To the Editor:
In defending those who’ve been instrumental in ending federal protections for a wide range of reproductive health care, a recent letter writer challenges us to “be honest about abortion.” But her own argument is premised on assertions and comes to conclusions that are demonstrably false or about which there is neither societal nor scientific consensus.
Of course, those defending access to abortion have debated and defended their stance for decades. The beginning of life is an undecided philosophical as well as medical question; the Bible condemns spilling seed through ejaculation outside heterosexual intercourse. (Legislate that if you dare. Oh wait, it is a basis of some anti-gay laws.) Abortion related procedures do not just apply to terminating a potentially viable pregnancy, but also to the treatment of ectopic and other nonviable pregnancies that threaten the life of the childbearing person. Including delivery of a stillbirth.
A potentially fatal flaw in many so-called pro-life laws is that “the health of mother” is so ill defined and the criminalization of care so draconian that treatment must be denied until the mother is at death’s door. A beating heart is of little use to a fetus without kidneys or with its brain growing outside its skull – and in fact, in such cases a state enforced birth is cruel punishment inflicting lifelong pain on all involved. I could go on.
There is much more to this issue than the sentimental sweet baby dolls and Instagram moments so many anti abortionists conjure up to defend their irrational, ill-informed and indefensible intrusions into health care and violations of civil rights – which are neither just nor merciful, and which fly in the face of both common sense and compassion.