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Comments on abortion

As I listened to your request for comments on abortion this morning, Saturday Oct 4, I am motivated to respond to tell how the many women in my life: grandmothers, mothers, aunts, my intersection with pregnancy, my peers in high school, my adult friends, and over the last six months my nephews’ choices.

My simple comment on how abortion intersects, has intersected my life is that it appears any possible termination of pregnancy is always present when a women is with child. In most cases the loss of a child, no matter what case, follows the arc of a pregnancy until a child is born or lost.

For me the current political debate on what abortion is or is not is Abstract, not real. I greatly appreciated President Clinton’s framing abortion as (and I paraphrase here) something that should be infrequent. Hilary Clinton and Barrack Obama have kept this goal in their comments on abortion too. And when I talk with my family and friends who don’t support abortion I turn to Clinton’s axiom. This is where we can agree: keeping unwanted pregnancies from occurring in the first place. We also agree that all of our goals on abortion should be supporting the decline of aborted pregnancies. (Character building and self-knowledge along with education is how we can achieve this goal.)

If all of us would seek out women’s stories on their intersections of choice throughout the 20th century I think our understandings and conclusions on this reality in women’s and men’s lives would point us to: every choice is personal and private based on their specific situation. (I support a women’s right to choose based on keeping medical choices available as they are needed. Legislating medical treatments/procedures is just wrong-headed.)

The apparent absence of women’s stories, of their personal intersections with choice, in the political dialog is the problem. But I also know that the private, these private experiences, don’t belong in political discourse. Ultimately, can we conclude that the conversations on the right to life, the right to choose should occur more closely to home and not be politicized?

After setting out this preamble, I was going to proceed with stories of my intersections with abortion choices, but now I realize it is unimportant to tell my specific education. The point is that I am better educated by knowing that unwanted pregnancies occur and in hearing of my friends and families experiences with this reality helped me appreciate the biggest possible picture of what this issue is. Unwanted pregnancies are apart of most family histories and should be shared– I believe this how character is developed. It is important for the young to hear and be witness to all moral challenges– and what better witness and teacher than one’s family.