Experience shapes abortion views

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2005

At this time, Amanda Hoffman may feel abortion is murder. However, what she or anyone really thinks about abortion depends on their life circumstances.

In the late 1980s, I interviewed managers of every abortion clinic still in operation which had suffered from violence or attempted violence (bombings or arsons), and every operator volunteered that they had had a woman who had been a regular clinic picketer or protester come to the clinic seeking an abortion for herself or her teenage daughter.

Almost everyone of these women said as they entered the clinic, "I didn't realize ..."

And many of those women were back on the picket lines in a couple of weeks.

Conclusion No. 1: For all of us, our life circumstances determine what our real ethics are. You don't know what your own ethics are until you are in the situation.

Conclusion No. 2: Most of us think our ethical decisions are justified, but others' who make the same ethical choices are selfish or unjustified. Many have not learned to be non-judgmental.

Conclusion No. 3: Don't make a public declaration about your abortion position until you have to make the actual decision for yourself or your teenager. And give those struggling with the real life situation the benefit of the doubt, whatever their decision.

Dallas A. Blanchard

Pensacola, Fla.

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