Much thanks to Ellen Painter Dollar and Karen Swallow Prior for their posts last week on Why I Am Pro-Life (Karen) and Why I Am Pro-Choice (Ellen). And great thanks to all of you who read and commented with respect, thoughtfulness, and genuine concern for both the women and children involved in this debate (and not just, it seems to me, concern for winning an argument). I wrote last week that I would be posing follow up questions for Karen and Ellen and posting those questions today. I have posed the questions, and they have written very helpful answers. The answers are long enough, however, to deserve 3-4 posts, and so I am going to wait to post them until next week for two reasons. One, I don't want to be talking about abortion on Thanksgiving. Two, I will be in New Orleans with Peter's family this week, and I won't be able to moderate this blog if/as contentious topics arise. So–please tune back in next Monday for further conversation about this important topic.
To give you a taste of the questions we'll consider:
I asked Ellen:
Why is ending the existence of an embryo or fetus morally different than ending the life of a baby once s/he is born? In other words, if we are treating embryos with reverence as human lives created in the image of God, why is abortion not murder?
What restrictions would you put on reproductive choice?
And for Karen:
You believe that human life begins at conception. Does that make abortion the moral equivalent of murder?
In saying that you are "pro-life," I assume you mean (and correct me if I'm wrong) that abortion should be illegal, or at least not protected by the constitution. How do you respond to Ellen Painter Dollar's contention that making abortion illegal will ultimately perpetuate the destruction of human life, only now in a way that poses grave physical risks to the mother as well as the unborn child?
You write that you would allow abortion in the case of saving the life of the mother. In these cases, would the mother be the person who gets to choose? How, if at all, would the government be involved?
For those of you who want more information about current issues related to abortion, please read "The Rise of the Abortion Doula," and please consider (per Sherry's comments on Karen's post last week) the language of "justice."
I will be posting for the rest of this week, just on less controversial topics.