Another view of the abortion issue

Posted: Friday, May 19, 2000

I wish to comment on a number of statements made by Susan Taylor in her letter regarding abortion.

Ms. Taylor asks where all the unscrupulous facilities are. They are wherever abortions are performed and where the mother does not receive information about alternatives to abortion, the risks of the abortion procedure and factual information about the stage of development of her baby. A large percent of the facilities fall into this category and the denial of this information is intentional. Abortion is a grisly business and even those involved don't like to face the reality of it.

Ms. Taylor states that women have enormous freedom today. She lists when and whether or not to have a child as one of those freedoms. That is true. However, the freedom to have a child ends with pregnancy. Responsibility then takes over. The question becomes whether or not the woman will welcome the child or have him/her aborted. In either case, she is a mother and does have a child.

Ms. Taylor states that abortion is a personal decision. Abortion involves two people, not just the mother. Never before in our society have we accepted the idea that killing is a private or personal matter.

Finally, Ms. Taylor states that women have the right to exercise control over their bodies. Our rights are not unlimited. Where there are competing rights as in the case of abortion the fundamental right to life of the child must prevail; if not, our discussion of rights is meaningless. In any event, abortion involves a body other than the woman's. It is an undeniable fact that the baby is distinct and separate from the mother's body. While the baby certainly depends upon the mother for protection and life, every cell in the baby's body is genetically different than the mother's cells, the baby may be of a different sex or have a different blood type. If we are going to be honest we must not deceive others with slogans about a right of absolute freedom of pregnant women. Abortion is about two people, one of whom is totally defenseless and innocent.

This past year Princeton University appointed Peter Singer to its chair of bioethics. He is an animal rights activist who proclaims that the ``life of a newborn baby is of less value than the life of a pig or a dog.'' Also, he states that right to life considerations do not apply to senile or severely handicapped adults. What was once considered undebatable is now on the table for debate. These are ominous signs of things to come.

The abortion mentality has already resulted in millions of abortion deaths. In addition, we now have a virtual infanticide with partial birth abortion, and one state (Oregon) has legalized physician assisted suicide/euthanasia. Indeed, we are succumbing to a culture of death.

Sidney D. Heidersdorf Juneau

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