Dear abortion rights supporter…

Can we talk? May we engage in a cool-headed dialogue in mutual respect about this crucial issue? I am strongly pro-life but I don’t condemn you nor think of you as evil. Some of you are my family, friends, and co-workers, and I am actually quite fond of you. But when I hear or see some of the things you say regarding abortion, I grimace and sigh and shake my head, and sometimes I want to scream. This is usually followed by discouragement as I think to myself, if they can’t see what is so obvious to me, what hope is there for changing their view? But here is where I catch a glimmer…when I remember that when one feels heard and respected, change is possible.

But as you have certainly already discerned, the change I seek and hope for would require you to admit you’ve been wrong. And that’s not easy for anybody. Can you admit that it’s possible you’re on the wrong side on this? If not, have a nice day…I still respect you. But if you can, please carefully consider the following, and join me in the dialogue. I welcome your comments.

The pro-choice argument I hear most often is that restricting abortion is infringing on a woman’s right to control her own body. This comes across to me as conveniently and intentionally side-stepping the obvious fact that when a woman is pregnant she is no longer one body but two. It’s how we reproduce…the two become three, or four, and sometimes more. So controlling her body is one thing; controlling the body within hers is quite another.

I’m really not sure how you can defend this argument. You would have to somehow show that the living, growing mass of cells within the uterus is part of the woman’s own body, or that it is an alien invader with no more right to live than a cancerous tumor. Any honest evaluation of the living zygote must conclude that it cannot belong to the woman’s body if only for the fact that it is often the opposite sex. And it also must conclude that the living being is decidedly human with its own unique DNA. It is a separate and distinct, living, human, being. How can you simply dismiss that as of no consequence in your insistence that this is all about the woman’s body?

If the zygote/embryo/fetus hasn’t the same right to life as you, when does it gain that right? Would you really try and defend the position that it doesn’t until it is outside the womb? Is location the determining factor? And if you allow that it’s earlier than that, what criteria do you use? Is there any point in the development of the cluster of cells into the more recognizable human form where it is truly safe to say that before then you are not killing an innocent human being in the process of growth?

If you are supportive of abortion rights and you are still reading….please make your case for this argument. I really want to hear it. I recognize that personhood is not easily defined, and I have no easy answers to the conundrum that biotech advances like frozen embryos present. So you might actually be able to influence my view of very early life.

There are other abortion related issues I would like your input on, but I will leave them for subsequent posts. This is enough to grapple with for one day.