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Writer says his letter was misread

Editor: Dr. Nicholas Murphy's Sept. 23 letter misrepresented statements I made in an earlier letter, and I'd appreciate the chance to make corrections.

The distinction between a "potential human" and a "human being" deserving of legal protection is crucial when discussing abortion. I definitely did not "agree that the developing fetus is a human being" with constitutional rights.

Also, Murphy interpreted "No human is given a right to commandeer the body or life of another" to deny women the right to end pregnancies. Excuse me? Don't humans have a right to defend themselves? Terminating a pregnancy is essentially an act of self-defense. Upon implantation, an embryo invades the woman's body. In an age of far-from-perfect contraceptive technology, she must retain the right to defend her own body from unwanted invaders.

I appreciate Dr. Murphy's generous offer to defend my "right to life" (may I call him the next time my burglar alarm sounds?), but while we're discussing contraception, I'm more interested in knowing what Murphy, as a physician and concerned citizen, is doing to lessen the need for abortion.

Would he consider volunteering his time and expertise to family planning concerns, or to lobbying for increased contraceptive research and availability? Something tells me the answer is no.

V. L. Dorrough, Palm Harbor