By: Gloria C. Endres
South Philly resident
In keeping with the spirit of respect and lucid conversation urged by Tom Cardella in his column on the abortion debate (“Save us all from the true believers,” May 29), I am using only facts to support my pro-life position.
Tom is correct that the majority of Americans agree that abortion should be legal, safe and rare. That position apparently was not in the minds of New York legislators who passed the euphemistically titled “Reproductive Health Act.” That law, that even Tom agrees was extreme, allows an abortion for one of three reasons: anytime and for any reason within 24 weeks from the last period; anytime in the absence of so-called fetal viability; and anytime to protect the mother’s life or “health.”
The last term, “health,” created by Roe v. Wade and extended by Doe v. Bolton, has been understood to mean abortion on demand. That is because the “health” of the mother can be extended to mean anything related to her “well being,” giving the attending physician wide leeway to decide if abortion is appropriate. In effect, this permits justification for any kind of abortion, including the dismemberment of a sentient baby (unless the baby has first been given a shot of the excruciating drug used for executions). No, Tom, that is not a false claim. Late-term abortions require exactly that procedure.
So, Tom should not be surprised by the reaction of other more conservative state legislatures like Alabama’s that want to ban abortion in most cases, including rape or incest. And, of course, these restrictive laws are intended to bring the whole abortion issue back to the place where it began 46 years ago – the Supreme Court.
I am glad that Tom agrees with pro-life advocates that babies with Down syndrome should not be aborted. I hope he feels the same about other disabilities or traits like gender that have been used to justify terminating the life of an unborn child. I hope he will join those on the pro-life side who are strongly urging Gov. Wolf not to veto the bill forbidding the killing of unborn babies with Down syndrome or any other disability.
There are facts and there are opinions about abortion. I prefer facts. Roe and Doe were decided over four decades ago. Since then, science has learned more about pregnancy and the exact moment when human life begins. The term “viability” has been misused to mean ability to live outside the womb. Fact: Every mother knows that her baby is dependent on her for everything for years, not just for 24 weeks in utero. So let’s stop the disingenuous use of that term.
I can agree with Tom that there are extreme positions in this debate. But where the issue of human life is concerned, the sooner we agree as a nation on protecting it at all stages and at all costs, the better. No compromise.