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More at issue than life of fetus

A statement in your article on the recent Pro-Life rally ["MIT Pro-Lifers rally on eve of march", April 11] needs great clarification, otherwise people have good reason to be upset.

When I stated, "We do not support the ERA [Equal Rights Amendment]," I meant that the Pro-Life stance is not to support the amendment without clarifying language to make it neutral on abortion. Both pro-life and pro-abortion lawyers agree that the ERA, in its present form, would be interpreted by the Supreme Court as encompassing abortion rights. Motions in Congress to add abortion-neutral clauses have been rejected.

We reject the ERA in its present form, without an abortion-neutral clause.

My other very serious concern is the article's claim that Roe v. Wade "legalized abortion in the first trimester." This statement is incomplete to the point of being simply false. The decision prohibits abortion restrictions at any stage of pregnancy where the mother's "health" is concerned. But footnote 54 of the decision leaves the legal definition of "health" so broad that any excuse at all can be interpreted as a health justification. Babies are routinely aborted for economic reasons, or simply because they are not of the desired gender. Thousands of abortions are legally performed for these reasons in the second and third trimester. So abortion on demand for any reason during all nine months of pregnancy was in reality granted by Roe v. Wade. This point must be made very clear.

Chris B. Papineau '90->

Assistant Vice President,->

MIT Pro-Life->