Gloucester Daily Times Debate on Abortion (39), February 28, 1986

I Offer an Invitation to Cape Ann

In the face of the abortion debate on these editorial pages, and in lieu of response to all my challengers publicly (I answer all of them privately, as best I can), allow me to submit the following invitation to the Cape Ann Community.

I have addressed forums all over New England, and in the last month alone, I spoke at Dartmouth College, Harvard Medical School and Brown University. At a debate at Harvard, my opponent openly complimented me for the ethics of my conduct, for the “calmness” I established in my opening statement. This woman recognized the clear respect I honored her with as a fellow human being.

Soon I will be held accountable at the local level as well. An application has been submitted for use of the Fuller School auditorium by the New England Christian Action Council, for Friday, April 25, from 6:45-8:45 p.m. At that time, we will present the film, “The Silent Scream” and Planned Parenthood’s VCR rebuttal to it. Accordingly, competing views will be given expression on their own terms. Thereafter, I will present my own thesis, and then invite questions. My sincere interest is that as many pro-choice people will be present as possible, to grill me with rigorous questions.

We invite as many people to attend as possible, especially those who have or would challenge my advocacy. I believe you will be pleased at the spirit of the event, and the depth of interaction and compassion expressed. The forum in the editorial pages of the Times serves this community well. But this public forum will add necessary human dimensions not possible in the printed medium. Those truly concerned with honest inquiry into this crucial issue will make concerted attempts to attend.

John C. Rankin, executive director, New England Christian Action Council