The whole pro life game is designed to infringe on the rights of women not to be forced to bear unwanted children. There is no biblical sanction for this position. In fact abortion was generally tolerated until well into the 19th century when two forces converged to attack it:

1) the First Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church which passed a number of right wing assertions ranging from denial of conscientious objector status to war protesters and the doctrine of “papal infallibility” as well as an attack on abortion.

2) the gang up of American doctors against their principal competitors, midwives, who had up until then carried out abortions. Until the advent of anti-biotics mid 20th century, abortion was a risky procedure — but no more so than child birth, itself, (one of my grand mothers died when her third child was born — a matter of deep family sadness).

Roe v. Wade followed upon the horrors imposed upon women by illegal abortions, all too often carried out by ‘butchers’ on kitchen tables — while the well off might often obtain the procedure from doctors who would do it under different names. Those of us who were conscious of such things just prior to the Roe decision know how horrendous the situation was and those leading the abortion reform movement were often clergy — Catholics who supported abortion were all too often silenced by the Vatican.

Let us hope that the right wing move to dominate the Supreme Court does not throw us back once again to that hell for women.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]


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