In The War Between Heart and Mind, the Rev. Tom Davis, Clergy Advisory Board Chair for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, suggests that the Religious Right do some soul-searching about abortion.
If, God forbid, the "right to life" people actually get what they say they want â€” the criminalization of abortion â€” millions of them may be stunned at their reactions when they see or read about:
Â· Women forced to testify at the trial of doctors accused of doing abortions. Refusal to testify could result in charges of contempt.
Â· Hospitals required to report suspected illegal abortions.
Â· A startling increase in teen births on the part of women who cannot afford to travel to a state where abortion is still allowed.
Â· Police coming to the emergency room to question women who are suffering infections or other damage due to an illegal abortion.
Some will question whether all of these things will happen. Perhaps the enforcement will not be thorough at all. But if that proves to be the case, if the law is largely ignored and illegal abortions occur in great number, then what was the point of the law? Clearly it was not to stop abortions. It was to institutionalize a principle, the principle that women do not have this right. That principle is something that the mind can understand abstractly, but it also produces consequences that fill the heart with revulsion.
My own heart is filled with both revulsion and sorrow, because for some women access to legal -- and therefore safe -- abortion is already out of reach again, in fact if not in law.