Importance of the Right to Vote

Regarding the article "Boston Students Query Politicians," Oct. 28: Informing students of their responsibility to vote, I feel, is an excellent idea.As the article stated, the reason young people don't vote is not because they don't care about current events. In fact, there are many youth involved in "single-issue campaigns that more directly affect them such as the environment, abortion, consumer rights, and recycling." A little more time spent on "voter education and government" classes before students are old enough to vote could encourage youth to go a step beyond the issues that directly involve them. They could learn to take an active interest in other current issues as well. We live in a country where we have the freedom to choose our government, yet we take this precious privilege for granted. Other countries are struggling right now because they are unhappy with the way things are in their lands, but they don't have the freedom to change it or have a say in it. This article can be directed to all people of voting age. It is time to take pride in our country and the rights we have been given. Danielle Naef, Rexburg, Idaho

According to the opinion-page article "New Politics of the Future," Nov. 25, American politics should be reinvented and reoriented. The only way to reform the system is by reforming the two major parties. Neither of the parties are dedicated to being responsible and representative. I would urge every eligible voter to get into one of the major parties and demand responsible representation. Leslie B. Gray, Sparks, Nev.

Abortion opinions In the article "Two Voices on Abortion: Women Are Victims, Says Right-to-life Head," Nov. 25, Dr. Franz is right when she says that women are victims, but then we part company. She says that "abortion is the most psychologically perilous option she [a teenager] could choose," but she fails to include the greater danger of back-ally abortion. Anti-abortionists want women to be victims either way. The allegation that those of us who support a woman's right to choose have less regard for human life than our opponents do, is wrong. The right to decide whether to continue a pregnancy should belong to the woman and should be made with information available to poor women as well as rich. Janet D. Lake, Murrells Inlet, S.C.

Wanda Franz says that having an abortion is psychologically unhealthy for a woman and uses this as justification to deny women their freedom to choose how to live their lives. Well, she'd better tell someone else. As a 20-year-old mother with a three-year-old daughter, I can attest to the fact that it's not very psychologically healthy for an unprepared, immature young woman or teenager to have a child. I have been lucky: I have parental support, provision for day care, and am about to graduate from college. But I know a number of girls who had children while teenagers and are stuck on welfare and miserable. I also know many girls who had abortions while young, and although certainly it was not a pleasant experience, they do not regret their choice and certainly did not experience any "post-traumatic stress disorder." I love my daughter and don't regret her existence, but it has not been easy; surely it has taken more of a psychological toll than an abortion. Alexandra Kahn, New York

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