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Advocating life

Observer Viewpoint | Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I’m writing in response to the columns from Lance Gallop and Peter Quaranto, both of whom I know and respect.

If abortion is an issue, then by all means, let’s figure out how to make it rare and safe. If an abortion is a procedure that kills a child, then it is an egregious human rights violation. We do not advocate for a man’s choice to abuse his wife or a teacher’s choice to sexually abuse students. We cannot advocate for a woman’s choice to kill her baby.

But of course abortion is more than the killing of a child: it is also a tragedy for a woman. Women do not turn to abortion callously or nonchalantly. They are being hurt by abortion as well. Desperate mothers need us to support them through places like South Bend’s Hannah’s House and to advocate for better policies. But they do not need us to protect the choice to kill, and they do not need us to leave them with abortion as their only real option. If we want abortion to end, it is more than true that we must deal with the root issues such as poverty, sexism and lack of education regarding fetal development.

But if it is legal to kill a baby, the first line of defense for that baby is to make its murder illegal. Legalized killing on the order of thousands a day is a fact in our country. How dare we hope to eliminate the suffering of women and children when we allow physicians to murder children?

Therefore the first qualification for election to any office of any kind is the ability to say, “I oppose the killing of children.” If a person cannot say this, she has no credibility for speaking on other issues. One can’t claim to be concerned about the welfare of people and in support of the murder of people at once. “It would have been legal and just fine to kill you,” the pro-abortion politician says to a child, “but since you’re here, let’s see to your well-being.” The absurdity of such a position disqualifies a person from making decisions on how people can best be served and protected by the state.

Surely not every anti-abortion candidate is truly pro-life, nor is every pro-life candidate fully qualified for office. But any politician who will not see that killing children should treated as murder by the law will never, never be qualified for office.

Kaitlyn Dudley

alumnae

class of ’03

graduate student, MTS Program

Sept. 29