women to safe, legal abortion can be so cavalierly denied, all women's right to make their own reproductive choices is endangered.
PATRICIA A. MARTIN President, Montgomery County Chapter National Organization for Women Rockville