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A perspective first published in the Forum of the Peoria Journal Star, in response to the op-ed piece by the Reverends Joy Schlesselman and David Koehler concerning abortion which appeared in the Star on March 5, 2000.

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Pro Choice ministers challenged on their position on abortion - Central Illinois Right To Life

Pro-Abortion Ministers

Have Lost All Credibility

A Perspective first printed in the Forum of the Peoria Journal Star.

As a fellow "person of the cloth," I would like to respond to the op-ed piece by the Reverends Joy Schlesselman and David Koehler concerning abortion (March 5).

I pretty much skimmed the article once I saw they were trumpeting the usual pro-abortion litany. But then a phrase stopped me cold: "As people of faith, we should grieve the loss of life that accompanies abortion." I reread it a couple of times and then checked with my wife to be sure I wasn't misunderstanding. It clearly stated that abortion involves the loss of life. May I also assume we're talking "human" life?

Why should we grieve the loss of life if this is nothing more than a medical procedure on a piece of tissue that lacks any kind of viability? Could this loss of life be the reason why the typical pro- abortion politician (e.g., the fairly new convert Vice President Gore) recites the mantra of "personally opposed, but" as a justification for his position? I've always been confounded by this approach. Unless one sees abortion as the taking of human life, why else would you be at once opposed and yet so adamantly defensive? And if it is the taking of life (may I be so bold as to say innocent life), how can one defend an action that in any other setting would be defined as murder?

We expect (though bemoan) a campaigning politician to "go by the book" and grab onto any view that might gain popularity and help ensure victory. However, a minister (who might reasonably be expected to go by The Book) ought to aim for a higher standard.

If I see abortion as the loss of life, then how can I but take a stand - a strong stand - against it? Otherwise I might as well turn in my credentials (or at least my Book), as I've lost all credibility in speaking out on issues of biblical morality.

Gary Roseboom
Peoria, IL

Read Another Challenge To Pro Choice Christians.

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