Upon reading “We have enough love,” the opinion of a Catholic priest — there are no female priests — printed in the June 18 issue of the Anchorage Daily News, I thought a compassionate article addressing, possibly, the plight of our nation’s homeless population might be the chosen topic. Instead, I was presented with an article criticizing women and attempting to convince his readers that a group of developing cells implanted in a uterus has equal legal standing to that of an adult woman — a woman who is probably already deeply entrenched in society, a woman who is most likely engaged in the nation’s economy as an employee or entrepreneur and a taxpayer, a voter and possibly even a member of our military sworn to protect the Constitution. This is not a religious matter, it’s a legal one. I shall attempt to sway your decision to favor the standing of the pregnant woman.
The idea that a fertilized egg is suddenly a person is, to me, ridiculous. It might someday reach a point during development to be considered a person, but that can only occur if the woman gives her permission. Pregnancy is a life-threatening situation. Women die during pregnancy, or can develop medical conditions permanently affecting their health. If serious health concerns existed prior to pregnancy, risks of an unwanted outcome are elevated further. Any woman facing substantial risks to her life or her health and well-being because of pregnancy must do so willingly. She must give her consent. She cannot be forced to experience childbirth. That would be a heinous violation of her fundamental rights as a female member of the planet’s human population. If she doesn’t want to experience pregnancy, if she doesn’t want any or any more children, the government cannot prevent her, or implement any significant hardships meant to stop her from terminating any unwanted pregnancy.
Forcing the agony of an unwanted pregnancy and childbirth on any female is simply an attempt by ultraconservatives to negate the human rights of every woman in America. Further, if abortion is ever made illegal again in these United States, then I think I will probably have to move, because a country that refuses to protect the human rights of their female citizens is not a country fit to live in.
— Al Bowling
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