In “The New Underground Railroad” [December 12], Debbie Nathan describes women choosing abortion because they don’t want their babies. What about a woman who has to abort a pregnancy because she discovers something fatally wrong with her unborn child? I just lost my very wanted 17-week fetus, after my prenatal test came back saying she wouldn’t survive inside my womb and had fatal birth defects. I had to go to the kind of abortion clinic Nathan and Ryan Lizza [“The Abortion Capital of America”] write about (one with protesters blaming me for killing my child) because no hospital would help us. In my clinic, 80 percent of the women getting an abortion would have kept their pregnancies if they could have. No one I met was using abortion as birth control.
—Mimi Reed, Glendale, Calif.
Right-to-lifers say abortion is a tragedy. The greater tragedy is the number of unplanned pregnancies that result in children born to parents who are financially and emotionally unable to care for them. These kids suffer abuse, neglect, and a host of social ills that underfunded social-service agencies can’t handle. The same people who stand outside clinics harassing women seeking abortions are opposed to increases in spending for social-welfare programs, public schools, low-cost housing, etc.—services most of these women will need if they carry a child to term. They can’t have it both ways. Either they support reproductive-health education in the schools and communities, or they support the social-welfare system so that it can adequately take care of the babies they want to “save.”
—Beverly Rice , Charlotte, N.C.
Though Debbie Nathan’s article was well intentioned, I found it to be surprisingly classist and racist and damaging to the pro-choice feminist movement. I almost feel like the caption to one of the photos should have read, “Here is Sara’s guest bed in her swanky New York apartment, where she lets poor, undereducated black women sleep for the night while she lies awake in the other room worrying that they are going to steal all her stuff, so now please pat her on the back.”
—Jennifer Judd-McGee , Portland, Maine
In his column about the presidential prospects of John McCain and Rudolph Giuliani, John Heilemann writes that the two men share similar strengths, one of which is heroism [“ The Power Grid: N.Y.’s Favorite Republicans ,” December 19]. How could one equate McCain’s five and a half years in a Vietnamese POW camp with Giuliani’s grandstanding performance during and after 9/11? The true heroes on that day were the policemen and firemen who risked their lives. It’s scandalous the way Giuliani has used 9/11 to cash in. Regardless, it’s unlikely that the Evangelical Christians who influence the Republican Party would ever vote for an adulterer who flaunted his affairs with Cristyne Lategano and Judi Nathan while in office.
—Reba Shimansky, Manhattan
Your “Time-Traveler’s Handbook” [by Rebecca Cascade, December 12] starts in 1960. What about all of us loyal New York Magazine readers who fell in love with and got hooked on the city in the fifties? Who among us “oldies” can forget the incredibly realistic and poignant Naked City TV series filmed on location in New York, or Breakfast at Tiffany’s, in the early sixties, which brought out the Holly Golightly in all of us and captured the incomparable thrill and glamour of living in New York? Both were portrayals of a city that made many of us living elsewhere know that we absolutely, positively had to live in New York. We moved there as fast as we could. (I did in the sixties, and again in the eighties.) Some of us made it big, some of us didn’t, but we all luxuriated in the feeling that we were living in the center of the world.
—Claude M. Gruener, Austin, Texas
The world would be a better place if there were fewer phonies like Belmont Freeman telling the rest of us how to live [“The Time-Traveler’s Handbook: A Day in the Nineties,” by Rebecca Cascade, December 12]. While chasing the less acquisitive life, Mr. Freeman makes sure we know about his Miele G843 dishwasher with the hidden knobs and the iconic Jil Sander techno suit that he “cherishes.” A $20 Mali mud cloth, my eye!
—Martha Levsky, Manhattan
I saw the orgy scene depicted on your “ Sex: The State of Play ” cover [November 21]. I thought “play” was supposed to be fun. I’ve never seen so many bored faces. Not one smile. Pity to be so young and so bored with sex. Too much of a good thing, perhaps?
—Barbara Simpson , San Francisco, Calif.
I object to the false stereotyping of polyamorists in “The New Monogamy" [by Em & Lo, November 21]. Polyamorists certainly aren’t all hippies. We include many different kinds of people, from many different social classes, with many different personalities and hair lengths. We live all over, not just in San Francisco. There are even
local organizations for polyamorists in New York, TriState Poly and Polyamorous NYC. And are couples really avoiding polyamory for such superficial reasons?
I hope they have deeper reasons for their decision to be monogamous.
—Diane Vera, Queens