- The Washington Times - Monday, January 26, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Regarding last weekend’s editorial (“Forced to abort,” Jan. 18), we can all agree that coerced abortion is wrong. There is no dispute about that. However, reproductive control comes in many forms - forcing a woman to have an abortion, forcing a woman to continue a pregnancy that is not her choice and, most often, coping with an abusive partner who refuses to use contraception. We need comprehensive solutions that address coercion and abuse and deal with the complexities of women’s lives. The Prevention of Coerced and Unsafe Abortions Act does not.

Relationship violence and reproductive coercion have direct reproductive-health consequences, putting many women at grave risk for unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS. However, there are ways to help. We need laws that promote violence prevention; train health care providers to assess patients for abuse; ensure women’s access to a full range of reproductive health services; and prevent violence and coercion in the next generation by teaching young people the importance of building healthy relationships.

ESTA SOLER

President

Family Violence Prevention Fund

Washington

* * *

I am disappointed with President Obama’s reversal of former President Bush’s ban on federal funding for international groups that promote or perform abortions (“Obama changes policy on abortion,” Saturday).

His politically invasive act, which will increase the number of abortions worldwide, violates the beliefs and ethical norms of many foreign cultures.

Science tells us that full human life begins at conception with the formation of a genetically complete, self-directing human entity, the embryo. Life does not result from an organism when it has been built up, but the vital principle builds up the organism of its own body. Abortion, therefore, is in every circumstance, murder.

Ultimately, those who support abortion cannot coherently answer the question why the right of the fetus not to be killed must yield to the right of individual freedom. When the law accepts that the rights of the weakest may be violated, it also accepts that the law of the jungle prevails over the rule of law. When we begin to call even an embryonic human being a “thing” or a “clump of cells,” progress becomes blind and destructive.

The respect for every human life is an essential condition if a societal life worthy of the name is to be possible. When man’s conscience loses respect for life as something sacred, he inevitably ends by losing his own identity.

To claim the right to abortion and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others. This is the death of true freedom.

PAUL KOKOSKI

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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