Gloucester Daily Times Debate on Abortion (90), February 21, 1989

(Personal Letter in Response to Prior Letter to the Editor: Campaigning for Groups of Cells)

Ms. Frieda Arkin, 1 Winthrop Street, Essex, MA 01929

Dear Ms. Arkin:

If I may take a few moments of your time, it would be appreciated. I am writing in response to your recent letter to the editor of the Gloucester Daily Times.

Knowing quite well those who are involved in the “anti-abortion” movement, I can answer some aspects of your questions. First, not all of us are anti-contraceptive (I am a Protestant minister), except for abortafacient means (those which cause abortion after conception such as the I.U.D.). Second, Mother Teresa’s work with the desperate poor is famous, and she is an ardent spokeswoman against human abortion too. She and I believe that all human life is sacred, and if you can ignore human life at its most nascent and vulnerable stages, you can to it elsewhere.

Third, though the media hasn’t reported it, in this past year, World Vision has saved some 1.6 lives in Ethiopia, avoiding famines such as those that garnered international attention in prior years. I have supported children through world vision for ten years, and a personal friend of mine heads up their fund raising efforts on the East Coast. They too are ardently pro-life and oppose human abortion. Fourth, our energies are not frantic — they are perseverent and borne out of deep conviction and compassion for others. You and I were one celled-zygotes in our mother’s fallopian tubes, and apart from our nurture, we would have never achieved consciousness.

And in many and various ways, you may be surprised at the depth of my involvement and that of other pro-life advocates, in concerns about the poor, about racism and sexism, about education, the environment, prison reform, drugs, etc. And I am pleased to be quizzed about it, if you wish.

Your questions are good, and I honor them. I too, have a question. What is your involvement in all these arenas? Have you selected (we can’t do it all) one or several where you have a sense that you are undertaking tangible and practical action on behalf of the needy?

Sincerely yours,

John C. Rankin