To the editors:
If Karen Fort continues writing such self-indulgent, cathartic pieces as "Mothers" (February 2, 1990), she may eventually succeed in convincing herself that her abortion was the right thing to do. But I doubt it; the logic displayed in her autobiographical-cum-fictional account is inconsistent, malevolent, and egocentric.
For instance, Ms. Fort would have us believe that if only for a moment, she seriously considered adopting a stranger's heroin afflicted baby and yet soon thereafter, ended up aborting her own child. C'mon.
Ms. Fort also seems very much at ease as the angel of death, casting quality of life judgments on those whom she passes and then making pronouncements as to who should and shouldn't live. Thus she deems that Cassie's child is doomed and that Holly's and Hilary's lives aren't worth living. It is little matter to Ms. Fort that such judgments are usurpations, that neither she nor anyone else has the right to determine that another would be better served by being dead.
Equally disturbing is Ms. Fort's dog in the manger attitude toward adoption. Prompted by a photograph of Susanna's smiling, adopted son, Fort proclaims, "If it (contraception) didn't work, I'd get an abortion. I vowed to myself that I would never give a child of mine away." And certainly she kept this selfish promise, for when confronted with her own ill-timed pregnancy, she dismisses the adoption alternative, arguing that she "didn't want to give it away and worry about it." Her concern for those other than herself is pathetic.
Ms. Fort concludes her series of snippets with a final, lame attempt at rationalizing her own abortion choice. Had she gone through with her pregnancy, she reasons, her two "beloved children" would never have been conceived. "Think. No Tomlin. No Eleanor. I couldn't bear it." But really, Ms. Fort, isn't this already truly the case? It's just that we don't know the name of the child you aborted, the details of the life which would have been lived. Could it be you would have named that child Tomlin? Or Eleanor?