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Social Issues: Letters

Inconvenient facts

A Dec. 16 letter writer maintaining that there is no difference between birth control and abortion ("birth prevention") represents an entire class of otherwise intelligent people who are totally ignorant of the facts about abortion. I think it is because they have been educated by the prochoice movement for whom slogans often substitute for inconvenient facts.

The difference, for those who actually want to know, is that before the sperm and egg join together, they are merely transient vehicles conveying genetic information. At the moment of their union, however, they become a new and unique individual that, barring attacks or accidents, will eventually grow and develop, going through all the stages of childhood and adult life on into old age.

If conception is considered arbitrary, then why not birth? After all, the time of birth can be delayed or accelerated and, in fact, a baby could be taken out of the uterus at nearly any time if someone so chose. So why not consider retroactive "birth prevention" for individuals who after that arbitrary moment are considered unfit or unwanted? This could be used for colicky babies, disabled children, rebellious teens, unemployable adults or burdensome elderly.

Ross S. Olson, M.D., Minneapolis.

Published by Star Tribune 12/15/1998

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