Letters to the Editor

ASSOCIATIVE DISORDER

To the Editor:
John Hickey, of the Missouri Citizen Education Fund, wrote in a letter in the May 19 RFT: "In March 1995, three Republican state legislators (David Klarich, Rich Chrismer and Bill Alter) spoke to a meeting of the First Missouri Volunteers. This group is an extralegal paramilitary organization with ties to John Trochmann and other white-supremacist leaders."

This is a very interesting accusation, to claim that Dreste is a member of an extralegal organization or that it is racist. I read the article about Dreste ("The Conviction of Tim Dreste," RFT, May 12) and recall a similar accusation quoted there, that the militia is racist. I would appreciate someone documenting that indeed such an organization is illegal and racist, first by defining what racism is and second by showing policy and actions that are racist.

Saying that this one organization that Dreste belongs to is racist and then saying he's a member of it is pure character assassination. I don't deny that Dreste actually belongs to a militia because I know personally that he does. Whatever happened to freedom of association? Is the American Legion racist simply because it drills with guns or honors the flag? Are your writers and editors at the RFT going to claim your rights under the First Amendment and then deny Dreste his for his association? And where did you prove that Dreste agrees with policy that is racist? Dreste is a Christian and committed to loving his neighbor. Where does that leave room for racism?

If Dreste were a racist as his association would imply, then I suspect he'd make an exception for the abortion of African-American children. He doesn't.

Accusations without support are a threat to liberty. They are also slanderous.

David M. Holden

"PARTIALLY BORN" AGAIN

To the Editor:
It appears to me that Ray Hartmann's "Commentary" ("The Pro-Lie Movement Strikes Again," RFT, May 5) is merely an attempt to derail legislation which is supported by a majority of legislators as well as the majority of the citizens of our great state of Missouri and the majority of Americans. You must have pondered your commentary at great length to determine that the words "partially born" in the proposed partial-birth-abortion bill are not close enough to the words "partial-birth abortions" to claim that "it isn't about 'partial-birth abortions.'" Next you will be arguing about what the definition of "is" is.

You seem to be bothered by the use of the "living infant" phrasing in the statute. Unfortunately, it was the veto by your favored son, Gov. Mel Carnahan, of the passed partial-birth-abortion bill last year that necessitated the changed language in this year's bill.

You asked the question in your commentary, "What is it about safeguarding the health of pregnant women that our moral crusaders find so despicable?" I would ask you, "What is so despicable about safeguarding the lives of babies in the womb?" Aren't you aware that there are criminal laws in Missouri that allow for the filing of murder charges against those who intentionally injure a pregnant woman resulting in the death of the unborn baby? I'm sure you believe these unborn babies should have no rights, just as the pro-lifers believe that some infringement on a woman's right to an abortion is justified.

As to your concern regarding the need for an exception in the bill which would allow for the procedure for reasons of the mother's health, I am somewhat puzzled. First you criticize Sen. John Ashcroft for stating, "This procedure is never necessary to save the life and preserve the health of the unborn child's mother." You later acknowledge that there are no partial-birth abortions in Missouri. It is amazing to me to think that not one of Missouri's share of the tens of millions of abortions in the U.S. over the last 26 years since Roe vs. Wade was performed to preserve the life or health of the unborn child's mother. I know that such cases had to exist and yet the partial-birth abortion procedure was not necessary. It seems to me that Ashcroft was correct. If it is not necessary, why legally protect such a gruesome and horrible procedure?

While you may not be concerned with the "health of the mother exception" loophole, I do see a huge problem. Since the medical doctors who would be certifying these health problems will likely be abortion providers, certainly there will be a health problem found in virtually every patient wanting an abortion. The conflict of interest for the abortion provider is too great. Truly, how many pregnant visitors to Planned Parenthood are counseled not to get an abortion? I would like to see the numbers. Open the books if they have nothing to hide.

As a final thought, I would point out that every reasonable person concedes that abortion is a bad thing. Even legalized abortion proponents claim that they want abortions to be rare and legal. I do not understand why this country wants to promote laws that encourage bad behavior. Additionally, why is the pro-abortion side so against the passage of parental-notification, spousal-notification and waiting-period laws? It has less to do with concern for the patient than it does with concern for the abortion provider's pocketbook.

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