In my Catholic college education of the late 1940's abortion was not on the agenda as such. I do recall that in theology classes we discussed the dilemma of "the life of the mother versus the life of the child." The conclusions were far from clearcut and the outlook very compassionate. Marrying late in life and not having had children, my viewpoint has become anti-abortion, pro-choice–the quintessential waffler. I think of women I know who struggled with large families, one of whom once said, "Keep the politicians out of it!" It seems that when legislation is signed, a row of men, pens in hand, is pictured. Keeping women from family planning information because it is "artificial" is astounding to me, when we use every artificial means to keep a barely-breathing, clearly-dying elder alive as long as possible. Churches urge the use of "natural methods." In our work with poor families in Guatemala, I've pondered their lack of opportunity, education, and health care. Lastly, one question, crucial for me, if abortion is murder, what would be the penalty? So far no one has answered that question, at least with any kind of rational compassion.
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