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Let me begin by saying that I believe that abortion is the taking of a life. I also want it to remain a choice. My reasoning is that it is impractical/immoral/unethical to force a woman to bear a child she does not want. Yes, the baby could be adopted. But if the mother doesn't want the child, can we expect her to get good prenatal care, avoid alcohol, cigarettes, drug use? Back in the 60s one of our neighbors in our small town called my mom to give her a ride to the hospital because she was hemorrhaging--the result of a "coat-hanger" abortion. My mother wouldn't give her a ride because she was afraid of the consequences.

I would like to understand what those who oppose abortion can offer as alternatives. I would like them to understand that calling abortion murder is not helpful. I think most women going for an abortion are making a difficult choice and know what they are doing. I tend to agree with the bumper-sticker slogan, "If you don't trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child?"

I wonder whether some of our strong feelings about abortion are tied to our attitudes about sex, sin, and punishment. For example, do some of us take the attitude that "if she didn't want to get pregnant, she shouldn't have had sex"?

I heard a terrific story once about folks who were on the opposite side of the abortion question working together for the health and wellbeing of unwanted children. Somehow we must find our common ground by focusing on common values--love, compassion, security-- and be willing to let go of black & white positions to consider all the shades of gray. We need to look at what lies behind/underneath our positions toward abortion, what our fears are.