For an organization that supposedly advocates choice, Utahns For Choice has a funny way of putting it into practice.

A recent mailing from the organization resulted in unneeded controversy as it was sent to a number of Utah residents who are pro-life and who don't want to be identified with a group that is in favor of abortion. Yet, unless those people call Utahns For Choice and ask for their names to be removed, they will continue to get what to them is junk mail. How many will even read the letter far enough to know they need to respond to get off the mailing list?Either the mailing should have been handled another way or it shouldn't have taken place. Forcing a recipient to take action to be removed from a list he or she was never on in the first place is wrong whether it be for a political action group or a book or record club. How would those in Utahns For Choice like it if they received mailers indicating they would be on a pro-Nazi Party mailing list unless they called to have their names removed?

Nothing's wrong with the organization's attempt to enlarge its membership. The letter says one of the goals of Utahns For Choice this year is to expand its voter-identification base. The group, according to its executive director, Beverley Cooper, spent a year compiling a list of people. Names were solicited from current members and others, the criteria being that perhaps the recipients of the mailing would share Utahns For Choice's concern over women's reproductive issues.

Obviously not enough care was taken with people targeted for membership. A number of women called the Deseret News to complain. Instead of requiring a call to get off the mailing list, why not mandate one to stay on it? That way Utahns For Choice would know who is interested in that organization. That might result in fewer names on the mailing list but it would be a much more open approach and wouldn't result in the current animosity.

In fact, there should have been a statement in the letter to the effect that, "if you are not interested in our organization please accept our apologies for sending this mailing to you. As stated elsewhere in the letter, your name will be dropped from future mailing lists unless you call to indicate otherwise."

Not helping the matter was the fact that on one of the pages of the letter the telephone number of the organization was listed incorrectly.

But none of that would have mattered if Utahns For Choice had made the right choice in the first place, before the mailing.