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The July 5 letter “Child also suffers from rules,” in response to Lawrence J. Korb’s July 4 column “System again violates female GI rape victims,” demonstrates an unfortunate lack of reasoned moral clarity.

Indeed, Korb himself provided a very heartfelt example of how emotion is substituted for reason. There is no doubt that just handling rape cases falls egregiously short of what it should in the military. It is, to be sure, a horrible crime, and the victims of rape carry that damage, to some degree, for the rest of their lives. The moral confusion, however, comes when the answer to pregnancies occurring from rape is abortion.

Clearly stated, rape is a serious crime. The culpable party for the crime is the rapist — the moral actor who made the choice to commit the crime. According to Korb, (whether or not the rapist is prosecuted) we should exercise capital punishment on the individual who had absolutely no guilt or choice whatsoever in the crime, namely the unborn child. According to that argument, being inconvenient to a servicewoman’s career or the fact that the innocent child is the product of an unforgettable crime warrants the capital punishment of the child. One wonders how anyone, particularly the victim mother, will have her memory of the crime assuaged by victimizing another innocent and wholly defenseless person. And yet Korb’s moral confusion proscribes just that, and demands the military endorse it.

The letter writer asks: Does anybody understand how difficult or complex it can be to face children carried to term and given up for adoption, who may seek out the parent later? This is a real concern. But does the possibility of a difficult question in the future justify executing the innocent child by abortion to allay the possibility?

As the parent of an adopted child, I understand very well the trepidation of answering the eventual questions. The letter writer asks: “What do you say to that person?” How about the truth? How about we cultivate the character to meet the evils that beset us with courage and grace, and the wisdom to prosecute only the guilty while preserving the victims with as much care as we are able?

Let’s tackle the real culprits — the criminals who commit rape, and the broken procedural system that abets them.

Dwight C. Upton

Kuwait

Encourage adoption instead

I take offense to the premise of the argument presented in the July 5 letter “Child also suffers from rules.” The writer’s argument is that a woman who becomes pregnant as the result of assault who carries her child to term and gives him or her up for adoption “must be forced to cause more damage to the next generation.” What a selfish, shortsighted and narrow-minded argument.

My wife and I, like more than a few couples in the military, have been unable to have children. Just more than a year ago we found out, after two years of patiently going through the Tricare system for treatment for infertility, that my wife’s tubes are blocked with scar tissue, and that the only way we can have children is through in vitro fertilization (IVF) or through adoption. IVF, of course, requires significant out-of-pocket expenses, which the Defense Department will assist with — assuming you make it through the two-to-three-year wait. Adoption takes even longer.

DOD, to my knowledge, does not provide financial assistance for couples seeking to adopt. Under the pretense of the letter writer’s argument, aborting a child causes far less damage than the future possibility of that child seeking out the birth mother and having to hear what really happened. That’s basically saying, “Sir, I know you and your wife desperately want children, but you should be denied the opportunity to be parents because of the chance that the child might someday want to track down his mother and find out the horrible truth behind his conception.”

Instead of shouting for a need for DOD to provide funding for abortions (under the guise of “rights”), we should encourage DOD to work harder at empowering stable and loving families regardless of genetics. My wife and I don’t care what our children would look like, as long as they call us Mom and Dad. How could that possibly cause more damage to anyone?

Maj. David Franz

Baghdad


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