Gloucester Daily Times Debate on Abortion (52), May 9, 1986

April 25 Forum at Fuller Demonstrates Grass Roots Strength of Pro-Life

[The Times titled It, “Compassion for Life Not Yet Lived”]

One week ago, the New England Christian Action Council sponsored a public forum at the Fuller School on the subject of abortion. It received ample publicity, including the distribution of some 10,000 flyers on Cape Ann. A few more than 100 people attended, including representatives of the Coalition for Choice, who passed out their leaflets.

One spokeswoman for the coalition asked a variety of questions, and near the conclusion of the forum said, “I’m with you 90 percent John.” She then expressed her concern that abortion in the case of rape was acceptable. It is noteworthy that this woman, as the most articulate spokesperson for “pro-choice” to show up, would make such a statement. Clearly, she still sense dissatisfaction with some of my views, but she has also acknowledged the integrity of my research, knowledge and compassion, and has not produced evidence or reason to counter those views.

None of the people who have challenged me on this editorial page attended (or made themselves to me), just as the majority of them have refused to communicate on the subject.

Where on Cape Ann is there a person who can define or defend a positive rationale for legalized abortion? Who can challenge the conclusions I have made? It is fair to conclude, given my public accountability, that there is no such person. It is almost embarrassing to have to say this, because I have no desire to puff myself up. But facts are facts, and I will not shrink from proclaiming justice for the unborn children who die at the rate of 4,500 a day in the U.S., from proclaiming mercy to the families who have fallen into its bloody grip. And given my penchant for understatement and restraint, I believe the diagnosis of the “bloody grip” is well-proven.

In the final analysis, we see two competing worldviews. On the one-hand is the “pro-choice” camp, which is generally humanist in religion, and which operate in the shadows and motivates by fear. On the other hand is the “pro-life” camp which is generally Christian, the best elements of which operate in openness and motivates by hope

John C. Rankin, New England Christian Action Council, 11 Pleasant St.

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