False information is one of the biggest dangers of heated topics, as evident in Ken Trainor's Jan. 19 column, "Can Pro-Life and Pro-Choice find common ground?"
I am embarrassed that, until recently, I lazily accepted hearsay about abortion as fact.
Scientists say life begins at conception (visit www.justthefacts.org). Confrontational and controversial, yes. No one wants to think they support ending a helpless human life.
So, we use impersonal words like "potential life" and "fetus," not "baby" or "human being."
In "ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments," Randy Alcorn writes, "Fetus is a Latin word variously translated 'offspring,' 'young one,' or 'little child.' It is scientifically inaccurate to say an embryo or a fetus is not a human being simply because he is at an earlier stage of development than a born infant. This is like saying a toddler is not a human being?#34;or is less of a human being?#34;because he is not yet an adolescent."
Debating this clear-cut fact hinders the difficult, complex discussions of unplanned children, less-than-perfect children, as well as their reluctant birth moms. And what about all the women who've had abortions, many unaware of the facts or their options and then later experience pain and loss? If it's just potential life, a bunch of tissue, what's the big deal? (Visit www.feministsforlife.org)
This denial causes more confusion and pain. Trainor reflects society's schizophrenia on this issue:
"Abortion is cruel, ugly, and disrespectful of life."
"Abortion ends potential life."
"Is it murder? I don't know."
"Abortion isn't murder, but it's wrong."
Trainor concludes: "You can't eliminate abortion unless you eliminate the demand for it."
Supply and demand? Until we have an accurate view of abortion, we will talk about it like fast food at the drive-thru. I'll have a Big Mac, large fries, and an abortion, please.
What about the demand for adoption? Every year in America, 1.3 million lives end in abortion (numerous sources, including the Alan Guttmacher Institute), and between 1 million and 2 million couples (some seeking more than one child) wait to adopt (numerous sources, including www.abortionfacts.com). Meanwhile, less than 55,000 children are placed for adoption (numerous sources, including the National Council for Adoption).
Pro-choicers discourage adoption, claiming emotional upset if you "give up your baby." Do they mention the emotional upset when you "terminate the fetus"? Type "adoption" in a search engine and you'll see an overwhelming number of websites with people longing to care for these "unwanted" children.
Trainor opposes an abortion ban because "criminalizing abortion would do more harm than good." Why are we afraid to admit we made a mistake in 1973? If we hadn't admitted we were wrong in 1920 and 1865, then today, Ms. Joanne Trapani wouldn't be our Village President, and Police Chief Rick Tanksley would be working on Master Ken's plantation.
While I respect Trainor's stated bridge-building goal, before we can have reconciliation externally, we must have reconciliation internally. And that reconciliation starts with facing the truth, no matter how painful.