- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 5, 2002

Ethics and embryos

Charlotte Moore's feature on the Culture, et cetera page is a contribution to the ongoing propaganda campaign dedicated to dehumanizing children ("Ethics of embryo adoption," Thursday). The Cox News Service story greatly distorts the facts.

Human embryos are human beings, individual persons who exist at fertilization. This is basic biology. Why then does she describe them in nonhuman terms? (In one instance, she refers to a child whose life began in an in-vitro fertilization lab as the parents' "precious, hard-won prize.")

Each human embryo is a unique human being, in the same way that you and I are unique human beings. Human embryos are not products; they are not things; they are people. Therefore, we should not further dehumanize them by claiming that they are "dispensed" in the same way a pharmacist, for example, might dispense a pill. Embryonic persons are not dispensed.

Those parents who adopt these children could not possibly think they are adopting consumer goods, could they? Why would they bother? The fact is that couples who cannot have children of their own wish to adopt human embryonic babies, not "fertilized eggs." That should be perfectly clear.

It is the responsibility of the news media to be completely honest, and to cease and desist in efforts to commodify or in other ways rob the preborn of their personhood.

Your readers would be better equipped to think through the ethical dilemmas this story raises if they were not being misled about the nature of the embryonic human being, who is a person and not merely a "potential child."


JUDIE BROWN

President

American Life League Inc.

Stafford, Va.

'Gratuitous gore' on Page 1

I was horrified by yesterday's gigantic Page One photograph showing one of the five victims from the recent killing spree in Montgomery County. I believe this was the worst judgment call I have ever observed in a major newspaper.

Most papers are opened at the breakfast table, with family present, and there is no reason a child (or anyone, for that matter) should be faced with a picture of a bloody sheet covering a corpse whose feet are sticking out. This was truly, truly shocking and disturbing. We literally had to hide our front page today so the children would not be exposed to this picture. Living in Montgomery County, we already are on edge, and this certainly did nothing to alleviate our unease.

I can only imagine what the victim's family must have felt seeing that picture.

Please, in the future, give some consideration to your wide reading audience, and spare us this kind of gratuitous gore.


SHARON SCHEINER

Gaithersburg, Md.

Island defense

The Sept. 27 article on Cyprus ("Turkey steps up threats of action," World) is correct in stating that it will be the Greek Cypriot side only, and not the whole of Cyprus, that will join the European Union at the end of the year if there is no settlement on the island before then. However, the author departs from the norms of objective and fair reporting when he condescendingly describes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as "the runaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north of the island."

Recent history is testimony to the fact that it was not the Turkish Cypriots, but the Greek Cypriots who deliberately destroyed the binational state of Cyprus in 1963 and absconded with the title of the "government of Cyprus." As we continue to seek a settlement to this long-standing dispute through negotiations, Turkish Cypriots have again proved their good will by proposing, among other things, safeguards against secession as part of a future settlement, including the continuation of the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960. The objective is, and should be, to create a new partnership of equals, in which neither partner will be able to attack, oppress or harass the other and run away with the assets of the partnership at the expense of the other.


OSMAN ERTUG

Representative

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Washington

GOP should take a cue from New Jersey ruling

New Jersey Democrats and their state Supreme Court allies have led us into an exciting new era of elections ("N.J. court OKs ballot change," Page 1, Thursday). The possibilities are virtually endless.

Texas Republicans should be the first to consider taking advantage of this new day and age. Texas Attorney General John Cornyn, their candidate for the Senate, is not doing as well as he should be in such a Republican state. I say, give him a couple more weeks to turn it around, and if his polls do not look good, get him to withdraw. Then replace him on the ballot with incumbent Republican Sen. Phil Gramm, who would almost certainly win.

Of course, Mr. Gramm does not want to serve in the Senate any longer, but that doesn't really matter. What does matter is political control at all costs.

After he wins, he can resign from the Senate and have the governor (hopefully a Republican) appoint a fellow Republican to take his seat. Even if a special election were required shortly after November, it provides a better chance than just fighting it out and, if necessary, admitting and accepting defeat in the old-fashioned way.

Furthermore, if the special election were to start to turn in an unpleasant direction, who's to say that this election cannot be manipulated, as well?

The Texas example is just the tip of the iceberg. Democratic Sen. Robert G. Torricelli and his cronies in New Jersey have opened up an exciting new world for Republicans.


TOM MOSIMANN

Manassas, Va.

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