Although there will probably never be a consensus on abortion, it is also clear that two things must happen to advance the debate.
First, pro-lifers must accept that all women deserve easy and affordable access to contraceptives. Depriving Planned Parenthood of taxpayer funding or trying to render it ineffective is counterproductive.
Second, pro-choice advocates must accept the truth that any procedure that results in expelling a fertilized ova kills a living human organism.
I stood outside the Supreme Court in June 1992 when it announced its decision in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey. The decision left both pro-choicers and pro-lifers demonstrating at the court confused and disappointed, as will any future abortion decisions.
But despite this quandary, we must accept responsibility for our most intimate acts and do our utmost not to offend those of other beliefs.
There's a reason Roe vs. Wade remains controversial after 40 years of debate. Those of us against abortion believe that the procedure signals our country's inability to meet the needs of women.
A very large crowd is expected to turn out at the March for Life on Friday in Washington, including many high school and college students who have a renewed focus on how best to address this issue. These young people are focused on improving alternatives to abortion.
If anyone can change the terms of the debate for the better, it's them.
As The Times notes, abortion is one of society's most divisive issues. For this reason, women who have responsibly chosen to undergo a legal procedure and terminate a pregnancy generally choose to remain silent about their decision. They are often left to process this important experience in isolation, fearing that being open could invite harsh judgments.
The vigorous battle is not only to guarantee safe and legal abortions. We must also learn to honor and respect a woman's wisdom regarding her personal life.