Remember Vernon Boozer, John Derr and Donald Fry? They were three Maryland state senators who in 1998 helped kill a bill to ban partial-birth abortion. Largely because of that issue, they all lost their seats to pro-life challengers in the subsequent election.

In her Jan. 5 Close to Home piece, Karyn Strickler mentioned three other state senators who, she asserted, were defeated in 1990 because they helped block a bill to protect unrestricted abortion in Maryland. Ms. Strickler said that the 1990 history should serve as a warning to newly elected Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. not to support pro-life legislation, such as a ban on partial-birth abortion.

Curiously, Ms. Strickler didn't mention the far more recent and pertinent episode.

She also asserted that Maryland law requires "parental notification for minors seeking abortions," but the law allows abortions for minor girls without parental notification if a doctor believes that "notification would not be in the best interest of the minor." The law goes on to explicitly provide that "the physician is not liable for civil damages or subject to a criminal penalty for a decision under this subsection not to give notice."

DAVID LAM

Executive Director

Maryland Right to Life Inc.

Annapolis