Gloucester Daily Times Debate on Abortion (72), November 4, 1986

Scrutiny Given and Received

(“What’s Good for the Goose is …” as titled by the Times)

Claire Chamberlain has accused me of “badgering and character assassinations,” or “closed-mindedness” in my response to Karen Morey’s letter advocating legalized abortion.

Just as others have accused me of various things, this charge once again falls down under its own weight. For anyone who has read any of my letters challenging pro-choice advocates, they know I extend fairness and compassion. It is only when they refuse to be open about their advocacy, only when they have refused to answer me honestly, do I publicly point out their closed-mindedness.

Ms.Morey and Ms. Chamberlain are free to express their opinions in the Times. But in so doing, they publicly submit themselves to the scrutiny of their positions and I am one who gives the scrutiny and expresses an opinion. But I only give the scrutiny that I myself first submit to., to the scrutiny that I invite my opponents to test me with. But they refuse.

Once again, if anyone can show me error in the merits of my position, I am glad to listen. But in the meantime, how honest is it just to tell me to shut up because I ask pro-choice advocates to defend their position positively, because I ask them to discuss the issues and not the rhetoric?

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

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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.