updated 08/26/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/26/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

My heart aches for Ali MacGraw (PEOPLE, Aug. 5) and her two children. I must take issue with the rationales she gives for the "morality" of her abortion. She questions when the soul enters an unborn child and says that no one can pass judgment on a woman if she has an abortion until it can be proved when the soul enters the unborn child. Utilizing this philosophy, one can conclude that it would be morally permissible to kill children and adults, such as in the Jewish Holocaust, until it can be proved that the soul actually exists and that those individuals possess one.

She also says that the quality of life of our children should be our concern, and that they need "food, shelter, and education." All of those needs can be met when a child is given adoptive parents. These children are wanted.
Don S. Curry
Eager, Ariz.

Thank God someone finally documented a woman's view! Abortion has been a private, secret pain for many women. It's not something you talk about over tea. I am so relieved Ali MacGraw had the courage to talk about it. It has helped me invaluably.
Ilsa M. Gough
Albuquerque, N.Mex.

The arguments against abortion and for choice are as numerous as the women who must make that decision. This country was founded on the fundamental belief of self-determination. Given that, the answer can only be to let each woman have the choice that is right in her circumstances.
David R. Fairbaugh

I find President Reagan's stance on the issue of abortion contradictory considering he has helped our nation amass enough nuclear weaponry to blast every man, woman and child off the face of the earth. Why is it that Right-to-Lifers are often the ones who are also anti gun control, pro nuclear weaponry and pro capital punishment? There is something basically wrong in placing such high value on the life inside a woman's womb, and yet giving no thought at all to the life of the woman. Shouldn't life at all stages be equally valuable and important?
Name Withheld
Oxnard, Calif.

Who picked all the liberals to poll? Your reporting was very biased. How did President Reagan ever get voted into office if your poll is correct? The abortion issue was one of the most important issues of his campaign.
Lori Long
Keller, Texas

Your feature on abortion could not have come at a better time. I'm recuperating from the birth of a child, a child I gave up for adoption. I was able to choose and meet the family and am very happy about my decision. I'm 17 and in no way capable of the responsibility of a child. I considered an abortion but just couldn't find a good enough reason. I'm not against abortion but do believe more should follow my path. It's worth it!
Name Withheld
Santa Barbara, Calif.

That men can just walk away emotionally and/ or physically from unwanted/ unplanned pregnancies and never be condemned is the most disgusting thought of all.
Margaret A. Jones
Fort Calhoun, Nebr.

What I had hoped would be a fairly presented piece on both sides of the issue became little more than the same old pro-abortion propaganda.
Clare Byrnes

I definitely had been a pro-choice person. After reading your article, I'm riding a very fine line between the two. I was totally disgusted by six of your stories. I cannot comprehend how there can be so many stupid, irresponsible women out there. We need courses to teach parents how to talk to their children about sex, and more and earlier sex education courses in schools.
Mrs. Robert Wakelin
Wiscasset, Maine

According to the National Committee for Adoption, two million prospective adoptive couples in this country desperately want to cherish and nurture your child. And nationwide, toll-free crisis pregnancy hotlines can connect you with financial assistance, pregnancy counseling, foster care, adoption services and more—all provided by caring people who want to help you and your baby. If you accept their help, countless childless couples will thank you. So will your baby. I know. I'm an adopted child.
Tammy Rutgers
Sheboygan, Wis.

Republicans would like the federal government out of the private sector. Yet they'd like to reverse the Roe vs. Wade decision and monitor the individual's moral position on abortion. But while they seek to convince us that abortion is wrong, they are removing federal funding from family planning groups, reducing aid for women with dependent children and making it harder for the poor to have quality pre-and postnatal care. Consider our high infant mortality rate.
Linda McNamara
Ridgewood, N.J.

Your abortion article was most revealing, with almost everyone talking about my career, my plans, my relationship, my other child's chances. The bottom line is usually selfishness—I don't have time for you, I don't want to be inconvenienced, I don't want the embarrassment. It is really no wonder that our world is so abortion-mad since we have become such a materialistic society more concerned about the so-called quality of life (better known as financial and social status) than we are about the sanctity of life.
William F. Welsh
Desert Hot Springs, Calif.

Unfortunately at this time women cannot perfectly control their fertility. When one considers rape (marital or otherwise), incest, contraceptive failure and menopausal pregnancies, it is hard to believe we have freedom of choice. Because we don't. Until we have the freedom of choice to decide when to get pregnant, we should at least be able to have the freedom of choice to decide when to stay pregnant.
Name Withheld
Champaign, Ill.

Over the course of my single years I had to cope with three unwanted pregnancies. My solution to each was abortion. They were not decisions I felt good about, but I never felt I was taking a life. I am married now with two beautiful daughters. With both of these planned pregnancies, I was overjoyed and considered the fetuses to be "living babies" from the moment I discovered I was pregnant. The hypocrisy in my reasoning hit me like a thunderbolt. I have since felt a great deal of guilt for the abortions and for my lack of responsibility in preventing the pregnancies. I would not tell another woman that abortion should not be an option for her, but it will never again be one for me.
Page Machaby
Orange Park, Fla.

Kim Basinger
Your article on the S&M movie 9½ Weeks was a good example of how the media continues to victimize women. In reference to the photo featuring Kim Basinger in chains, the writer begins with, "Wipe the steam off your spectacles and look again." Obviously, to view a woman in bondage is supposed to be a turn-on.
Carolyn Lacy McLain

Bob Geldof
Thank you for your article on Bob Geldof. It's about time this man got the credit he deserves for being bold, stubborn and relentless in his struggle to overcome the bureaucratic barriers that are causing millions of Africans to starve. Bob Geldof has made me—and thousands of others—realize that one person can make a difference.
Kristin Gordy
Westfield, Mass.

Although I was elated that NASA honored a female with the privilege of becoming the first "average citizen" to go up in space, I was disappointed with New Hampshire Sen. Warren Rudman's well-meaning but condescending reference to Christa McAuliffe as an "...extremely competent girl." Mrs. McAuliffe is a 36-year-old woman. My 14-year-old sister is a girl. If the Senator isn't aware of the vast difference, then perhaps he should thank the people of New Hampshire for electing a mere boy to the Senate.
Julie Remington-Peck
Lake Mary, Fla.

Christa McAuliffe's comment that she will be recording the experience of housekeeping in space is a giant step back for all women.
Valerie J. Nelson
Wahpeton, N.Dak.

It's about time these religious fanatics leave rock 'n' roll alone. I haven't seen or heard of any religious groups, or country bands for that matter, getting together for a cause like Live Aid. And I certainly didn't see Pat Boone spend $11,000 in transportation fees to go there as Tina Turner did. Could it be that he's jealous because no one asked him to attend?
Tami Ashley
Mullens, W.Va.

Where in the heck does Pat Boone get off on saying Duran Duran is demonic? They're about as demonic as his self-righteous image.
Lisa Lea
Springfield, Mo.

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