I am trying to create a clear statement of issues surrounding abortion without promoting a particular stance. I asked for help and advice. The number and quality of response to my request for help were numerous and excellent. The responses were thoughtful and thought provoking. Obviously, the topic is sensitive. I was very pleased with the sensitivity of the replies.

Today I will present the suggestions for you to review. In the future I will integrate my original list and the suggestion. Because it will be thorough and probably tedious, I will put it in a separate document. I will make it available for those who are interested. If anyone is not interested, you will be spared.

I have spent considerable time working to comprehend the ideas and respond to the writers. The task was a large one. I will try to summarize the suggestions and not get us bogged down, but I hope I do justice to all who took the time to respond.

To begin, the terms I used were given serious consideration by several people.

The use of left and right was thought to be unnecessary in an unbiased presentation. I had debated the terms when I first wrote the blog. I decided the use helped organize the issues. I now agree, the use of left and right is unnecessary.

The use of the term kill is pejorative. Terminated life is an accurate and less bias description.

One person believed the term “reproductive rights” was the correct term for the issue of woman’s rights surrounding abortion. The person believed the term covered both reproduction and termination.

An important issue that I overlooked was to consider that a person’s personal stance does not always line up with what they accept politically. Some people would not have an abortion personally but would allow laws that give abortion as an alternative. The issue is to keep in mind the difference between personal stances and legal/political stances. A similar way to address the issue is legal stances and moral stances.

Several people raised issues we cannot overlook with the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Opponents of abortion must not simply oppose abortion but must be prepared to aide in the consequences of that opposition. Several people understood and accepted that responsibility.

First, the reality of death from backstreet abortions is an issue that arises from limiting access to legal abortions. One person shared personal experiences with this issue.

Second, there will be an increase in unwanted children.  Improved adoption procedures and safe haven drop-offs for unwanted children were discussed.

Third, because some people have had abortions because the child would have had special needs, there will be an increase in children with special needs. Another person pointed to the need to create ways to meet the needs of special needs children who out-live their parents. This is a particularly important issue for Jeny and me because of our interest in and love for the L’Arche community.

One person made the important point that people may have attempted contraception and it failed. The intended consequence was not to have children. Their choice had unintended consequences. Some would argue early abortion is justified under those circumstances.

With regard to the health of the woman, one person suggested the thought-provoking idea that protecting a woman’s health is a form of self-defense. The issue is — if we are going to allow self-defense in other circumstances, shouldn’t we allow a woman the choice to defend herself?

The important issues of age of accountability and mental competence were raised. Should a child or a mentally limited person be made to accept the consequences for an act they do not understand?

Abortion is an emotional, difficult topic. You helped me have a clearer, deeper understanding of the many issues involved. Even though many of you have a firm clear stance on abortion, I hope this exercise deepened everyone’s understanding of the issue.

My thanks to all.

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As a former teacher, this one really warms my heart.

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This one is good news but tough news.




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