If we want to get beyond the intransigence characterizing much public debate on abortion, it is less important to state what we think individually than to seek common ground in the underlying principles that drive our divergent positions. From a conventional moral perspective the onus is on the pro-choice contingent. Pro-life advocates are unlikely to be dissuaded of their conviction that equates abortion with pre-meditated taking of human life. Even so, few pro-lifers are pacifists. If pro-lifers acknowledge that some instances of pre-meditated killing are morally defensible, perhaps they can be persuaded to contemplate the legitimacy of others who define exceptions different from their own. Understanding that thoughtful advocates on both sides of the argument share common philosophical precepts is an important step towards dialogue.
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