Point counterpoint on abortion

First I’d like to thank Ralph Chambers for his kind words regarding my submissions to the Parkersburg News and Sentinel. I also appreciate Mr. Chambers and his efforts very much. But I’m writing today in response to Dan Kessinger and his, well, interesting response to some of my most recent News and Sentinel submissions.

Mr. Kessinger feels that abortion, at any stage but especially later in pregnancy, is the killing of a child. I find this view problematic for a couple of reasons. For one, Mr. Kessinger can never become pregnant himself, yet seems to have this deep-seated moral and ethical issue with women who terminate a pregnancy at any time, for any reason. It’s always amazing to me when men prefer depriving women of bodily autonomy and personal sovereignty instead of helping with the initiatives I mentioned in my original letter, which are actually proven to reduce abortion rates while helping women.

Secondly, Mr. Kessinger (who is quite obviously very religious) need look no further than the bible to see a prime example of child murder. If we’re going to argue that fetuses should be spared because they are sentient beings who cannot make an in uterine case against pregnancy termination, should we not also argue that the firstborn children of Egypt should have been able to plead their case that they couldn’t convince Pharaoh to release the Hebrews? But I digress.

As far as Mr. Kessinger’s point regarding the Declaration of Independence vs. the U.S. Constitution as they pertain to god, this is a common argument and totally expected. The thing is that the declaration is just that, a declaration of intent to live as a free and independent nation and not as British colonies; the Constitution, however, is a founding document. Our nation was founded with ratification of the document drafted in Philadelphia in the Summer of 1787, not by Jefferson’s words of 1776. I could go on to quote Adams in the Treaty of Tripoli, Jefferson in the letter to the Danbury Baptists, Madison, Thomas Paine, and many others, but I have not the time nor the print space. I’ll end simply by repeating that ours is a secular constitutional democratic-republic and not a Christian Theocracy, no matter how much Mr. Kessinger would like to believe otherwise.

Eric Engle