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LIBERTY: Rights & Tolerance | October 22, 1999


An Unpublished Letter to Los Angeles Times

As a Catholic and a Democrat, like so many other Angelenos, I know and respect people on both sides of the abortion issue. While it often seems like there could not be any "middle ground" in this most emotional issue, I believe that it not only exists but is the law of the land.

As I have read in the Times and in other trusted sources over the years, the best scientific evidence is that the growing brain of an unborn human being does not develop the nerve connections required for thought, feeling, and awareness until approximately the 28th week of pregnancy. Before that time, although the fetus may look fully formed and may exhibit reflex reactions, it is no more "brain alive" in these first stages of life than someone who is "brain dead" in the last stages of life (The same people who in good conscience fought legislation outlawing "pulling the plug" on brain-dead patients are also leading the fight against abortion).

Although many on both sides of the abortion issue refer to the Roe vs. Wade decision, few know exactly what it says. As I understand it, the Supreme Court, after thorough deliberations, has allowed few restrictions on abortions during the first two trimesters (when most are performed) but many restrictions during the last trimester (I personally find "partial birth" abortions wrong, the killing of an actual baby). This decision seems well founded on the best scientific evidence and, thus, wise.

God made us human by blessing each of us with a brain, of whatever IQ, to discover His truths. Whether or not such "facts of life" please us, it is our responsibility to face them in our dealings with others. From understanding comes peace.

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