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clear picture A meditation on abortion

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Many good people hold that abortion is an act that is filled with sin. It may be so. Any act may be filled with sin. And abortion is, at best, a sad necessity.

Sin separates -- one person from another, humankind from all that is divine. Sadness need not separate; indeed, sadness shared may lift somewhat, and one who shares another's sadness, with sorrow and care, elevates humanity with the sacrifice.

So we may begin to agree. Abortion is sad, and we may share, with sorrow and care, the sadness of anyone who must endeavor such an act.

Many of those actors are, otherwise than this, good people. If their sad act is filled with sin and stains their souls in some way, then you must pray for those souls and grieve with the good people on their loss.

But must you cry "Murder!" and call in the state to punish and deny? Murder is not of the human realm where sin and grace reside, but of the Law, which numbers murder by degrees and considers circumstance in which degrees are blurred extenuating only, not vital to the case.

Please do not. Do not deliver sad humanity so carelessly to the blunt decree of law. Do not make a criminal of this good woman if at some sad time she must, for reasons that I may not know and must not question, abort a life that quickens within her.

If you do condemn her so, as well as those who helped her with compassion and with skillful care; if you make of her a criminal, who was not one before, deny her liberty, and bring more harm into her life to devil her -- if you do so challenge her, you must also challenge those of us who love her, and we are many, and many among us whom you hold dear, or would hold dear if you but knew us.

I know this good woman and know that, challenged, she will respond as her humanity commands, respond with courage and mighty determination. If you would force her to bear a life to term against her chosen course -- a course informed by all that is divine in this one woman's life, all that inspires her goodness and her friends to love her -- then you must crush her spirit, brutally. You must destroy her.

That would be a sin indeed. Pray for her rather, and for me, and for your own humanity, that we may all grow in goodness to the best of our powers and care for one another.


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