Gloucester Daily Times Debate on Abortion (57), October 20, 1986

In Pursuit of Honest Dialogue

[Times titled it “Why Won’t You Hear Me Out?”]

Recently,Karen Morey wrote the Times urging opposition to Question No. 1 on the Massachusetts ballot.

But more foundational than temporal political issues is a matter of integrity. When Ms. Morey wrote a letter to the Times in March challenging a pro-lifer, I wrote her a personal letter, seeking honest and open dialogue. In that letter, I answered eight specific concerns she raised and asked her to define a truly positive rationale for legalized abortion. She did not respond.

Now Ms. Morey seeks to champion “the right to privacy.” We all recognize there are important issues at stake here, and questions where the line between private and public ought to be drawn. But in the matter of abortion, where the unborn human is willfully destroyed, the question involves life and death. And Justice Harry Blackmun, to whom she appeals in the recent Thornburgh Supreme Court ruling, admitted in his 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that there is no “right to privacy” doctrine mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. And, he also admitted, the Constitution does not define “persons.” Yet he then proceeded to invent such a “right to privacy” and he conjectured that the unborn are not persons, not by positive evidence, but by stated ignorance.

If Ms. Morey truly believes in such a stand, and is inwardly convicted of its integrity, then she should be glad to answer my request for honest dialogue. She should be pleased to answer my honest questions of her position. Until then, she assigns herself to those who “hear what they want to hear, and disregard the rest” (to quote Simon and Garfunkel in the plural).

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