If you read my previous post on my opinion on abortions you may be somewhat surprised at this one, but I am trying to be consistent in my own views while supporting public policy that I may not like, but that takes into account an imperfect world. This is such a difficult topic, with one side seeing only murder and the other side seeing only choice. While I supported the Abortion Bill that was recently passed, it has come to my attention that there is another much more restrictive bill in process. So this is the letter that I sent to my Congresspersons today. If you agree with my point of view you might want to send a similar letter to yours.
To: Senator Jane Nelson and Representative Pat Fallon
Re: H.B. No. 59 and any similar bills in the House or Senate
First let me say: I am morally opposed to abortion. However, since I am not clear when life begins, I support—however reluctantly—the legalization of abortion, up to a point. I was in favor of the bill that was recently passed limiting abortion after 20 weeks to those with special circumstances. My concern was not so much fetal pain, as it was viability; the previous limit of 24 weeks seems too close to the point of viability to me. I also support higher standards for abortion providers.
My purpose in writing today, however, is to urge you to vote against H. B. 59 and any equivalent in the Senate. If I am reading the bill correctly, it would outlaw abortions after the point at which a fetal heartbeat can be detected. While I would rather women not have abortions at all, I recognize that there are times when an abortion is the better of two bad solutions. I think that as the state we do our duty by insuring that we are not killing a fetus who is potentially viable outside the womb. But although a heartbeat indicates that a fetus has the capability of later viability, a 5 or 6 week embryo is not yet viable. And there are different opinions on when that embryo or fetus becomes a person worthy of protection. So while it breaks my heart to think that women are aborting their fetuses, I don’t think we should limit them to such a drastic extent.
What I would strongly urge you to do is to write and sponsor bills that give access to birth control to all women and provide for sex education for children and youth. We need health care for women and children, regardless of economic or social situation. We also need to work on providing child care for women who are trying to work their way out of poverty.
I have always been on the conservative side of the political divide, and still am to some extent. And as an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, I think we are shirking our own responsibilities in the church to work with the poor. There is so much more that we need to do as a religious community. However, it is clear to me that the problem of poverty needs to be addressed at both the state and the church level.
I do not make a large amount of money, but I am willing to be taxed at a rate needed to provide for all children to have a safe and healthy start in life and a real chance to succeed.