Are They Worth It?
After reading your cover story about who makes what (PEOPLE, March 25), all I can add is that when it comes to entertainers, athletes and politicians, this country should enact a maximum wage law!
North Palm Beach, Fla.
What are you trying to do with my dignity? I work in a factory 40 hours a week, sweating my little heart out for meager pay, and then you've got the gall to report that Alex, the Stroh's beer dog, makes $317.40 for a day's work. They say it's a dog's life, and I'm beginning to believe it.
Dolores A. Crull
Pauls Valley, Okla.
Child of Rape
I find it sadly ironic that a woman who is trying to have a "healthy mother-daughter relationship" with her child is also trying to sue because medication prescribed for her failed to rid her of this same child. I felt sympathy for Helen and what she had been through as a result of the rape that made her pregnant. However my sympathy ran out when I read that she felt her $250,000 award was too low and is now asking $1.5 million. What will hurt this child more as she grows up: the knowledge that her life was a result of a violent action by a man or the fact that her mother sued because she was not eliminated before birth?
I say bravo to Helen for standing her ground and letting her beautiful little girl live. When pregnancy occurs as the result of rape, it doesn't pay to add the violence of abortion on top of the violence that has already taken place. Not to mention the feelings of guilt and anguish suffered because the woman knows she has killed her own child. Thus the rape claims two victims.
Santa Rosa, Calif.
Why not sue the rapist? Why sue the doctor who treated Helen properly and tried to help? Doctors are people too. What about Dr. Julio Novoa's family? Have they been devastated by this trial? Probably. And don't forget that every person who goes to a doctor or a hospital will be paying for this trial. Win or lose, the defense costs are staggering, and a doctor's only source of income is patient fees. The tragedy of the woman and child is evident, but her solution, along with its battery of attorneys, courts, juries and judges, is ludicrous. I have three sons, a mother, work hard and am conscientious. I would have given the girl exactly the same advice as Dr. Novoa did, and I could be the one pictured in PEOPLE. America has got to understand that doctors are willing to be responsible for their actions, but they can't be responsible for every abnormal baby, rape, car accident and shooting. We do honestly try to help most of the time.
Marilyn Christensen, M.D.
As a 28-year-old single parent of nearly seven years, I can hardly sympathize with Helen's financial problems. She quit a $22,000-a-year job because she felt "unable to juggle full-time work and motherhood." I never had the luxury of even thinking about quitting my job. If I wanted to keep my child, I had to work to pay the bills that go along with children. And I certainly didn't have $10,000 to withdraw from a retirement fund or the prospect of money from a lawsuit to depend on for security. The manner in which Helen became pregnant was horrible, but having made the decision to keep her baby, she should accept the realities that go with that decision.
North Liberty, Iowa
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Thank you for the wonderful article on Stevie Ray Vaughan. And thank you, Stevie, for turning my ears on to some of the finest music to come around for a long time. As long as you're playing, the blues will never die.
I've come to realize two things about war: It's a dirty damn business, and not everybody was a hero in Nam. That seems to be the direction this country wishes to take: glorifying war and making a hero out of those who were in Nam. However after spending six months in the bush as a grunt medic, I can't be fooled. I'm no hero and not everybody there was a hero. There were roughly 2.8 million soldiers in Nam, and less than one-fifth, the grunts, saw combat. Even some of those were nerds; I knew a couple myself. Who were the other four-fifths? Those who made up the rear echelon, living the life of air-conditioned billets, hot meals every day, ice cream and pizza stands, massage parlors, the black market—dirty dogs, every one of them. I do appreciate your Vietnam coverage. When you recognize the grunt, you're recognizing me.
Stephen D. Lutz
I read with interest your story on Naomi Bronstein, the woman who was a volunteer adoption worker in Vietnam. You ran a photograph of the anguish on her face as she worked at the crash site of a plane that left Saigon carrying 240 orphans. That picture brought back a lot of memories. Our daughter arrived in the Baby Lift two days after that terrible crash, and she has been such a joy to our family. Despite being extremely weak and sick upon her arrival at 11 months, she is a beautiful and very bright young lady of 10½ today.
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