Add new comment

I wish to respond to the story you recently aired with the pro-abortion advocate who was speaking about the importance of civility in the discourse about this issue.
Feel free to post it there, i am very open to my words being posted. Krista made her opnion on the subject very clear. On the other hand, i wish to applaud her attention to the problem of the tenor of the conversation, although conversation is the wrong word, since the various sides do not listen to each other. This is something that i have noticed for quite a while. One of the biggest problems with the talking that goes on is that each side sees and defines the issue in completely different terms. The pro-abortion camp is focused on what they see as the rights of women, and the problem of unwanted pregnancy, and the way that women's lives are affected. In contrast, the pro-life camp starts with the basic issue that human life is sacred, and that ALL human beings should be considered persons. We see ourselves as championing the cause of the one group of human beings who are completely disinfranchised in the current American Legal System, of having the courage to stand up for the innocent who are helpless and voiceless. The pro-abortion camp denies the personhood of unborn human beings, not as the starting point of their argument or the core of their belief system, but rather as a result of their insistance of the absolute "right" of abortion; it is a logical end result of the thought process. So the result is that when the two sides talk at each other, each is putting forth their version of the issue, and neither responds to the other. In effect there are two different conversations taking place. So it is no wonder that there is never any progress made in the discussion, because each side is holding a different discussion. I found rather offensive the little smug and demeaning dig that your guest made against us by congratulating herself as being 'gracious' by using the term "pro-life'. I do however, strongly agree with her that the issue of gay marriage and gay rights has nothing to do with the abortion issue, except that both are about basic civil rights. I personally am very strongly for civil rights on both of these issues, i support the civil rights of both gays AND the unborn. I dont understand how one can be both for gay rights and for abortion, it is illogical. This is the one issue in which the liberal establishment is solidly AGAINST civil rights. I do recognise that she is speaking the truth as she sees it. I do wish that she, and you and NPR in general would give us the same chance. You stated that both Gay Marriage and Abortion are sexual issues, and i have to disagree. Abortion is not about sexuality, it is about the basic rights of human beings. I noticed that Krista was presenting the pro-abortion issue as true, and the pro-life issue as 'what some pro-life people would say'. This is endemic in the coverage of this issue by NPR. You make an attempt to be even handed in every issue EXCEPT this one.[in fact, i am rather annoyed that in the last year or so, we have heard MUCH more about the Tea Party than we have about activists on the left]. All of NPR's news coverage of this issue hews ABSOLUTELY to the vocabulary of the so called 'pro-choice' camp. The issue is ALWAYS presented as concerning 'abortion rights'. Those of us who champion the rights of the unborn are presented as being 'AGAINST abortion rights', rather than being "FOR the rightst of the unborn." The unborn human being is always refered to as a 'fetus' which is NOT a neutral term. It is just as leading and emotionally chargeed as using the word 'baby'. While in fact, both are true, each presents a particular interpretation of the ideological status of the individual. "Fetus" is a clinical, scientific word that refers to one stage of development of a human being. Because of that, it effectively presents the idea that the individual involved is NOT a person. Noone who is pregnant and looking forward to the birth refers to the child as a 'fetus', "Oh! LOOK at the ultrasound of my fetus!" It doesnt happen. The pro-abortion camp has spent a lot of time and effort in the last few years trying to insinuate their particular leading and prejudgemental vocabulary into the public discourse, and it is very unfortunate that they have, to a great extent, succeeded, at least on NPR. This is alienating a great number of your listeners and potential listeners. When we hear what is supposedly a neutral news story presented entirely from the pro-abortion point of view, we feel that we are being ignored and being demeaned. I do hope that you will bring this issue up with your news editors. Currently it is difficult to find truly neutral terms, but it is essential that we make the attempt. The solution to the issue, as i see it, is that we need to revisit the issue and work out a way to balance the sometimes conflicting rights of the mother and the child. I know that some on the pro-abortion camp object to the use of the term 'mother' untill the child is 'brought into the world'. The fact is, the child IS ALREADY IN THE WORLD. The big problem is that currently, people on one side of the issue are willing to ignore the rights of the child, while the the people on the other side of the issue are willing to ignore the rights of the mother. The legal system exists, in large part, to balance sometimes conflicting sets of rights and potential damages. We need to bring the best legal minds to this issue and find some method of compromise in order to balance these two sets of demands. The law does this in many other arenas, why not this one? But in order to do this, the pro-abortion camp needs to let go of their idea that the rights of the mother are absolute, the child being totally disenfranchised. And on the other side, the pro-life community needs to admit that criminalization of abortion is not an answer. It doesn no good either to the mother or the child to put the woman through the criminal law system. Neither side is going to be happy with a compromise, but it is obvious that neither side is going away. The proportion of public opinian has not substantially changed since Roe v Wade. The rights of the unborn need to be admitted and brought into the legal system, some balance must be found. We need to legally recognise that the unborn are not just a bag of cells, indistinguishable from a cancer, but a human being in one particular stage of life. I wish that you had thought that the words of the pro-life advocate that you mentioned on the program were fit to be broadcast over the air. I really hope that you read this with an open mind. I really agree with your guest that the current situation is not working, and niether side is going to convince the other because each has radically different starting points for this issue. Thank you, I hope that you find some of my thoughts worth sharing with others. Please post this for me on your reflections page and feel free to quote me on your show, hopefully not taking any of my comments out of context. Roman Kozak