Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Right to Life Begins at Birth

On February 5th, Randal Terry will be putting pictures of aborted fetuses, arranged in morbid tableus, on prime-time television.

In his portraits of the unborn, he doesn't discuss the women who bore those fetuses; he does not tell us if the abortions happened because a woman was poor, a woman was raped, a woman already had five children, a woman was not capable of bearing a child, or a woman was dying.  The physical and legal reality that exists between a woman and what's inside her womb, and her family, doesn't matter to him.  Or anyone who is willing to compare a fetus to a Holocaust victim

When I was a child in the 1980s my preacher father vehemently defended a woman's right to legal abortion within our church and within our community.  He deeply understood with compassion that women do not always control how they get pregnant, and that they and their families bear the moral choice to continue or, very tragically, end a pregnancy.  He and other ministers exchanged impassioned letters arguing both sides of the issue.  As a child I observed what often gets ignored: those arguing to outlaw abortion rarely considered the liberties or life of a pregnant woman. Their compassion stops outside the womb.

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