Archived Opinion

Let’s have a civil dialogue about abortion

Let’s have a civil dialogue about abortion

To the Editor: Thank you, Jane Harrison, for setting me straight about my being in the minority of Americans because I think the unborn have rights. It feels good to be a minority for a change.

I mainly wrote my letter in response to one thing Dr. Hoffman said in his column about how no anti-abortionist ever cared about life post-birth. I think the examples of Mother Teresa, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and Mahatma Ghandi, prove that statement wrong. I should have stopped there. 

But it is good to engage with those who disagree on this gnarly issue of abortion, because we must learn to trust our opponents in order to keep our country together. I respect your view, Ms. Harrison, and those of Dr. Hoffman, and of Dr. Wall who expressed a similar opinion in his column in the Aug. 10 issue.

Before I get to the main point of this letter, however, I can’t resist taking a swipe at one of Dr. Wall’s points, because I know him to be a good fellow, and I know he can take it, and I know he can easily prove me a fool if he wishes. It has to do with his argument for abortion and the significance of size, specifically that the small size of a fertilized egg should not upend the rights of the woman carrying it in her womb. As he put it, “A fertilized egg is slightly smaller than the period at the end of this sentence.”

This heirarchy of size argument reminds me of what Lincoln said about slavery and skin color. He said that if you claim to have a right to enslave another man because his skin is darker than yours, then beware, because the first person you meet with fairer skin than yours has every right to make you his slave. Beware, then, Dr. Wall, of the first person you meet who is bigger than you, for he, by your argument, has the right to dispose of you as he pleases.

And speaking of small things, scientists say that when you’re infected with COVID-19, there are about 10 sars-CoV-2 virus particles in every cell in your body. If a fertilized egg is roughly two cells, then, the period at the end of this sentence could hold about 20 sars-CoV-2 virus particles, or about the same number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. My point is that small things sometimes are very significant indeed.

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Anyhow, that’s my last shot. Ms. Jane Harrison, Dr. Hoffman, and Dr Walls: We must agree to disagree about abortion. You all may have the last word if you wish, but I am finished trying to win anyone over to my side — to force my beliefs on you, as I think you guys put it.

Which brings me to the only point I really wanted to make. We are a divided country, especially when it comes to abortion, and each side is convinced it is right and the other wrong. This same thing happens in good marriages, yet the partners in these marriages work things out, which is why they are good marriages. 

Can we strive for something similar? Let’s continue a civil discussion of compromise on abortion, now that it looks like the states will decide the law. Can we propose laws that each side can live with? Is this not a case for the greatest enemy of the good is the perfect? Or maybe “good” is too much to hope for.  Maybe it’s enough to get to, “I-can-live-with-it-even-if-I-might-grumble-about-it.”  I want to think we can. 

As for myself, I will try to think of some compromises, and leave off arguing, and if my opponents can come up with some good ideas, perhaps we can mix them together and produce a proposal for our legislators in Raleigh.

Steven S. Crider


Leave a comment


  • Alas, the good doctor has betrayed a basic lack of professional attitudes. The facts do not support him, nor any other pro-abort fanatic.

    The left can not live with anything does not give them what they want. It's their way, or the highway, and they are willing to commit violence to get that way.

    posted by Quartermaster

    Monday, 08/29/2022

  • The whole abortion thing can be resolved simply by the parties practicing some form of birth control. Why is this such a problem? Its always been around. Or simply practice abstinence.

    posted by Lucille Josephs

    Wednesday, 08/24/2022

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