To the editor:

Is it possible that the pro-abortion movement in this country is a graphic manifestation of our society becoming more and more narcissistic? Narcissism is a philosophy of unrestrained gratification of our needs, desires, appetites or whims and has been promulgated by segments of our society, and by segments of the mass media, for years.Narcissism is characterized by self-love, self-centeredness, self-indulgence and egocentricity. It is the attitude of "what is in it for me" and of "what I want is the most important thing to me." It constantly refers to and promotes rights and ignores responsibilities.

Our society has determined that it has a responsibility to protect those segments of society unable to care for themselves. The question before us now is whether or not to extend that same protection to the unborn.

The question is not about the right of a woman to have control over her own body. A woman ought to have, and does have, the right of choice concerning her body. She may choose to have, or not have, sex for gratification, premarital sex, extra-marital sex or sex within the bonds of marriage.

If she chooses to participate in sex in any of these situations, she has the right to make a second choice. She can choose whether or not to use some method of contraception in order to avoid pregnancy.

Once a child is conceived, however, the right of choice no longer exists. You are now dealing with a new life unable to care for itself or to determine its future. At this point, society must decide whether it has a responsibility to that unborn child.

We must decide if abortion as an after-the-fact means of birth control is legal and valid or whether the unborn child had a right to expect continuing legal protection from the society into which it will be born. All other considerations are peripheral.

Elizabeth E. Ripplinger

D. Hilton Ripplinger

Salt lake City