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To the editor:

Harvey Gantt complains that Jesse Helms is lying to say that Gantt would permit parents to abort a child simply because she's a girl. He complains that it's a lie to say that he supports allowing a woman to abort her child up to the ninth month of pregnancy.Gantt says that he supports Roe vs. Wade on abortion. Yet, Roe vs. Wade permits both of these outrages - abortion because the parents don't like the child's sex, and abortion literally up to the day of birth. He also says that late-term abortion is illegal under North Carolina law. On the contrary, it is legal, and it happens. According to North Carolina Reported Abortions: 1983, for example, there were 131 late-term abortions in 1983 in North Carolina. Nothing about the law has changed since then.

If Gantt doesn't think that baby girls should die because they are girls, why doesn't he say so? If he doesn't believe that a nine-month pregnancy should be aborted, why doesn't he say so?

Gantt is using ``Roe vs. Wade' as a curtain to hide behind. Who's lying now? James Huffman Burlington

It bothers me that Jesse Helms cannot speak for himself. Instead, he now has a spokeswoman spouting his far-fetched falsehoods. He can't even put in an appearance in his ads, only a still photo. What does old Jesse have to hide? He certainly has nothing to brag about, that's why he has to twist Harvey Gantt's words.

Earlier in the campaign he had George Bush speaking for him about putting all the criminals in jail and giving them the maximum punishment. I'm all for it but let them start with Richard Nixon and go through the whole Republican party. They have abused our faith and trust. How can our young people learn values if our leaders have none.

N.C. wake up. Don't buy Jesse's hide and seek. Carolyn Coley Julian

I wonder if there's a connection. North Carolina not only has one of the most deplorable school systems in the country, it's people also keep re-electing Jesse Helms. Scott Andersen Greensboro

North Carolina has fallen further and further behind the rest of the nation under Senator Helms' tenure. If we want to stay on the bottom in SAT scores and infant mortality rate then we should re-elect Jesse Helms. If we want a better situation for our state, then the time has come for a change.

I have been embarrassed and ashamed by the image of North Carolinians that Senator Helms has given the rest of the nation. He has made us the laughing stock of the United States. His relentless attacks and scare tactics used in his bid for re-election are despicable, and receive frequent national coverage as an example of dirty campaigning. If he wants our vote, he needs to tell us what he has done for our state to deserve it, not try to play upon our emotions.

As I travel around the nation and the world I want to be able to have pride in the image my native North Carolina has, not to be embarrassed by the conception of it that Jesse Helms gives. Susan Nielsen Greensboro

It troubles me that any politician would employ a woman to appear on television to insult the intelligence of all the women in North Carolina with such a distortion of Harvey Gantt's position on abortion.

It is my earnest hope that this commercial boomerangs. Ruth W. Cole Greensboro

I really can't understand why Harvey Gantt is so angered over the woman in the commercial talking about his supporting sex selection as a reason for abortion, or very late abortions. Both of these things go on all the time. He is pro-abortion.

Maybe Gantt needs to face the fact that abortion is not health care, it is brutal and victimizing. It is done on demand in North Carolina through 5 1/2 months. Anyone knows that this is a child. Abortion at any stage ``stops a beating heart.' A tiny human is present and growing. If Gantt considers himself pro-abortion, then he should be willing accept and hear what that term really can mean and stop masking it under privacy and health care.

Diane McClamroch Greensboro

I'm fed up with all of the Helms supporters who attempt to sugar-coat ugly truths or ignore them altogether.

Anyone who takes the the time to examine the senator's voting record on human rights legislation will find a pattern of consistent opposition. He has never supported the Voting Rights Act. He voted against the Hate Crimes Act, which calls for collecting information on crimes motivated by prejudice.

In his ``Viewpoint' commentary of July 27, 1964, Helms had this say:

``Candy' is hardly the word for the topless swimsuit or the Civil Rights Bill in our judgment, neither has a place in America - unless we have completely lost our sense of morality.'

Anyone who does not think that racism is a factor in Helms' political success is living in fantasyland.

Helms supporters cry ``Smear!' when charges of racism are leveled. The choice is clear. Either you want a senator who will work deligently for all North Carolinians or you don't. If this is what you don't want, quit whining and have the guts to admit it. Lee Richmond Graham

Jesse Helms receives a lot of criticism for his excellent views, but at least he stands up for what he believes. He is justly proud of getting the NEA to stop supporting smut, and I have certainly appreciated the one-tenth of a cent his actions have saved my family. Of course, I would have been happier if he had ever done anything about the S&L crisis (which will cost my family $20 per month every month for the next 30 years). But at least his values are family values. Although, if he cares about families so much, why is he against laws to protect fathers and mothers from being injured on the job, and why doesn't he support education, and it sure seems like strange family values that would force a 14-year-old girl who was raped to have the baby. And it does seem a bit odd that his North Carolina values include letting the big oil companies ruin our shoreline. Maybe that's why his campaign gets so much money from the oil companies and fat cats from other states. But at least he stands up for what he believes. And that's enough for me. Robert Guttentag Greensboro

Vice President Dan Quayle's visit to Greensboro to raise campaign funds for our Senator Jesse Helms was probably exactly what we should have expected.

Held in the elite Irving Park area, for a select few of the creme de la creme of Greensboro, with little address to the upcoming campaign, did this visit really benefit North Carolinians? I don't believe so.

How refreshing it would have been to see Vice President Quayle visiting some of our inner-city schools and seeing the problems that lead to the lowest SAT scores in the nation. Or talking with our local doctors about the infant mortality rate, or a visit with our dedicated police to the drug infested ``Hill' area. This could have opened some eyes to the problems facing Greensboro and the rest of North Carolina.

Yet, there was time for pictures, if you had the $1,000 to contribute to Mr. Helms campaign. If you want to talk about obscenity - this was a classic example of it.

Just imagine the thrill and inspiration some young children throughout our city could have received had the vice president stopped for a picture with them. He would be their hero, role model.

Yes, this visit once again proves to me that Harvey Gantt recognizes the problems of North Carolina, and that Harvey Gantt will have my vote in November. Nolan Williams Greensboro

There is a lot I don't know about the two candidates for senator, but my choice has already been made based on general knowledge and impressions before the ``campaign' started. I agree that some of my reasons may be poor, but I believe even my poorest is better than the one given in Mr. Biddle's letter (News & Record, Sept. 12), in blaming the federal deficit on Jesse Helms.

Have we forgotten who we are dealing with a man referred to in the past as ``Senator No?' Helms has been criticized in this campaign (by Harvey Gantt) of voting against so many programs. Without knowing the specifics of each, I generalize they appear normal for a man known for trying to curb federal spending.

I don't know what the answer is to the budget mess in Washington, but sending someone up there who appears interested in new and expanded programs is not going to help. I'd rather have ``Senator No' back up there. He may not be solving the total problem, but at least he is not a major contributor to making it worse.

By the way, blaming Jesse for the federal deficit is like blaming Gantt for the high crime rate in Charlotte (65 killings so far this year). There is no connection, is there? C.B. Thornton Burlington

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