In response to “The ‘Outing’ of a Pro-Lifer,” by Susan Carpenter McMillan, Commentary, May 4:
I can certainly understand how Susan Carpenter McMillan could have regrets regarding her (legal) abortion 20 years ago. I am sure there are hundreds of women who have similar feelings since abortion is something a woman does not go through casually. What I do not understand is how she can justify trying to eliminate that option for others. Perhaps she made a mistake, but I would venture, if all the circumstances were the same, she would do the same again.
Isn’t it wonderful that she lives in a country where one can have a safe and legal abortion, and each individual can deal with her own guilt or relief. To deny others the same right she took advantage of when she needed it is self-serving and hypocritical.
Palos Verdes Estates
The whole point of being pro-choice is, for me, a guarantee that when a woman makes that very personal, very private decision her action is not only medically safe but legal as well.
McMillan was fortunate in that she only had to face her own conscience. Those of us who made that wrenching choice prior to Roe vs. Wade also faced a jail sentence, unsanitary conditions and exorbitant cost.
The procedure I endured took place on the kitchen table in a stranger’s house. There wasn’t equipment for sterilizing instruments and there certainly wasn’t time for the luxury of anesthetics! Twelve other women sat in a darkened living room hoping that they would get their turn before the police raided.
McMillan may be interested in overturning a woman’s access to a safe, legal, medical procedure now that she’s had hers. I hope her daughters won’t have to pay the price.
Congratulations to McMillan for confronting the moral dilemma of abortion with honesty and courage: Abortion is the “unnecessary death of a child,” and “we as mothers instinctively know . . . we ended the lives of separate human beings growing inside us.”
Women and men alike can know instinctively as well as through science and reason that human life begins at conception. Although we invent medical and legal definitions to devalue and dehumanize prenatal life, although we declare it non-living, non-viable, non-human, or a non-person, from the moment of our conception we are never anything less than human life with a human face that will manifest itself in due time.
How can we teach our children to value and respect human life while through the example of hundreds of thousands of abortions each year we show them that human life has value only if wanted, planned and not inconvenient? How long shall we as a people and nation deny the humanity of our entire prenatal population in order to justify the termination of human life for the sake of personal convenience and the pursuit of recreational sex on the part of women and men?
You feel guilty after an abortion. Everybody does. The woman does, her mate does, even the doctor. But we choose the life that is best for us. Better a whole life for one, than half a life for each of two people. To a young innocent college girl with the world ahead of her, you’re in an impossible situation with no way out. Many have chosen suicide. Others choose the penitentiary of welfare and a sorrowful life thereafter. Life is a fragile gift. Better we give this gift with great care, than reproduce a crippled life of anguish that loses its soul in a world characterized by the staggering injustice of the day.
STEVEN B. SILVERMAN MD