Analysis & Comment

Opinion | Absolutism on the Abortion Issue

To the Editor:

Re “Lost in Abortion Noise: Nuance” (front page, June 16):

As a pro-choice woman who is personally uncomfortable with abortion in most circumstances, I feel as if I sit between two camps, each of which shouts about half of the equation.

The left frames the issues as being solely about women’s rights while denying that the developing embryo or fetus has any rights at all. Yet, political rights aside, that growing being is new life, which is distinct from the mother’s body.

The right, sadly, proclaims the rights of that developing being as if the woman carrying it were only a vessel, a means to an end. Its efforts to shut down legal abortion will only send women to die in back alleys.

The only solution is to do all that we can to make abortions rare. To those who say that this position suggests that abortions are “wrong,” I say that having to make such a wrenching choice is never good for the woman, though at times it may be necessary.

Anne-Marie Hislop
The writer is a Presbyterian minister.

To the Editor:

I wondered why there is nuance only in the Democratic Party. The entire article was devoted to Democratic women having trouble with strong pro-choice positions. I know from other coverage that there are Republican women who have trouble with strong pro-life positions. Except for one mention of the Republican Majority for Choice (and its demise), we don’t hear anything about nuanced positions on the Republican side.

Deborah M. Kolb
Brookline, Mass.

To the Editor:

The print subheadline, “Politics Straddles 2 Extremes, but Americans Fall in the Middle,” promotes a false equivalency. If one extreme is forcing women to give birth against their will, the equally extreme other side would be forcing women to have abortions against their will. The pro-choice movement certainly does not take that position, nor does anyone else.

It’s long past time for The New York Times, and other media, to realize that there isn’t always an opposite but equal position on every issue. There is only one extreme position on abortion. It’s anti-choice.

Carol L. King
Los Angeles

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