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DIALOGUE Continued from page 2 printing it will help begin the dialogue in Texas. Tina Shaheen Austin Metronomic Doubts One has a feeling that the Texas Observer doesn’t know its own mind. And perhaps that applies to the new left \(whatever that 1.Our editor wants another debate on abortion rights and reverence for life \(TO, 2.Dave Denison sees deep and searching philosophies in the speed of flight that “production is good and more production is better” and speed “intoxicating and addictive” and is “stunning advance” 3.Michael King assures us it is “foolhardiness” to reinterpret the life of One wonders to what beat the magazine marches. I have thought these many years that its direction was toward the expanding of each individual’s rights; with society producing a better life for that individual through goods, services, and leisure time, and that these goodies would expand each individual’s grace of living. The right of a person to greater control of his body \(and soul, spirit, and all other ill-defined and located functions in that that person and his community a better and better concept of “love thy neighbor” and communal living graciously conferred by that increasingly free individual as he matures in his individual age and the posterities age to which he becomes heir upon birth. Such a person increasingly deals personally with abortion, suicide, euthanasia, privacy, leisure, and the drive of his brain ceaselessly seeking information, that hopefully brings him to at least a pale imitation of the motives of the Christs, Mohammeds, Buddhas, and Zoroasters of this world’s history in the past and yet to come. I have never seen or heard of a single law or community judgment enforced against a woman seeking abortion that was better for that woman, present circumstances and her future condition, than her own judgment. I have never once heard of a woman getting pregnant so she could abort. I know of very few people in my life that could be said to “produce lots of goods, so that everyone can have a job making more goods, so that workers can have money to buy lots of goods, so that there will be reason to produce even more.” I have never heard or read of a worker giving that reason but the one time mentioned in your magazine. Otto B. Mullinax Dallas Reverence For Life Cheers for your Christopher Hitchens interview \(TO, responsibility for the next generation, the democratic left must revive a “reverence for life” that will help us transcend the polarization between one-dimensional positions on abortion issues: unlimited choice for citizens vs. no choice after conception. Accept this and our response to future generations becomes consistent and vital. Before the Reagan era, and its crippling of liberal attitudes and rhetoric, a strong consciousness of social responsibility toward unborn generations had developed: preserving natural resources, reducing environmental pollution, controlling nuclear weapons, and generally keeping the world safe for life, peace, and a degree of social improvement. While busily numbing this sense of stewardship, the victorious Reaganites have compounded the burdens of our children and theirs. They have dumped an inexcusably gigantic national indebtedness upon our progeny for the sake of rapid and selective wealth accumulation, and otherwise have diminished opportunities for the majority of children now being born. Hitchens shows us how liberal paralysis has come in the wake of Roe v. Wade, “the biggest reverse of liberalism in our time.” Likewise, your Lawrence Goodwyn interview \(TO, overcome our “rhetorical habits” in order to overcome political rigidity and to redirect priorities with new hope and, very important, with attitudes made widely popular. The Observer in 1988 is giving us exciting, meaningful dialogue and reflections to help us overcome liberalism’s present inertia. Palmer Wright Austin Mandatory Pregnancy Margaret Sanger, a public health nurse who went to jail for disseminating birth-control information, said it for us: “Without the right to own and control her body, no woman can be considered free.” For demanding such a right, Christopher Hitchens in the last issue of the Texas Observer labels feminists “very reactionary,” “selfish,” “sectarian,” and displaying “neurosis,” “over-reaction,” and a “contempt for science and the theory of evolution.” His choice of language displays his misogyny. When his wife became pregnant at an inconvenient time, he wrote that he “wouldn’t have, even if he could, gone beyond an effort to persuade her” to have an abortion. Yet he wants to outlaw it for the rest of us, unless we can persuade some authority to accept our reasons as legitimate. He presents the right-to-life movement \(which, contrary to his claim is NOT concerned with children. However, the vast majority of them are right-wingers who are against the WIC program, free prenatal care, state-subsidized childcare, and in fact all programs that benefit children. After birth an infant can starve to death if its parents are destitute; they don’t care. Why this intense concern for the fetus? It is clear that its function is to control women and control sexuality. Finally, his notion of a “socially-run adoption system to bridge the gap between women with too many children and women with none” is truly ludicrous. A child grows within a woman’s body for nine months. During this time pregnancy affects her hormonal system, physical being, and emotional state. In most cases she grows attached to the child in her womb. To talk about this as though it were as simple as transferring an oversupply of widgets from one factory to another is truly to ignore the social and physiological aspects of pregnancy. Texas NOW [National Organization for Women] deplores the sentiments stated in Hitchens’ article, particularly now, when there is a serious attempt to strip women of the gains they’ve made in the past. At a time when progressives are learning that they must all stand together, the attempt to put women back in their cages on the part of some “liberals” or “radicals” is truly reprehensible. Ann Robinson Bernice Hecker Texas NOW Austin Deplorable Sentiment Since all actions aimed at creating order in human affairs rest on social values, justification for abortion must also be so based. The normative criterion underlying Continued on next page THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21