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Letters: Auto Ratings, Family Planning

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Letters: Auto Ratings, Family Planning

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Letters: Auto Ratings, Family Planning

Letters: Auto Ratings, Family Planning

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Melissa Block reads from listeners' e-mails about automotive ratings and family-planning clinics.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block, and we'll get to your letters now. Yesterday, we told you that Buick and Jaguar had come out on top in JD Power's latest survey of car owners rating vehicle dependability. That was based on 2006 models.

Michele Norris talked with Washington Post columnist Warren Brown about the survey and about the difference with Consumer Reports' latest auto survey, which seemed to show 2006 Buicks as having pretty average reliability.

Warren Brown said this about Consumer Reports readers.

Mr. WARREN BROWN (Columnist, Washington Post): It's a specific demographic, and it's a demographic and psychographic that they are the people who initially discover that gee, whiz, you know, this Toyota doesn't break down, this Honda goes forever - which certainly in the '70s and '80s, you know, American cars, you know, weren't doing.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

You're saying they were the first to really point out that the Hondas and Toyotas had…

Mr. BROWN: Yeah, and so as a result, that's what they buy.

BLOCK: Well, Vienna, Virginia, listener Pierce Griggs(ph) heard that and wrote this. I found Warren Brown's comments about a slant against American cars among Consumer Reports readers to be nonsensical. I became aware of significant improvement in quality in American cars solely by reading Consumer Reports. Mr. Brown displays a rather silly, unfounded bias.

Also yesterday, we aired a story about how some family-planning centers are seeing more patients in the midst of the economic recession. Some of you wrote to criticize this story. Kayla Shimp(ph) of Blacksburg, Virginia, said this: I am unsettled by the tone and imbalance of your very important report on family planning in a strained economy. First, she writes, abortion as a birth control option is presented as casually as one might discuss which cold medicine to take. No matter what one's stance, the choice to end the potential of a human life through abortion takes a great psychological and emotional toll on a woman.

And she goes on: secondly, raising the child and abortion are not the only options. Placing a child for adoption, although by no means easy or painless, is a wonderful option for those who feel they cannot properly support a child.

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