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October 31, 2012

News and Tribune letters: Oct. 31, 2012

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> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Reader sides with Mourdock’s statement

Several days ago, I read of comments by Richard Mourdock about abortions in cases of rape. Initially, I thought he had ruined his chances for election. But still, somehow I thought he might just be right, although unpopular in his opinion and the way he stated it. I hesitated to read all the commentary about it as I tried to gather my own thoughts.

Tonight, I watched a PBS documentary, “Broadway: The American Musical.” The program included a segment about Ethel Waters, for those who don’t know, a great star of the Broadway stage from the 1930s and ’40s. Waters was the first African-American to appear in a major Broadway production in 1930 and also the highest-paid star of her time. You can read more about this amazing woman on the Internet, but read the caption below that tells what I heard on the program.

Ethel Waters was born in Chester, Pa., on Oct. 31, 1896, as a result of the rape of her teenaged mother, Louise Anderson (believed to have been 13 years old at the time, although some sources indicate she may have been slightly older) by John Waters, a pianist and family acquaintance from a mixed-race, middle-class background, who played no role in raising Ethel.

1. Ethel Waters was raised in poverty and never lived in the same place for more than 15 months. She said of her difficult childhood, “I never was a child. I never was cuddled, or liked, or understood by my family.”

2. Waters, Ethel; Samuels, Charles T. (1951). His Eye on the Sparrow: An Autobiography. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc..

Is this the kind of person that Mourdock’s opponents would like to eliminate from our society? I myself was adopted by the most loving and wonderful parents anyone could have. I know little about my birth parents and don’t really care to more. Could be that I am a result of rape? Could be that I might have been aborted rather than adopted?.

I think Mourdock is right. Birth parents make conscience decisions to procreate or maybe they encounter terrible unfortunate circumstances. Unborn children do not. The Democrats may well have spent $1.1 million educating unwed mothers rather than opposing Mourdock.

— J. Tim Lynch, Jeffersonville

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