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I am a Baha'i and was raised listening to that old Seals and Crofts song, Oh Unborn Child (, but when my late uncle, Dr. George Tiller, opened his abortion practice, I gradually learned that few issues are as complicated or intimate. In my 20's I worked as an options counselor at an abortion clinic. I heard girls and women tell me about their abusive husbands and boyfriends, about being pressured to have sex by much older boys and men, and pressured to have abortions by parents and the fathers of the babies. Here's what I learned: sometimes life is too messed up to bring a baby into it.

I still believe very deeply in the sanctity of life beginning at conception. I was told my own daughter would not live outside the womb, and I was encouraged to terminate my pregnancy, but I didn't. I knew I would never exercise that option, though going through that with her increased my compassion for others who do.

And I also know that women are going to have abortions sometimes, no matter what anybody else says about it. If abortion is not safe and legal, many of these women will die from that choice. I do not categorically support every woman's possible reason for getting an abortion, but I also know that I am not empowered to be the judge of other people's lives. In my personal efforts I try to empower women to take themselves and their sexuality seriously, not throw it away. I encourage them to educate themselves throughout life, and choose their relationships carefully. This is a big issue, I feel I could write more, but that daughter I was told I should terminate in utero? She's hungry for dinner and harassing her younger brother.