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LETTERS to the Editor

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Abortion a Tough Road

You guys must keep Michael Graham ("Choosing Ignorance," Views, April 4) just to make sure angry e-mails get sent. I can't even be sure he takes himself seriously. To suggest that people choosing to get abortions are "clueless" makes him much more deserving of the label. Nobody is excited about heading into an abortion clinic, not least the women making the decision. They are blindsided with more thoughts, emotions, and scenarios to consider than Graham, whose most stressful life decision must have been whether or not to pay the extra five bucks and get a better haircut for his file photo. What is the point in giving them an "extra chance" to change their minds when they already made the soul-rending decision to terminate? 

As for your "alive" argument, do you know who else is alive and actually "has a life?" The mother, the baby's father, the families of the mother and father, and their surrounding communities. Judging by your past writings, I believe you would deny that mother and father government assistance when they can't afford to raise the baby, thus pushing its upbringing onto the families who may or may not want/care/be able to assist themselves.

Mr. Graham, it's people like you who endlessly make excuses for the status quo while having zero experience with the burden it places on "the rest of us." Why don't you do your readers all a favor: pull the silver spoon out of your ass and lick it.

Daniel Daugherty
Mt. Pleasant

Bridge Run Buzzkill

I wanted to first of all say how great it was to be part of the 30th Annual Cooper River Bridge Run. It is an amazing event each year, but a few minor bumps seem to take place every year. I would like to take a moment to address two of them.

First of all, to those runners who think it is a great idea to get the toddler involved by running with them in a stroller — get a babysitter! It is not cute, we are not impressed that you shelled out $500 for a hybrid stroller and few of us are looking at you in admiration for getting your kid involved. We are annoyed at your disregard for other runners and your refusal to follow the rules.

Secondly, to the walkers who choose to walk in the runners' zone (and this population increases every year), as you are aware, there is a zone that is created especially for you. Use it. And if you choose to walk with the runners, be prepared to be given a lot of nasty looks and to be told to get the hell out of the way. And don't look surprised and offended when you do get this reaction from runners because you cannot be that oblivious.

Hopefully, these two groups will take this constructive criticism to heart and it will make the 2008 Cooper River Bridge Run more enjoyable and safer for everyone.

Craig Forte
Daniel Island

Second Chances

Brad Richardson was very lucky to get a kidney transplant ("Second Life," April 11). Over half of the 96,000 Americans on the national waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year. Over 6,000 of their neighbors die every year as a result.

There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage ­— give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die. Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't prepared to share the gift of life should go to the back of the transplant waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition. LifeSharers has 8,401 members, including 124 members in South Carolina.

David J. Undis
Executive Director
LifeSharers
www.lifesharers.org
Nashville, TN

Walk the Walk

I am beyond being annoyed with how a no-smoking ordinance is given lip service and not much else in Mt. Pleasant. Mayor Hallman and other council members can say they are in support until they are blue in the face like the rest of us but the fact is they keep putting it off as long as possible, coming up with thinly veiled excuses not to act. That is not leadership. That is stepping aside, allowing those who are opposed to such a law protecting public health and who do not care how others are affected to gain momentum and justification for their lawsuits. That is being afraid to stand up for what is right and in the interest of our families, friends, and citizens, and waiting for others to make the decision for them just so they can say they didn't want to waste taxpayer money (when free legal defense has already been offered — but they are OK with spending thousands on a "Welcome to Mt. Pleasant" sign?) It sends a message to those in Columbia who would let tobacco money buy their votes to deny food and beverage workers the right to a decent workplace environment and the public's heath, that they can get away with it. Why does Mt. Pleasant always have to be the last to do something? Mt. Pleasant — get your priorities straight! Stand up for what you know is right! Stop saying one thing and doing another. Protect everyone in their workplace. If tobacco and Glenn McConnell have anything to say about it, Columbia sure isn't going to do it.

Allison V. Tysinger
Mt. Pleasant

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