I am extremely disappointed with the cover story of your July 25 issue, The nation’s new agony over abortion. As the article was the cover story and not a column, it was your duty to present the issue in an unbiased manner. Rather than doing this, you chose to portray Dr. Henry Morgentaler as a Martin Luther King-type hero who has devoted his life to some great cause despite all obstacles and odds. Not stopping at that, you went ahead and tried to degrade pro-lifers. First, you took a stab at the Roman Catholic Church’s position, making the pro-life movement’s roots seem shaky and unstable. I did not once see pro-choicers referred to as proabortionists, much less anti-lifers, which would only have balanced the scales. The innumerable pro-abortionist opinions went even further, calling some pro-lifers anti-Semitic, whereas the single pro-life quote was a ridiculous comment concerning Morgentaler’s physical appearance. Please, in an issue that has become as red-hot as this one, play fair and deliver it in an unbiased manner. The Canadian public deserves to hear the story straight and, as Canada’s foremost newsmagazine, it would be wise of you to give it that way.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Thank goodness for Dr. Henry Morgentaler and his courage and beliefs. Morgentaler is not killing babies. He is giving women the right to a choice. I am not pro-abortion—not every person who is pro-choice is pro-abortion—therefore I feel that anti-abortionists should be labelled anti-choice. How could any
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woman protest against rights over her own body? It is definitely not an issue of “butchers” or “murderers” or “killing innocent fetuses.” It is an issue of choice and women having power and control over their own bodies and minds. —ANGELA ZEHR,
I am sick and tired of reading about all the “saintlies” against Dr. Henry Morgentaler. I wonder if these anti-abortionists have ever really sat down and thought about the poor babies found in garbage bags or read about the kids who have been brutally beaten by their parents. It is frightening to know that there are so many people around who simply cannot handle parenthood yet would not abort an unwanted child. Let all these anti-abortionists find some other cause to fight for, and let Morgentaler try to prevent some of the above from happening to a helpless child.
—FRANCES NOIK, Montreal
In The nation ’s new agony over abortion you report that Archbishop Adam Exner of Winnipeg “threatened” to excommunicate the Catholic nurse working in Morgentaler’s abortuary. He did not. He drew attention to the fact that she was excommunicated. Under Canon Law, reaffirmed recently in the New Code after 25 years of revision, those who commit or willingly co-operate in the crime of an abortion incur an excommunication Latae Sententiae—that is, they are cut from the sacramental life of the church automatically by that very fact. They remain cut off until they confess and repent their sin. In the Christian tradition the deliberate killing of an unborn human life has been a grave sin for almost 2,000 years.
—FATHER ALPHONSE DE VALK, St. Joseph’s University College, University of Alberta, Edmonton
Freedoms going up in smoke
I find Barbara Amiel’s suggestion that sexual harassment is okay provided the harasser is “your star salesman” utterly repugnant (Controlling the HulaHoops, Column, July 4). Does Amiel also condone child pornography provided the magazines can be sold for a profit? Her suggestion that human dignity and decency are less important than corporate profits confirms my growing suspicion that she is the victim of some cruel time warp which has displaced her from the 16th to the 20th century.
—E. VAN DEN ASSEM, Edmonton
I take a strong objection to Barbara Amiel’s sarcastic comment on the efforts to ban smoking at CBC’s Toronto studios. As a self-proclaimed libertarian, Amiel should know that breathing clean air is one of the most fundamental human rights. No one has the right to pollute and endanger the health and life of fellow human beings. —K.J. COTTAM, Nepean, Ont.
Anik C-2 ejected, not deployed
I enjoyed your articles about Sally Ride and the seventh mission of the NASA space shuttle program and was glad to see that this historic flight received the enthusiastic coverage it deserved. I would like to point out, however, that Telesat Canada’s Anik C-2 satellite was not deployed from the shuttle with the Canadarm, as reported in A sweet seventh ride (World, July 4). This is a common misconception because both devices are Canadian. In fact, Anik C-2 was ejected from the spacecraft by four spring plungers and was propelled into higher orbit 45 minutes later by a rocket motor. — ELDON D. THOMPSON,
President, Telesat Canada, Ottawa
Is alcohol woman’s worst enemy?
It is interesting to note that Vancouver feminists are still carrying out their vendetta against what they consider offensive (B.C.’s war on pornography, Follow-up, May 23). They continually hint at the same time-worn hypothesis: that pornography ultimately leads to sex crimes. Will a Women Against Alcoholism group ever surface, having the courage to attack the true problem, perhaps harassing Brewers’ Retail owners or dumping chicken excrement on bottles as a protest? —PAUL SUTTER, London, Ont.
Letters are edited and may be condensed. Writers should supply name, address and telephone number. Mail correspondence to: Letters to the Editor, Maclean ’s magazine, Maclean Hunter Bldg., 777 Bay St., Toronto, Ont. M5W1A7.
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