Republicans Misrepresented


To the Editors of The Crimson:

On Monday, March 11, a Crimson reporter called me for a comment on a Radcliffe Union of Students (RUS) film and forum on abortion rights for women. I explained to this reporter that even though President Reagan opposes abortion, the Harvard Republican Club, of which I am president, is divided on the issue, and that such an informative forum was admirable. In fact, despite the club's equivocality, I am personally pro-choice. Nonetheless on Tuesday, March 12, in the article entitled "Women's Right to Abortion: Topic of Film, Discussion," I am referred to as a "pro-life" advocate who said pro-choice advocates have every right to promote their views on campus if the pro-life view is also represented." This is a negligent misrepresentation of my views and shows a typical stereotype on the part of The Crimson of Republicans as extremists.

In fact in an opinion poll taken of the club's membership this autumn, 67.6 percent of the respondents opposed a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion. The Republican Club is conservative by Harvard standards in that it promotes the ideal of freedom by limiting government domestically and combatting the spread of communism internationally, views shared by most Americans. In my opinion and that of some two-thirds of the club, the ideal of freedom includes a right to choice on the abortion issue free from legislative coercion.

It is wrong for The Crimson to have preconceived notions about the likely opinions of the Harvard Republican Club's broadly based membership of two hundred undergraduates. The club is a group on campus supporting mainstream political ideas, apparently far more in touch with the country's convictions than some supposedly objective journalists at Harvard. The Crimson's characterization of my opinions is erroneous, and the RUS is doing a good service in promoting thoughtful discussion of this emotional issue whether or not the so-called "pro-life view is also represented." Mark P. Lagon

The editors acknowledge and regret the errors.