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Letters & Op-Eds - 2004

washington times

Pro-Choicer Misunderstood

Frances Kissling

9 December 2004

I was pleased to see coverage of my views as i outlined them article in Conscience magazine. My views lay out new ideas on balancing women's rights and fetal value in both moral and legal terms ("Pro-choicers told to rethink," Nation, Monday).

Perceptions of those who are opposed to and in favor of the legality of abortion are carved in ice; any shift in what one says publicly creates the speculation that one has changed one's mind.

Several points in the article do not do justice to my views. For example, I do not support laws mandating parental notification. I think they are useless and punitive. I do support parental involvement in adolescent abortion decisions and would support laws that provided funds for voluntary counseling for teens and parents facing this dilemma.

A desire to discredit pro-choice views also was evident in the claim that my organization, Catholics for a Free Choice,"has numerous ties to the abortion industry." In fact, no such ties exist. CFFC is an independent organization with a board of directors comprising Catholic theologians, sociologists and activists. We would not be ashamed to have ties to those who perform abortions, but it is factually incorrect to say that we do.

The main thrust of the article was that abortion is a serious moral matter; it involves multiple values, including both women's rights and the value of fetal life, and we would do well if we talked about both. I offered some suggestions on how those of us who are pro-choice can demonstrate that we do value fetal life.

FRANCES KISSLING

President
Catholics for a Free Choice
Washington

This letter appeared in the 9 December 2004 edition of the Washington Times.