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It isn't often that I feel so strongly compelled to respond to a letter published in the Readers' Forum, but "Pro-fetus position is not pro-life" by Albert G. Smith, printed July 13, begs for a rebuttal.

The writer took the position that the pro-life movement is unconcerned about the "quality of life" of today's children and implicitly stated that the pro-abortion position is the more compassionate approach to the plight of "unwanted" children.Mr. Smith attempted to support this position by pointing to the fact that most pro-life advocates do not support the carte-blanche entitlement programs of the U.S. government.

One of the most insidious implications of advancing a "quality of life" argument in favor of abortion is this: Who gets to decide if an unborn child's potential for a "quality life" is so limited that it is more "humane" to take the life of that child? The obvious answer is that no one is qualified to make such a choice.

To consign a child to a predetermined fate is to ignore mankind's ability to transcend his or her "disadvantages" and go on to make profound contributions to the human race, as in the case of Helen Keller.

It is true that the pro-life movement is peopled by those of a conservative political persuasion and that many do not support the liberal's intuitive solution of throwing government largess at society's problems. It is, however, not true that this bespeaks a calloused disregard for the well-being of America's children.

I found it interesting that Mr. Smith attempted to connect a lack of federal funding with generational resentment. I have witnessed with my own eyes the rage and resentment that come from robbing a man of his dignity and potential for achievement by subduing him with government programs.

In the large Midwestern city I grew up in, there was no end to ribbon-cutting ceremonies at federally funded urban housing projects. Without exception, these projects became havens for the very crime and resentment Mr. Smith wrote of in his letter.

It could scarcely have been otherwise since the message that went along with these government programs was "since you obviously can't do for yourself, the government will do for you." Conservatives don't rush to support more federal social spending principally because such funding doesn't solve the problems it is earmarked to address.

Concerning Mr. Smith's comments about the "high moral ground" belonging to the pro-abortion movement: Such arguments were also put forth by the Third Reich as a justification for liquidating patients in mental and infirmary wards in Germany in the late 1930s.

Many proponents of Roe vs. Wade argued that if abortion were legalized, many crimes against children would go away since fewer "unwanted" children would be born. This has proven to be patently untrue. Incidents of child abuse are higher today than at any other time.

As we continually devalue human life, not just through abortion but through the glorification of violence in entertainment, the depersonalization of women through pornography, the euthanistic escapades of "Dr. Death," etc., all of us must eventually pay a heavy price.

American society's current fascination with value-free ethics and with "choices" without consequences will come back to haunt us as our children learn only too well the lessons we give them.

All human life is precious, irreplaceable and intrinsically valuable in the sight of God, and until American society understands and is prepared to live out this universal truth, we will continue to see the moral and social collapse we are currently experiencing.

Kevin R. Hill

West Jordan