Rosenberger often ranted against organized religion in the early Death Merchant books and that is a favourite topic in these missives. He also uses somewhat goofy turns of phrase and is extremely generous with exclamation marks (there are 11 in the letter below)!
Several writers who knew Rosenberger say he held reactionary opinions and his DM books are certainly filled with unchallenged right-wing rants. However, Rosenberger was also adamantly pro-choice, as five of the nine letters I have found are in strong defense of abortion. His opinions – snarky and pompous and delivered with the finality of a court decision – often provoked letters in response, which is a nice bonus.
The earliest letter I have found (so far) is from the Chicago Daily Herald of May 29, 1972:
'A Fetus Just Isn't An Infant'
Mrs. Phil R. Dowd's recent letter condemning legalized abortion was a masterpiece of emotionalism, distortion, and just plain ignorance. In a manner similar to that used by proponents of public aid for private schools, Mrs. Dowd puts forth an appeal that is majestic in its rhetoric, but ridiculous and pathetic in its logic.
The only thing wrong with Mrs. Dowd's logic is that – apparently – she doesn't know what a fetus actually is (from a medical standpoint)! I rather gather, from her letter, that Mrs. Dowd is under the impression that a fetus is practically a perfectly developed human being, with all the faculties of adult reasoning, a sort of super-duper midget who sets up temporary housekeeping within the mother's womb – or doesn't Mrs. Dowd know that there is a universe of difference between a Fetus and a fully developed infant about to be born and that there is a very definite time limit in which an abortion can be performed. It is much more complicated than . . . say . . . cutting off a corn . . .
If I wished to indulge in Mrs. Dowd's form of fallacious reasoning and employ her deceptive logic, I would conclude that no human being should ever be operated on for cancer! After all, any cancer is a growing organism within the parent (host) body; too, a cancer goes through developing stages, just as a fetus does. How dare any surgeon give "pain" to any precious cancer!
Still using Mrs. Dowd's "pain" premise, I could also put forth the proposition that even births should be prohibited, since men of science tell us that the birth process is an extremely traumatic experience, as well as painful and emotionally disturbing for the new-born child. Of course, none of us remember the birth experience, nor is it likely that a fetus could interpret the termination of its low-level conscious existence.
Mrs. Dowd makes reference to a Dr. James H. Ford, who is apparently as confused as she is, or he wouldn't equate the very real problem of world over-population with the unreal nonsense that, if need be, the entire world population could be stacked "within a plot 30 miles square."
Fortunately, we don't live in a make-believe world, but in one that is very real. Certainly, the world could hold untold trillions of people if we wished to stack them like cordwood. Indeed, the eventual result would be "standing room only!" We can only imagine the standard of living under such conditions!
Unfortunately, neither Mrs. Dowd nor Dr. Ford offer a solution for the day when every single square foot of earth would be crammed with a bursting humanity! Abortion? Hell no! That would be "murder!" Of course, people might possibly stand on each other. Or, people might learn to breath in water, in which case we could overpopulate the oceans!
Mrs. Dowd also forgets another dark part of the problem that is seldom noticed – the crisis in morals. There is an ancient Chinese saying: "It is difficult to tell the difference between right and wrong when the stomach is empty."
People tormented by constant hunger, by joblessness, by fear and insecurity; people huddled together in overcrowded cities; people without education . . . helpless in the present, with no hope for the future – can such people be expected to develop a genuine respect for all the ethical niceties which admonish them not to steal, not to covet, not even to envy?
So we're having trouble in our cities now! What will it be like 25 years from now, if population continues to soar?
The facts are more than obvious: over-population reinforces poverty; poverty generates desperation, and desperation leads to immorality.
While legalized abortion is not the overall answer, it is a start, a partial solution, for unless population is stabilized, the children and adults of Tomorrow will find themselves in a world filled with undreamed of misery, a world of hunger and violence, a world of early death and complete immorality.
And all the well-meant, pious platitudes about "murder" and fetus "pain" by today's anti-abortionists, who would have their great-great-grandchildren inherit a hell on earth, won't change it.
Only hasten it!
Joseph R. Rosenberger
Buffalo Grove, Illinois