In her June 26 letter, Rarely shown the finger, Natalie Gauthier writes that her participation in pro-life protests gets plenty of "smiles and thumbs up" from passersby. This, she insists, is proof that "abortion is becoming more of a human rights issue." However, as an ex-believer in that movement, I'd like to raise a finger, in defiance of Gauthier.
Since the '80s, the pro-life movement has consistently allied itself with the extreme right, including such pro-life ayatollahs as Randall Terry and Ted Byfield. Historically, they have opposed gay rights, women's rights, evolution in high schools and even public education and social spending.
Gauthier would only pooh-pooh the numerous concerns that feminists and social activists have pointed out for years -- that if you abolish abortion, you risk increasing the rate of unwanted children, resulting in increased poverty and crime, and overloading an already battered welfare system. Countries with easier access to abortion, plus the advantages of free birth control, actually do more good in lowering the number of fetuses being aborted.
At a time when Ed Snowden has already revealed more than what the U.S. National Security Agency wants the public to know, pro-choice legislation risks the privacy of women by potentially making their bodies government property. After all, if the fetus is sacred, then a woman's body can risk home invasion by the police or whatever federal agency, enabled by laws passed mainly by men and church ladies.