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I came of age when one had to lie ( pretending an impending marriage) to get birth control advice or pills. Finding myself pregnant after practicing vatican roulette at the age of 19, I took unknown pills given by unknown sources. When that and other silly/dangerous ideas did not work I was lucky to have the sister of a friend of mine notice my frantic distress. Even though I thought she was very conservative, she pointed me to a church affiliated underground pipeline to an illegal abortion clinic in Mexico. She and that church may have saved my life.

You, who have not been there cannot imagine the lengths a women / girl will go to terminate a pregnancy if that is her desire. I was lucky to find a " safe situation" . I had a friend who overcame extreme distress to accompany me. I was so lucky not to be in a back alley. I was so lucky not to be left infertile, maimed or dead. It was extremely scary to go to a foreign country and place my life and my friends life in this underground secret situation. But I did it. A parent may never know . Is this what we want for our daughters?

I learned during that trip and in following years that those on the east coast went to Puerto Rico for safer operations and on the west coast, Japan, was where very safe, legal care could be had for a price that very few could afford. Sadly many of these operations were late term,( saline induced labor) because cost meant parents were involved and that meant it took precious time to deal with the realities of travel and arrangements. Is that a choice we want people to be making?

Listen to young people caught up in unexpected pregnancy. The ignorance ( not to be confused with stupidity ) is phenomenal. Romance and sexuality promoted by media are a confusion for our uneducated youth that cannot be under estimated. The denial of sexual reality is the result of our refusal to accept sexuality as a large and natural part of our being. To ignore this drive is to have teenage pregnancy,abortion and child abuse. .

Abortion will decrease when real sexual education and access to pregnancy prevention prevails. Ending Rove vs Wade will simply drive abortion for the poor back underground,increasing abuse, crime and murder for the disadvantaged. The rich will continue to access other countries to get abortion for themselves and their children. Many women will be maimed or die once again at the hands of illegal procedures and myths. That will be the only choice for the disadvantaged. Can we then pretend that America is blessed by goodness?.

That facts are, that state by state mandated laws will be unfair to women. Clinics have already been harassed out of some states. The wealthy quietly take time off from work and drive or fly for needed care. The poor panic, try drugs, coat hangers and back alleys. The rich will continue to protect their own and the poor will have no control over their lives. The poor and desperate will risk all to protect their current employment and future chances of survival. Or they will be weighed down with an unwanted pregnancy, shunted further down the road to less choice for themselves and their families.

We all want to prevent abortion. Look at history. Look at countries around the world that endorse high quality sexual education. The facts are clear. Abortion goes down when sex is dealt with in the realm of reality. Education leads to good choices not necessarily sexual activity. Education and equal access to health care are the answer. This is the middle ground we seek.

Or, the so called Christians could stand up and pay for and adopt EVERY child from an unintended pregnancy. Where are the so called Christians once a child is born? How would we rate foster care in this country? Do you call for equal education, health care, elder care, mental health care, etc ? These are the issues that show our real moral values.

Abortion will decline when women are empowered with self esteem, knowledge and access to choice and control over their bodies.

I believe that abortion along with guns and gays are the issues used by the so called Christian right to AVOID social justice as taught by their inspiration, Jesus Christ. Legal execution even after it has been proven that mistakes have been made- okay, Killing and maiming of hundreds/ thousands of innocents in preemptive wars- okay. Torture -Okay. Long term ( unending ) imprisonment (of even teenagers) without trial- okay. Women as less then human - Okay. Blaming the needy,rewarding the greedy- OKAY. Assuming knowledge about "end days" against all of biblical warnings, not to do so- OKAY. Abusing and destroying "god's" creation(s) - OKAY. A nation that has a economy based on arms sales- okay, Jesus never mentioned guns, gays or abortion- but he did speak often about sharing the wealth, not judging others and treating " others" as we would treat our own. Where are his teachings in the call for national moral obligations?

A lot of slight of hand seems to be the shield of the so called christian right to avoid the lessons that Jesus bought forward from the new testament. He left most of the ancient strictures of the old testament , such as stoning, selling women/what to eat and how to cook etc. without mention. It is so much easier and politically expedient to raise a hue and cry, an outward focus on issues that Jesus never mentioned, but that play well in our media and political structure.

PS- Your guest on Sunday 10/12/08 falls into the frightening group of the willfully ignorant. Sara Palin is a person that condones witch hunting, a church run government, cronyism, slander and hate speech to win at all cost and on and on. She is not a christian she is a "true believer". Do some research. See the films of the " witch hunter" praying for her success. Read about "pastor Muthee". What kind of debate is it when the participants can say that they will "not answer questions" they will just choose to make speeches of sound bites. She is a divider, a pusher of hate and fear. Professing beliefs do not make them ours - actions do. Too many church raised people are brain washed from birth and cannot be trusted to have a thought in their heads not planted by a market driven church of business. She fits the the image of a christian when it is convenient and sadly there it ends, even if she believes she is righteous.

Thank you for your time.

Kathleen Tooke