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There are seven fundamental truths about abortion that the "pro-life" crowd refuses to acknowledge.

1. Criminalizing abortion, women to have abortions, or doctors who provide abortions will not stop women from having abortions. Women wishing to end an unwanted pregnancy have been getting abortions since time immemorial. It will only stop access to safe and sanitary abortions. Desperate women will die in pursuit of ending an unwanted pregnancy.

2. The best way to reduce the number of abortions is to actively support access to safe, cheap, effective and available birth control. I don't see the "pro-lifers" doing this.

3. There is no scientific agreement about when life begins, so all this talk about "unborn children" is false religious, melodramatic posturing. Our Constitution frowns on laws based on your religious beliefs.

4. If you oppose abortion, don't get one. You have no right to decide what other women choose for their own lives and bodies.

5. The right for an individual woman to choose if and when to become a parent is a fundamental keystone of how she will determine and plan the rest of her life. Take that away, and women lose the ability to guide and plan their own lives.

6. You cannot be "pro-life" if you are unable or unwilling to support and enhance the lives of children who are already born: children of the immigrants at our border, children who are victims of sexual abuse by the clergy and their own families, children who are victims of domestic abuse, children who are victims of human trafficking, children who are homeless, hungry, sick. Working to end these circumstances will benefit more children than any abortion restriction you can imagine.

7. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. I once saw a bumper sticker that said "Aren't you glad your mother chose life?" The operative word here is 'chose.'

Celinda Lee Dahlgren


Editor's note: This letter has been modified to correct a typographical error in point 6.

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