Teenage Abortion: Compassion vs. Costs

Regarding the opinion-page ```Mom, Dad: I Want To Get an Abortion,''' Nov. 28: The column ``Sometimes parents are the last people a girl can trust'' shows genuine concern for the young women that might need parental consent for an abortion. The other column, ``Parent-notification laws protect teenage girls and society,'' seems only to show concern for the anti-abortion advocates. President Bush vetoed federal funds for poor women even in cases of rape and incest. This column insinuates that anti-abortion advocates would be paying for something they don't believe in.

Anti-abortion arguments seem to convey the impression that people against abortion are more concerned about money than desperate and vulnerable young women. If they aren't really concerned about the rights of these women, are they sincere in their concerns about the rights of unborn fetuses? Marie Micheletti, Tremont, Ill.

What to do with homeless students The article ``How To School Homeless Children,'' Nov. 28, states that some children ``cannot be admitted [to schools] even if they do make it to the campus because they do not have school records or a permanent address in the district.''

How can some bureaucrats turn away a child seeking to learn because of such a preposterous ruling. Of all the children who need and deserve attention, warmth, love and food that a public school can offer, homeless children are the neediest.

What I fail to understand is how to supply the missing spirit of love and care that is so increasingly short in supply in our rich nation. Fred Fend, Highland Park, Ill.

Floating clouds of equal rights The article ``Health Groups Battle Over Illinois Antismoking Bill,'' Dec. 5, misses the essential point. A right to smoke is one thing. A ``right'' to annoy others or affect their well-being adversely is something else.

Under a genuinely democratic law, persons are free to do whatever they wish, provided they do not interfere with the equal right of every other person to do the same. The major reason for the gross proliferation of specific laws and regulations in this country is the neglect of this principle - the principle by which democracy, as the political form of the golden rule, is defined. R.A. Athearn, Friday Harbor, Wash.

Map correction The map that accompanies the siderbar ``Dispute Within Paraguayan Ruling Party Pits Reformers Against Traditionalists,'' Dec. 5, is incorrect.

I write on behalf of my 7th grade class. We recently studied South American Geography and we know South America very well. Along with our teacher, our class noticed that the country labeled Peru on this map is actually Bolivia. Peru is on the coast. Catherine Birdsall, Wilton, N.H., The Pine Hill Waldorf School

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