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October 21, 1996



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By Mari Maldonado

Abortion continues to plague country

I realize that abortion is one of those "no-no" topics, but with the
recent judgement by a Corpus Christi jury handed down against a drunk
driver I can't help but address the matter.

A Nueces County jury found 50-year-old Frank Cuellar, who was driving
while intoxicated and struck a vehicle driven by Jeannie Coronado, who
was seven months pregnant, guilty of homicide.

Homicide because the child that Coronado was carrying and delivered by
Caesarian following the accident died of brain injuries caused by the

Although it was specifically pointed out to jurors that Krystal Zuniga,
the fetus/baby, would have survived had it not been for the injuries
incurred by the accident, the defense pointed out that under Texas law
she was but a fetus, not a human being, at the time of the accident.

I'm positive that jurors understand that point, but still opted to find
Cuellar guilty of man..."man"...slaughter.

In a way I'd like to cheer for their efforts to conclude that fetuses
have just as much rights as a human being, as they are human from the
point of conception...In my opinion.

However, while in the eighth grade, during a study of the legal system
of the United States, a friend and I decided to defend abortion when it
was our turn to take the debate podiums for a class assignment.

I did extensive research, in spite of my family's deep opposition to my
stance. And during my analysis I read about the many instances of women
performing abortions on themselves or taking to back-alley clinics for
abortions and the life-threatening circumstances they were finding
themselves in because of the illegality of abortion.

I also studied the anti-abortion arguments about birth control,
adoption, etc.

Although abortion is now legal, a lot of us hold the attitude that it's
still not right. Maybe not, but these are the vibes that I'm getting and
the recent jury conviction supports this.

I watched the recent HBO special "If These Walls Could Talk," that gives
three accounts, through three women's desperate experiences in three
different time periods, of the abortion issue and how it has evolved
over the past 40 years.

It's a really good movie and one I think points out a lot of arguments
for and against abortion, although I got the inkling of a pro-abortion

Anyhow, it made me recount my eighth grade experience, and although I
consider myself an anti-abortionist because I feel it is murder, or the
cessation of life, rather, I hesitate to state I'm not an aggressive one
because of the desperate acts committed by women when the procedure is
labeled illegal.

It's one of those things that has many angles to it, and when all points
of it are studied, the whole thing becomes even more of an enigma that
continues to plague the country.

Mari Maldonado is an Enterprise reporter whose column appears each


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A reputation at risk

The shrinking availability of money for nonprofit institutions has
produced a troubling new fund-raising technique that the American Cancer
Society has just adopted. Recently, the ACS announced that it had sold
endorsements to two commercial vendors, allowing each an exclusive right
to use the group's imprimatur to sell products.

Under one deal, the manufacturers of the NicoDerm nicotine patch are to
pay the cancer society at least $1 mil~lion in annual sales royalties
for three years. In a second arrangement, the Florida citrus marketers
association agreed to pay at least $1 million for one year.

Perhaps $4 million is an important consideration even for an
organization with a budget of roughly $1.7 billion over those four
years. Donations have been stagnant, the society reports; needs and
demands have not. The society "determined that companies that are
producing products that support the missions or programs of the American
Cancer Society would be acceptable business partners for us,~ a
spokeswoman said.

But should a public-interest nonprofit promote Florida juice to the
exclusion of all others? And what if another company introduces a
nicotine patch that is judged superior to the NicoDerm product? Isn't
the society then contractually obligated to continue recommending a
second-best alternative?

More broadly, what does hanging out what looks like a a "for sale" sign
do to the society's credibility? Other groups in similar circumstances
have chosen instead to offer nonexclusive endorsements. For instance,
the American Dental Association seal of approval is available to all
fluoridated toothpaste products that meet its standards, and the
American Heart Association endorses low-fat, low-cholesterol foods.
Wouldn't it have been wiser for the cancer society to adopt a similar

Some citizens will surely see the ACS decision to do otherwise as
compromising One must hope the net result will not be a diminution of
public support that cancels out the revenue derived from the two
questionable arrangements the society has made.

Copley News Service
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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