LETTER: Not all pro-lifers are religious

‘We are at our best when we try to understand rather than denigrate one another,’ adds letter writer

Re: Letter, “Human rights include rights of women to control their bodies,” Robert Rock.

I’m not sure how calling the pro-life side of the abortion debate “religious twaddle” promotes productive public debate on something so important. I understand that we don’t all come at things from the same viewpoint, but we are at our best when we try to understand rather than denigrate one another.

Having said that, it is important to note that not all pro-lifers are religious. One doesn’t have to believe in God to believe in the sanctity of unborn life. The reason for that is simple: because the general pro-life argument can be made separate from any religious argument.

Naturally women’s rights are important – to virtually all citizens in this country. But my rights as a woman, and your rights as a man, cease the moment that we choose to do harm to someone else. Our country’s laws make this clear: This is why we have laws against everything from slander and copyright infringement to theft, rape and murder. Scientifically and biologically, a fetus is a human life from the moment of conception, and thus, that life deserves protection in the same way that our other laws protect the rest of us from being harmed by others. It is a plain and simple human rights issue to pro-lifers.

If you choose to bring the religious element into the debate, then no, God is not a baby killer. When a woman miscarries, it is generally because something has gone wrong in the development of the fetus, and it would not survive outside of the womb. This does not happen because God wills it. But if we make a choice to inflict harm on someone else, religious people believe we are acting against God, because we believe that only God has the power to give life, and we must respect the sanctity of that life.

If you want to dismiss religious arguments as a non-religious person, that’s your right. If you want to argue the science and biology, please do. And if you want to make arguments for why abortion should be the one exception in our laws, wherein our rights do include the right to inflict harm on another, feel free to do so. I’m happy to listen to and engage in arguments. But we will not be furthered as a society without meaningful discussion. Without it, we are reduced to denigrating one another and widening the political and social divide – which, clearly, is of benefit to no one.

Tracy Friesen

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