updated 06/12/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/12/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Your story on the "Central Park Outrage" (PEOPLE, May 22) should outrage people not because it happened to a white woman but because it happened at all. A message must go to these young men, their families and their friends that it is not okay to beat and rape someone because "it's fun." If getting the message across to every person in this country means instituting the death penalty, even for teenagers, then Americans should have no qualms about doing so.
Rapid City, S.Dak.
I am sick and tired of hearing about the Central Park rape case. While I feel sorry for the victim of the vicious attack, I am fed up with the mouthings of Donald Trump and Pat Buchanan, as well as the rest of the media. People who live in cities like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles are raped and killed every day, and the public never hears a word about it because the victims are either too poor or the wrong color for Donald Trump and the media to worry about. I really do not believe that it is the crime itself that all "concerned" people are so upset about. It is the fact that wealthy white people are realizing that they are no longer exempt from the fear and horror that others live with daily.
The gang-rape in Central Park is not about rich vs. poor or black vs. white. It is a brutal statement about how some men or boys feel about women. Women are seen as sex objects or pieces of meat in every aspect of our society. The jogger was just a receptacle to these kids and nothing more. An attractive, intelligent black MBA female jogger would have served the same purpose for them.
New York City
Consider this: The Central Park jogger would not have been a victim had she been armed with an AK-47 equipped with a 35-round magazine.
Jeffrey H. Ferguson
God knows, the attack on the Central Park jogger was inexcusable and heinous, but as a former Central Park jogger myself, I could not dismiss an obvious question: Why would she repeatedly do such a stupid thing—running alone late at night in the park? It's tantamount to dodging oncoming traffic.
Denise M. David
For some time I've been sitting on the fence with regard to the rights of the mother to do what she pleases with her own body and the rights of an unborn child. Your article about Norma McCorvey muddies the waters even more. On one hand, we have a mother who has three children and raises none of them. Speaking as an adopted child myself, I certainly hope they fared better than I did. One thing I do know, if Ms. McCorvey and her sisters for abortion really practiced what they preached, they would care enough about their bodies not to hand themselves around like a canapé at a cocktail party, and then the problem of whether to have an abortion or not would be moot, wouldn't it?
West Chester, Pa.
Last night I watched Roe vs. Wade. The decision legalizing abortion may have come too late for Jane Roe, but thanks to her it wasn't too late for me. At 23, I found out I was pregnant. I was shocked because I was very careful about using birth control. I had just broken up with my boyfriend, I could barely survive alone on my salary, my parents had been killed in an accident four years earlier. If I had the baby, I knew I would never be able to turn it over to strangers. I had no one to turn to, and there was no other solution. I had the abortion. Six years later I have a new life. I moved to another city, married a wonderful man, and I am attending college. I have never regretted the decision I made. I'm in control of my life now, and I appreciate where I am versus where I might have been. I'm pregnant again. The doctor tells me it's going to be a little girl. I want her to have everything life has to offer—including the right to make a choice.
Norma McCorvey says, "It's the hardest thing in the world to give up a child," yet she has managed to give up three. McCorvey doesn't know what hard is. Hard is getting up several times in the middle of the night to comfort and clean up after a sick child. Hard is indulgently listening to our children's incessant chatter and being interested in it. Hard is struggling to pay for all the doctor and dentist bills that are always piling up. Hard is taking a backseat and devoting at least 18 years of putting our children first and keeping them happy no matter what the cost. This is something I doubt Ms. McCorvey has ever done. But I pity her. Because despite all the trials of motherhood, the rewards are returned a hundredfold.
Although my view on abortion is pro-choice, I find it very ironic that Norma McCorvey is now earnestly searching for the child she fought so hard to abort.
Marianne E. Magid
New York City