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'Music Scene for Dimwits,' 'Reflections from Columbia'

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I agree with Mark Lynch: start shows earlier, especially on week days ("The Charlotte Music Scene for Dimwits," May 30). Some of us do work.

And start on time. Club owners should not let bands dictate when they go on, 30 minutes late in many cases.

More "No Smoking" venues (e.g., Evening Muse). Only 20 percent of us smoke. That leaves 80 percent who really don't want to be around the stuff.

-- Bill Herrington, Charlotte

Republican Smoke Screen

Thank you for commenting ("Reflections from Columbia," by Karen Shugart, May 23) on Rudy Giuliani's statement that "There are people, millions and millions of Americans, who are as of good conscience as we are, who make a different choice about abortion."

I am an abortion provider, and I take care of the women, men and their families that are faced with deciding what to do when being pregnant is not good news at all. The same woman that has an abortion is the same woman that gives birth to a child, just at a different time in her life. I am shocked when I hear people talk about the women who decide to have an abortion as if they are shiftless party girls just carelessly sauntering in for a little surgery. My experience of how a woman comes to this very personal decision shows me that her heart is very clearly in working order. Couples come in who have counseled with their ministers and preachers, praying together for guidance. The anti-choice protestors have abortions; our Republican elected officials and their families have abortions. Preachers themselves bring their wives, daughters and a few bring their girlfriends. Forty-three percent of all of us American women have had or will have an abortion during our child-bearing years. We as women have the responsibility to decide when and how to bring life into this world because we are the door. I don't see people taking this lightly.

I speak up every time I hear the stupidity, OK, maybe ignorance, of someone saying, "If they would just use birth control ..." or "If you play, you have to pay." Women get pregnant who have never missed a pill. We see this every day, not to mention all the other method failures. And pay? What planet are they from? Having a child should not be called some kind of penalty. How we bring our children into this world is one of the most important things we humans do. No one wants to be pregnant when they feel they cannot have a child. It's not as simple as "just give it to someone who wants it" as if it were a kitten. We refer for adoption also and it is a blessing when that works, but women are not breeding stock and should not be forced to carry a child and give it away. The suggestion of that should scare all of us.

The scariest thing to me is that the protestors in front of my office want to outlaw birth control in America. I asked them if they thought condoms should be illegal too, and the reply was, "Now Deborah, you know condoms are evil." Their signs say "Birth Control Pills Are Murder!" and "Use Self Control Not Birth Control."

So please, do not let people put their shame on you if you are among the millions of American families who make the decision that should be between you and God. Their finger-pointing is a smoke screen.

-- Deborah Walsh, Charlotte

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