From: The Search, newsletter of an Ecumenical Church in Ft. Atkinson,
Wisconsin, June 7, 1973.
...it is each individual womanfs problem. No abstract philosophy, no high legal phrases,
no sanctimonious dogma or liberal jargon has anything to do with it. Every woman who ever
considers terminating a pregnancy has her reason. It is her personal reason, it is her
personal agony, and it should be her personal decision.
But since many men, and some few women, have arguments, let's look at some Ifve heard
1. "You are destroying a human life.?1 This fetus, which let's say has existed for twelve
weeks or so, is not yet, biologically, "a life." Potential life, yes, "a life," no. It
is still an extension of the mother, as much as a twig is an extension of the tree. Its
blood comes from the mother's blood, its nourishment is the mother's food, its oxygen is
the mother's life. If the mother dies, her fetus dies as surely as her hands and feet and
womb die. No, biologically, this is not yet a separate "life."
2. "This is a sacred human soul." That is a matter of opinion. However, I've never (thank
heaven) known anyone who wouldn't approve of abortion if his (or her) thirteen year old
daughter was made pregnant by the forcible rape of a mental defective. That, it seems,
is different. How so? Is this union of sperm and ovum a human soul if the female consented, but not human if she didn't? You are certainly entitled to your belief, and I want to
respect it, but I can't respect a belief that isn't consistent.
3. "It's against God's will." Nowhere in my Bible have I found an injunction against a-
bortion. Did God tell you personally, or are you entering into an agreement with God without consulting God?
4. "God said, -'Multiply, and populate the earth.1 OK, God, we've done that. Now what?
5. "All life is sacred. God said 'Thou shalt not kill.'" Some people think that means
you can't swat a mosquito and some think you can't eat meat and some think you can't remove an oxygen tent and let a ninety-year-old man die in dignity. In Christian America
it generally means thou shalt not kill thy fellow human except when temporarily insane, or
when justified, or when you are an officer of the law, or a member of the court, or when
in self-defense, or when the government has ordered you to do so. This is all politics,
anyway, since as I said in (1), the fetus is not yet a fellow human. It's just that this
argument makes me mad because it usually comes from men who think we ought to bomb the hell
out of Cambodia, shoot protesters, and bring back capital punishment.
6. "Women will use abortion instead of better birth control." Not likely. You'd have all
that morning sickness, and fatigue, and weight gain, and then there would be that terrible
strain on the 'endocrine system, and besides, it hurts. Aside from that, most of us are
practical souls. Any woman would know that abortion is mighty expensive birth control,
and furthermore, she'd realize that by the time she called for her second monthly appointment, her doctor might have a two-year waiting list. Now honestly, do you really believe
women are that brainless?
7. Here's a popular one: "It's against life." Now what the heck does that mean?
"Life." Beautiful. Sunshine and breezes and laughter. How could any decent person do
anything against life?
Let me tell you some other things that are against life: Crying all night for nine
months, or giving away your fully-formed, fully human little child to strangers, or getting
married at sixteen to a boy you're not even sure you like any more, or having a nervous
breakdown, or bringing another helpless child into the ghetto, or seeing your children
always hungry, or feeling your marriage die because there are too many people and never
enough money or room, or giving birth to a defective "menopause baby," or being so tired,
tired, tired with chiljbearing and child rearing that you plod dully and apathetically
through God's days, and never hear the birds or see the flowers.
Now, that's against life!
So, gentlemen, why don't you go off somewhere and figure out a way to stop wars and
keep drunken drivers off the roads. Let each of us women make our own decisions on our own
bodies and lives. We are ^ar raore able than y°u t0 un^rstaTld the consequences, either way.