Magazine article Conscience

Editor's Note

Magazine article Conscience

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

RARELY HAS A COVER PHOTO ENCOMPASSED SO PERFECTLY WHAT we wanted to discuss in the current issue. For too long now, many prochoice advocates have had difficulty confronting what has become more and more apparent over the past few years: the public has changed its emphasis on abortion. While opinion polls continue to show that there is a consistent and significant majority that believes abortion should be legal, its longstanding concerns about the circumstances under which it should be legal have come front and center.

As with many issues that relate to individual behavior and personal choices, there is much that is contradictory about how people think about abortion. People have an easier time understanding the morality of their own reproductive health decisions but can be more judgmental of other people's choices. And that's OK. That's how it is, and that's how it's likely to remain. But we don't want this judgmentalism to result in a return to the ethics boards of yesteryear, pontificating and making choices for women facing unplanned pregnancies or in laws like those in Europe that require women to explain why they want abortions. We want the decision to remain in the hands of women. How those of us who are the nation's advocates for choice and providers of abortion service talk about abortion can have a critical influence on the extent to which the public will trust us, as well as women, to make that choice without government intervention. …

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