Is Smith Trying to Squeeze Readers Into a Slot?

RECEIVED Thu., Sept. 11, 2008

Dear Editor,
    While I can appreciate the frustration Jordan Smith voices about a funding bump for a pregnancy care network that provides no significant health services while siphoning money from other outfits that do, I also can't help but wonder if the extensive use of scare quotes throughout this article is trying to squeeze the reader into a particular slot on these issues without allowing a pause for some actual critical engagement ["Anti-Abortionists Want More Health-Care Money," News, Sept. 5]. Allow me to speak for the bureaucratically naive: It is entirely outrageous to hope that the state might find a way to support poor pregnant women with a full slate of services, including prenatal care; insurance; counseling on basic parenting issues like nutrition; when to call the doctor; how to arrange a home, a schedule, and a checking account around a new baby; and also (are you sitting down?) on alternatives to abortion. Granted that advice with no financial or social support is like watching your child open a 10,000-piece Millennium Falcon Lego set for Christmas, mailed from the uncle who just moved to Cairo … still, is there some tacit warrant for the assumption in this article that the state couldn't pay for her trip to the doctor and pay for her trip to the abortion alternatives counselor?
Anthony D. Baker
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