Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

"When One Is Enough" con't

[These are the letters to the editor published in the New York Times Magazine, Aug. 1, 2004.]

When One Is Enough

I sat in stunned silence after reading the Lives column about Amy Richards (as told to Amy Barrett, July 18).

The casualness of Richards's decision to decide which fetus to keep was heartbreaking beyond words. The surviving child is the doomed one.

Thea Roeser

I have always been pro-choice. What I realized after wrestling with my disturbance at your article is that "pro-choice" seems to preclude any choice but one. If the freedom to choose removes a sense of awe from the realm of human possibilities, is it freedom or a cruel burden?

Elaine A. Zimbel

Of all the reasons for having an abortion, I never thought that the prospect of living in Staten Island and shopping at Costco would be among them.

Elizabeth Cosenza
Coram, N.Y.

I would suggest that "one is too many" for a woman who risks unwanted pregnancies by not taking the pill because it makes her moody, who is not married and who is willing to eliminate innocent offspring out of inconvenience.

My compassion goes to those infertile readers of this horrible and horribly cavalier story.

Laura Schlessinger
Los Angeles

Kudos for daring to print this. For better or worse, your readership needs to know that such women exist, that such things occur and why they do. The story from Peter's point of view would be well worth a follow-up.

Bruce Bender
Oceanside, Calif.

Richards's decision brought back memories of "Sophie's Choice." How does one "choose" which of her children will live and which will not? A woman's right to choose is a never-ending moral and legal debate. A woman's right to "select," as Richards did, must certainly be divisive within the pro-choice movement.

David Vermylen
Lake Forest, Ill.

I was frozen by the coolness and apparent indifference of Amy Richards toward the twin babies she found would complicate her life.

Upon concluding her essay, I wondered how many new members she brought to the ranks of the pro-life movement and, on a positive note, how many women's minds were changed among those who were pondering an abortion in their own lives.
Robert R. Farley
Elizaville, N.Y.

I am speechless. As the mother of multiples (identical twin daughters), I was hoping there would be a different ending. I used to think I was pro-choice. Not anymore. Not after reading that Richards wanted to "get rid of one of them. Or two of them."

Margaret Cate
Ocean Grove, N.J.

This is perhaps the bravest story I have ever heard. I am sure that it will cause a barrage of hate mail from those who will mourn the lives of the unborn children, and it is sad that there are so many who would impose their morality.

The issue of having children, how many and the choice of when and even if one bears them once conceived is among the toughest an individual will ever make. There will always be those who say the rules in life are simple and inflexible, but life really isn't that way.

David J. Melvin
Chester, N.J.

Though I respect Richards's right to choose — and she obviously has a keen awareness of that right — I find it surprising that she seems to have neglected adoption as one of her possible choices. There are people who would have been thrilled to raise her twins. I suspect that the joy of helping someone start a family might ease the burden of a difficult pregnancy.

Dave Smith
Blauvelt, N.Y.


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