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Letters to the Editor 2/25

February 26, 2002

Would abortion have been better?


To the editor:

The topic may be getting old, but I feel compelled to respond to the letter from Aaron Michael of Hagerstown entitled "Newspaper must report the facts." Aaron, you have hit the nail right on the head.

I would like to throw in my two cents' worth.

Would those with objections to unwed mothers and their babies on the front page of The Herald-Mail preferred for them to have said, "We can't announce the New Year's babies this year because they were born to un-wed mothers?" Would you self-righteous people have preferred that these young mothers had gotten abortions? I seriously doubt it.

So, what would you have wanted to have happen in this scenario?

Speaking from experience, unplanned babies can bring an unexpected amount of joy to a family. If my sister hadn't gotten pregnant at 16, my father wouldn't have found his niche in life as a grandfather until much later. That baby grew up to be an extremely intelligent person who graduated from high school and college with honors.

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She is now a stepmother to three children and her husband is just wonderful. Our world would never have been the same had she not been born. I realize that this is not always the case, but I think statistically, you'll find that most children who begin life under "stressful" circumstances turn out about the same as, if not better than, they would have under traditional circumstances.

History has proven that time really does heal all. The naysayers in all of this could some day find a child or grandchild in a similar situation, so let them not be the ones casting stones. God does have ways of making us humble, you know. Someday, he may just throw you a curve in that direction for being judgmental. Isn't that supposed to be his job anyway? Your job is to love everybody, is it not?

So please people, let the reporters report the news, as that is their job. Don't judge others about who should have babies and who shouldn't (remember even babies born out of wedlock are God's children, too as I recall, Jesus' mother was pregnant before she married Joseph).

The world has kept on turning this long with all its surprises, people who have a lack of good judgment and those who stand in judgment of everybody else. It will continue to turn. God is with us all. His opinion is really the only one that matters anyway.

Julie B. Gantz

Smithsburg




Weak sentences, strong criminals


To the editor:

I have just finished reading an article by Kimberly Yakowski about a former WCARC employee being convicted/sentenced for "abuse of a vulnerable adult," in October, 2001.

While the crime was, and is, appalling, the lame sentence handed out by Judge John H. McDowell (one year in jail, and three years supervised probation) is even more surprising.

While I must admit that I don't know if McDowell's hands are "legally tied" by Maryland's sentencing guidelines, one must ask oneself, if McDowell's sentence would be as lax if the WCARC client was a McDowell family member. Which, in all honesty, I hope and pray, she isn't.

No right-thinking human being would wish this crime on anybody, whether the victim is a "vulnerable adult" or not.

For the defense to argue the point that the victim's mental capacity was closer to 15 years old than 10 years old, I have one simple question to ask.

Would the defense be bothered moreso if a 10-year-old was placed in this disgusting predicament than they would be if a 15-year-old was put in the same setting?

It's lame sentences like this one handed out and knee jerk defenses like the one explained that have made a mockery of our judicial system.

I guess the bumper sticker I read explains it all in a nutshell: "Weak Judges Make Stronger Criminals."

To the parents and family of the WCARC client, I, for one, offer my sincerest prayers to you and the victim. It's sad that, for reasons unknown, this has come to you.

May God bless the family and WCARC client.

Jim Rickard

Williamsport

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