FYI I've been thinking about these issues for quite some time. In brief, I think that a major opportunity for developing "common ground" on the abortion issue is that nearly everyone across the spectrum agrees that abortion is inherently a "bad" thing (either "morally," or at least in terms of women's psychological health, etc.); no one thinks it's a "good" thing to have many abortions happen. And there's a growing understanding and agreement that we should be working to reduce the prevalence of unwanted pregnancies in the first place. Some Christian health professionals and activists, for example, realize that increasing the access to family planning services will result in a significant reduction in abortions. (Even Catholic organizations can support "natural family planning" methods, some of which are quite effective and would also reduce the level of abortions performed.)
I have been invited to address the United Nations General Assembly this month (for a panel on "Globalization and Health," along with the Director of the World Health Organization and some other public health experts), and plan to emphasize this point.
Daniel Halperin, PhDSenior Research Scientist, Lecturer on Global HealthHarvard University School of Public Healthdhalperi@hsph.harvard.edu(617) 432-7388
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