There weren't many complaints about our choice of Tom Cruise as Sexiest Man Alive (PEOPLE, July 23), but as usual, dissident readers nominated their husbands, brothers—even brothers-in-law—and one demanded equal time for women. Among celebrities, readers suggested a variety of alternatives, including Patrick Swayze, Ken Wahl, Richard Gere, Denzel Washington, Jon Bon Jovi, Kevin Costner, Don Henley and Michael Bolton.

THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE
With my grocery cart full, I headed for the checkout stand. That's where I spotted him. Across the crowded lines I saw that smile. In the background, "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" was playing softly. I took a deep breath, bit my lip and walked toward him. Our eyes met and I said, "You're coming home with me." I proceeded to rip him right off the rack! The waiting is over. Finally the sexiest man alive ever is PEOPLE'S Sexiest Man Alive.
Tami Lee Dingman
Highland, Mich.

If Tom Cruise was not chosen Sexiest Man Alive this year, I vowed to use all my savings to buy my own magazine and have him as Sexiest Man Ever. Thanks, PEOPLE! With all that money saved, my kids can now go to college.
JoAnn King
Guantánamo Bay, Cuba

Bravo! You hit the nail on the head—a head with hair.
Corey Tyler
Weston, Conn.

Tom Cruise's smile is a little off. Tell him we'll do the necessary orthodontic treatment for free. We figure our increase in female patients will be worth it.
The Office Staff of Dr. Roy Parle
Simi Valley, Calif.

Tom looked so fine on your cover I was tempted to buy 100 copies to use as wallpaper!
Nancy Lenox
Rockwell, Texas

She who hesitates is lost.—ED.

PREGNANT TEENAGERS AND ABORTION
Too bad the 33 states with parental notification-and-consent abortion laws couldn't pass legislation that would require parents to be notified whenever their teenagers were about to have sex. It's an absurd idea, but at least the goal would be more protective than punishing. Let's work at preventing teenage pregnancy and eliminating the need for safe, legal abortion before we restrict access to it.
Gayle Garrabrendt
Toms River, N.J.

The father of the teenager who died as a result of an abortion is right when he said we're killing our children—we're killing our unborn children. His daughter didn't have to have an abortion. She also didn't have to have sex. Abortion is not birth control. Someone should tell that man that two people in his family died—his daughter and his grandchild.
Jennifer M. Coleman
Parma Heights, Ohio

I am offended by the Welches' description of their beautiful Emily as a "mistake." This child's conception may have been a mistake, but her birth and life are a blessing. I am grateful that my children's birth mothers gave them life and chose my husband and me to receive the gift of parenthood.
Jane Reynolds Thayer
New Orleans

Heather Pearson's statement, "I made a mistake but I took responsibility for it," is ridiculous. She took the easy way out by having an abortion. I admire the Louisiana legislators for not buckling under political pressures and passing the toughest abortion law in the country. I hope the 49 other states will follow suit.
Kay Smith
Poplarville, Miss.

Last week, Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer vetoed the bill, which is now back in the hands of the legislators.—ED.

When the Supreme Court rules that states can require unwed teenage boys (as well as their girlfriends) to notify their parents before an abortion, only then will this ruling be fair. And when men are forced to share in the humiliation and guilt of out-of-wedlock births and are required to give time and financial support to their offspring, then will it be fair for men to dictate to women that they cannot have abortions.
Melinda Johnson
Galt, Calif.

We live in the land of the free, yet a woman's right to a safe, legal abortion is still at stake? To think that this right was put into law in 1973 and almost 20 years later could be taken away is unbelievable. This is not a moral issue or a political issue. It is nobody else's damn business but the woman's.
Denise Dubose Simms
Liberty, Mo.

I love my daughter deeply and shudder to think that she could be "counseled" by someone who is only giving her part of the story. I do not want anyone to have the right to make decisions concerning my daughter without my knowledge, and I would hope that our relationship will be open enough that she will come to me with any problems. I believe in parental-consent laws and think every state should have one.
Jan Elfe
Jackson, Miss.