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<i>Atlantic Monthly</i> Essay Calls Tiller Murder OK--That Is Crazy

By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.

I was sent a link to this essay for the Atlantic Monthly online condoning murder. This is not journalism. It is not responsible. It should be recanted, deleted, and the person writing it (who calls herself pro-choice, but there's no evidence of same in this article) should be taken to the woodshed by her editors.

So. Now I can move onto the observation that if you actually think late-term abortion is murder, then the murder of Dr. Tiller makes total sense. Putting up touching anecdotes about people he's helped find adoptions, etc, doesn't change the fact that if you think late-term abortions are murder, the man was systematically butchering hundreds of human beings a year--indeed, not merely butchering them, but vivisecting them without anaesthetic. I'm sure many mass murderers have done any number of kind things over the course of their lives, to which the correct response, if you're trying to stop the murders, is "so?"

Any so-called journalistic institution that allows publication of materials condoning murder needs a new set of editors.

I'm pro-choice as a matter of privacy. Late-term abortions make me very uncomfortable, and I never would have had one myself. It's easy enough for women to detect pregnancy early on and have abortions early in the first trimester. Roe, if everyone recalls, was originally handed down giving women complete privacy in the first trimester, some in the second, and little or none in the third.

I would like to relate, however, I once had a friend who had a third-trimester abortion only because the child was going to be born with extreme deformities and die shortly after birth. This was a married woman who desperately wanted a child. But she did not wish to put any child through what this child was going to endure. She later had a healthy daughter whom she loves dearly and raised extremely lovingly.

We need to remember in this debate that third-trimester abortions are extremely rare (I've heard the figure 3,500 per year vs. more than a million early-term abortions per year).

I respect others' religious beliefs that late-term abortions constitute a taking of a life, even though I view it otherwise. We are just going to have to respectfully disagree about late-term abortions. Just as I would never, ever, ever consider forcing a woman to have an abortion she did not want nor passing a law to do so, I request the same consideration from those who would disagree with me. No one in this country has ever used the Roe v. Wade decision to force a woman to have an abortion against her will. Neither should it or any other law be used for the opposite effect.

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By Bonnie Erbe

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