Let’s unite on the abortion issue

October 29, 2008

Msgr. Lawrence Baird says that “no intrinsic evil can be supported in any way, most especially … taking an innocent life.” (“How to handle abortion issue?” In Theory, Oct. 25)

We in the anti-abortion community have spent the last 35 years spending enormous resources of time, talent and treasure in an as-yet unsuccessful effort to make abortion illegal.

What has been the result of that effort?

We now lose 1 million-plus lives a year to abortion. The party occupying the White House doesn’t seem to matter. Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr. — still 1 million-plus lives lost every year.


A case can be made that our effort to make abortion illegal has actually increased the number of lives lost to abortion.

The abortion-rights side feels compelled to expend enormous resources of its own opposing us in this effort.

What if both sides invested instead all those resources into mutually acceptable programs that would actually reduce the number of abortions? Sex education, healthcare, counseling, day care. Both sides could agree on such programs to help make abortions “rare” (as many on the abortion-rights side would like to do).

The result? Abortions reduced, lives saved.

We must never concede the principle that abortion is a moral evil.

But abortion’s legality or illegality is not itself a moral issue. Trying to make abortion illegal is only one mean to honor the moral principle. Thus far it appears to be a singularly unsuccessful mean.

What if we try another strategy, another means to honor the principle?

While we continue efforts to effect a conversion of hearts on this issue, let’s suspend indefinitely our efforts to make abortion illegal and instead concentrate on joint efforts by people of goodwill on both sides of this issue to reduce the number of abortions performed each year.

What if such a new strategy would save 100,000 lives each year or even 250,000 lives or even more?

If we refuse to undertake this new strategy while stubbornly persisting in a strategy that results in 1 million-plus abortions each year, year in and year out, how can we rationalize the 1 million-plus lives which will likely be lost next year and the next?

That would be “an intrinsic evil,” which should “not be supported in any way.”

Steven J. Dzida

Costa Mesa

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