Letter to the Editor: Schmookler’s challenge a dizzying adventure
I accepted Andy Schmookler’s challenge — “Here’s a challenge for pro-lifers” in the Sept. 26 edition — with a sincere attempt to follow his argument, but it was a dizzying adventure. To cut to the chase, I do not agree that he is right. In fact, his article was a thinly veiled attempt to paint pro-life conservatives in a bad light.
He says “a lot of pro-lifers, I have learned over the years, regard pro-choice people with moral disgust.” Really, where did he learn this? Has he walked around the Mall in D.C. on Jan. 22 and asked the thousands gathered there whether they regard pro-choice people with moral disgust? Or at a crisis pregnancy center? Or at an abortion clinic where people are praying and handing out literature so that women can have all the facts before making a decision? He would be hard-pressed to find people saying this anywhere.
We regard abortion with moral disgust, as any sane person ought, especially in light of recent videos. Far from disgust, our feelings for the people who are having or performing abortions are pity and love. Our desire is that all who participate in abortion will come to see it for what it is: the destruction of life.
As to the life issue, the argument for “life from the moment of conception” is the strongest. I agree that there are many who question when life begins. However, should we call it a full life at such-and-such point, but not before? When in doubt, the logical course is to assume life at the earlier or earliest stage, and err on the side of caution, to avoid making a mistake. I won’t even go into the preponderance of evidence from science — quite aside from religion — that life begins at conception.
There is no doubt that pregnancy can be troubling, confusing and frightening. This is why so many support crisis pregnancy centers. For Mr. Schmookler to claim that pro-lifers view pro-choicers with moral disgust, then uses this as a basis for stating that pro-lifers are the cause of an unhealthy political environment, is disingenuous.