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I had an abortion in 1988. At the time I was young, unmarried, without a job, and couldn't bear the thought of bringing the child to term and then giving it up for adoption. I did a lot of reading on the development of the fetus, and learned that the brain is not developed until after (I believe) the 8th week of gestation, so that before then, the fetus does not experience PAIN. This was important to me in my decision- I did not want the fetus to suffer- and had the abortion as soon as possible. (This is why I am against late-term abortions, in particular.)

My decision was a sad and difficult one. It makes me sad to this day and given similar circumstances today, I might choose differently. Still, I believe the decision is an individual one and do not condemn those who choose to have early abortions. I do, however, condemn later abortions (except in the case where the health of the mother is at stake, or when the mother is very young)because I believe they are needlessly irresponsible.

Spiritually, I believe there is a karmic price to be paid for an abortion, but there is a karmic price for any choice that brings harm to any or all of God's creation. In our choices, there are lessons to be learned.

I do not like to argue with those who are adamantly Pro-Life because they have a right to believe that all life is sacred. I would simply say that forcing a mother to carry an unwanted baby is also a form of violence. In my opinion, early on in the pregnancy, the well-being of the mother must come first.

I'm not sure that conversations between those who are Pro-life and those who are pro-choice can ever sway one side or the other. But- as Obama said- both sides can surely agree that we need to find ways to reduce unwanted pregnancies and to support young mothers.

Thank you for all your great programs! For me, each Saturday morning with Speaking of Faith is a spiritual renewal.
Sincerely, Karen