The Common Good
August 2004

Finding a Third Way

by Bill Oehlkers | August 2004

Your article (

Your article ("No Place to Stand?") was very helpful, particularly the focus on reducing the incidence of abortion, regardless of a pro-life or pro-choice stance. A few criticisms, however: I haven't read everything the pro-choice lobby has said, but I think it is a misrepresentation to say that in the eyes of that lobby, the only choice in an unplanned pregnancy is an abortion. Choice means choice. When forced to the wall in the light of the Far Right political climate, it may seem that's all they are saying. Second, the terms pro-life and pro-choice have so many meanings today, as Schlumpf suggests, that they are almost meaningless. Each of those terms has several variations. Also, I have received literature from Planned Parenthood over the years and contributed to their programs, but I have never thought they were "promoting" abortion.

Finally, I agree with the article that we need to get beyond finding legal routes to deal with abortion. Why not support a third movement that says, regardless of our personal views on the legality or morality of abortion, we all need to work together to do what we can to reduce its incidence, short of passing a new law. I would join that group.

Bill Oehlkers
Barrington, Rhode Island

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