As a young student nurse in the 1960s, the first patient for whom I cared who was my age and who died was a teenager who had given herself an illegal abortion. It is difficult for young people today to remember that there was a time when it was not uncommon for young unmarried women to be shamed by a repressive culture into aborting their babies. Although I was raised Catholic, I could not help realizing that the God I knew and worshipped grieved as much for the young women who died after illegal abortions as He did for the babies they lost. I became a strong supporter of Roe V Wade, believing that the lives of young mothers in difficult situations are just as precious as the lives of unborn babies. The God who from the cross forgave those who crucified Him can surely forgive those who make desparate and difficult choices. I cannot find it in my heart to condemn others to the death my first young patient died.
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