Talking about abortion

June 27, 2014

Brief break from the GA blog:

I got an e-mail from our local Planned Parenthood rep, asking me to respond to a letter to the editor written in support of pro-life demonstrators (

Here’s what I wrote:

I am responding to the letter by Leonard Johnson on June 25th. All of the labels typically used (pro-life, pro-choice, anti-abortion, pro-abortion) have been used as weapons, and as a result, many people carry scars. Johnson implies that the scars borne by those labeled “anti-abortion” by the media are particularly unfair.

However, the damage done to people walking into a clinic worries me far more. Women who are already making an incredibly difficult decision are frequently traumatized by graphic and disturbing images and bullying behavior. Protestors use shame and guilt and sometimes even physical violence, believing that their ends justify extreme means. Meanwhile, the medical professionals who are trying to support those women are also attacked.

The truth is that we are all pro-life. However, some of us believe that sometimes life is best served by terminating a pregnancy, while others believe that it never can be. Some us believe that the people best equipped to make these difficult decisions are the people most directly impacted. Others believe the government should have hard and fast rules.

We will likely never agree on these difficult issues. Might we, however, agree that all people deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion?