Gloucester Daily Times Debate on Abortion (6), December 3, 1985

Abortion Must be Legal Alternative

After reading John Rankin’s letter of Nov. 25, 1985, clarifying the position of the Christian Action Council, I am still not clear as to why groups of this kind are so wildly against legalized abortion — other than a fearful refusal to acknowledge beliefs other than their own. Questions arise when I read or hear pro-life/no-choice rhetoric.

What is the difficulty in accepting the fact that differing beliefs have as much validity as their own?

Isn’t pregnancy a characteristic unique to women?

Isn’t birth an activity unique to a woman?

Isn’t abortion a medical procedure unique to women?

Why are so many men highly visible in anti-abortion groups? Isn’t it an obvious invasion of privacy to confront a woman about to enter an abortion facility and offer her unsolicited information?

Isn’t effective counseling better done in private?

Isn’t “sidewalk counseling” a tactic for intimidation and harassment of opposing views?

Isn’t it slavery to assume the right of control of women’s reproductive systems?

Aren’t women seen as capable of making decisions for themselves?

Historically, it has been an uphill battle for women to achieve a reasonable position in society — be it property ownership, voting rights, education, fair wages, rape laws, insurance or financial credit. Now women are witnessing the right to safe and legal abortion being challenged once more.

The women and men who support pro-choice in the current abortion debate are also for life: the life and future of women. Some pro-choice women do not include abortion as an option for themselves because of their personal beliefs, but we all know that abortion must remain a legal alternative for unwanted pregnancy.

Sandy Parsons, 6 Castle Lane, Rockport


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House of Lords 17 October 2017

Text of John Rankin’s address on the occasion of the 500th annive5rsary of the Reformation.