In response to Blair Lee's "Beyond the Abortion Debate" {Close to Home, July 8}, I would like to clarify many arguments backed by slanted data.

Del. Patricia Sher, the pro-choice candidate for Maryland's Senate in the 18th district, is not a "single-issue" candidate. Sher has a distinguished 12-year record in the House of Delegates and has received several awards from education, firefighters' and women's groups.

It is undoubtedly true that Sen. Margaret Schweinhaut, the anti-choice candidate, has a long list of achievements in her 35-plus year career in public service. She is a great lady and hardly a "single-issue" candidate herself.

But Lee has attempted to distort the reality of Sher's record by only telling half of the story. Lee says Sher fought for the right for "abortion on demand." Not so; Sher has always believed in limits on the time at which an abortion is performed and placed concern on the safety of mothers as well.

As Del. Sher's son, my prejudice is obvious, but I believe, as does she, that the decision for an abortion is to be made by individuals within their own faith. Governments in this land do not make laws interfering with these faiths.

Lee makes a misguided swipe at Sher's feminist insurance record. Sher voted for equality in insurance, not biased by sex, and helped lead the fight in keeping insurance costs down for everybody. For her work, Sher has received both the Betsy Tyler Service Award from Planned Parenthood and NOW's Anne London Scott Award for legislative excellence. Further, Sher is endorsed by the National Abortion Rights Action League, the AFL-CIO, the Women's Political Caucus, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Montgomery County Education Association and the firefighters' union.

The only time Lee is not biased in his piece is when he says both candidates are "distorting each other's records," and here Lee is just plain wrong. Schweinhaut's anti-choice record is clear. She does not hide from it, nor does Sher distort it. It was distortion this spring when Schweinhaut's colleagues likened pro-choice advocates to murderous Nazis. It was distortion to say Sher misses votes on the house floor, because as a member of the Democratic leadership, she is in constant contact with the speaker and never misses a key vote. It is distortion to say Sher rarely speaks on the floor when she, as leadership, performs her roles on a team and is a dedicated and effective legislator.

Lee's prejudice is obvious, because he is a family friend of the Schweinhauts since boyhood (although he fails to admit to it).

Of course, he is free to express his opinions, but the only essays worth reading present all sides of an issue. I am disturbed that The Post printed Lee's piece. His conclusions are shallow and erroneous and his biases clear but unstated.

-- Tod D. Sher