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Letter: Abortion views won’t change, so let’s limit unwanted pregnancies

Of all the controversial issues before the nation today, abortion is probably the most emotional. It is also the least rational. Personally, don’t know anybody who has changed their position through careful measured discussion, so what ever I write is probably an exercise in futility. 

There is no public solution. Abortion is an individual problem. No law or cultural condemnation will stop determined women from ending unwanted pregnancies. The issue is between her and her conscience.

The two religious institutions that have spoken out loudly and emphatically against a woman’s right to chose are the Catholic Church and various Christian fundamentalists. 

Since experience is the only thing that can really affect the human psyche, I will take this opportunity to relate a dialogue I once had with an adamant abortion foe. I remarked that when abortion was illegal, many women died when they attempted the procedure on their own or with unskilled help. The man’s reply: “It served them right!”

This is the coldest, most callow retort I can imagine. So much for those who think they hold the moral high ground.

Is abortion murder? The termination of a late term pregnancy is a premeditated act. Perhaps it can be called murder, but we don’t accuse our soldiers of murder when they kill citizens of another country. In fact we often call them heroes. 

Why is there no sympathy for women who choose abortion because they believe it is best, most responsible thing they can do at that particular time in their life?

Whatever one’s opinion, one thing is sure: We do know how to reduce the number of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies in our nation. We have the statistics to prove it: Better education, more available contraception. It is not possible, however, to eliminate abortion. 

Any attempt to outlaw abortion will not only fail, it will create far more social problems than it solves. The only people who stand to gain are those who use emotional issues to achieve power over others: namely politicians and institutional spokesmen.

Joan King


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