Gloucester Daily Times Debate on Abortion (43)

March 26, 1986, Personal Response to March 24 Letter to the Editor

March 26, 1986

Ms. Karen Morey. 96 Western Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930

Dear Ms. Morey:

With respect to your recent letter to the Times criticizing Tom Griffith, perhaps he will respond positively to your concern about the phrase “where’s the baby” as it is open to being interpreted as trivializing the issue. But I do know that he does not trivialize the seriousness of the matter though. But I will let him answer you on that, as I assume he will.

My interest is more along the line of the various phrases you used. I believe, in the basis or rigorous and legal study, that 1) abortion is categorically unconstitutional and not in the interest of women’s rights; (2) all freedom of choice has boundaries to protect the lives of others; 3) abortion discriminates against the poor and does not help them as all; 4) the separation of church and state (a Jeffersonian phrase not in the Constitution) is designed to protect the freedom of religious expression from being trampled by government, not vice-versa; 5) in no sense am I or others seeking to impose personal beliefs on society, rather we are submitting them to the openness and accountability of the democratic process; 6) the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision is a case of raw judicial power which overstepped its constitutional authority by writing new law, not by interpreting existing law, imposed its own view on a society which has never voted to legalize abortion; 7) unquestionably (the erudite research supporting this conclusion its enormous and readily available, and in personal terms, I have argued this before a medically trained audience at Harvard Medical School, and was unchallenged); and 8) to make abortion illegal again is not to make criminals out of women, or to seek such; it is to protect both women and their unborn children from forces that discriminate against child-bearing and the health of marriage and the family.

These statements are strongly affirmed as I have defined them. I believe that if you are open and honest about the subject, you would be glad to provide me with concrete data that challenges any of them. You would be glad to define a positive rationale for why abortion must be a legal alternative, and not just a negative campaign as I consistently discern among advocates of legalized abortion.

Though I am challenging your advocacy, I do hope you realize that I do it on terms of honest inquiry, and not in terms of shrill or character assassination. I am always open to gracious dialogue, to truly listening to your advocacy. I seek to persuade, not by manipulation, but by reasoned thinking.

Yours truly,

John C. Rankin