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 A Letter to Presidential Candidate Bill Bradley

Bill Bradley: “I’ve always believed that abortion was an issue where you have to be straightforward. I am strongly pro-choice. I believe that the decision whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is a private one between a woman and her doctor, and we must protect that privacy. I also think that when terrorism occurs—such as the bombing of clinics or the shooting of doctors—it must be resisted with the full force of the federal government. Terrorism should never endanger the right to choose.” (Spotted on, 01/07/2000)

Dear Mr. Bradley,

My greatest concern with your campaign is your position on the “right to choose”. Reflecting on your statements above, I doubt very much that you understand the pro-life position on the issue. If you did, you would not make such statements as the ones above. Let me try to illustrate the problem.

The pro-life position is that the unborn are human persons, and as such are worthy of the same love, respect, and protection as the rest of us. If the unborn are not human persons, then I agree with your remarks completely – the decision should be up to the woman. In fact, if pro-choice advocates could demonstrate that the unborn are not human, I and the vast majority of pro-life individuals would walk away from this debate. If they’re not human, no justification for abortion is required. But if the unborn are human persons, abortion is rarely justified – and certainly not in its most common, elective form – as it deliberately results in the death of an innocent human person.

With this in mind, consider the following: You remark that, “...the decision whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is a private one between a woman and her doctor, and we must protect that privacy.” Privacy? Do we allow parents to abuse or kill their children as long as they do it in the privacy of their own home?

At this point, you may be thinking, “No, that’s a very different case altogether. Those are children you’re talking about!” And that is exactly my point: personhood is the issue. You are assuming that the unborn are not human persons, but that is exactly the point of contention – that is why pro-lifers are in this debate in the first place! You’ve begged the question, and assumed what you must prove to make your case for abortion rights.

It would be far more rational, and more straightforward, to say that abortion should be allowed and protected as a constitutional right because the unborn are not human persons. But then the focus of the debate would be on the personhood of the unborn. Arguments for and against would have to be heard, and that is one thing that pro-choice advocates do not want.

What is your response to the above? Certainly you believe that your position (pro-choice) is the more rational of the two. Demonstrate that the unborn are not human persons, and I walk away from this debate. I would certainly be much more open to voting for you. As it stands, I cannot possibly consider you as a candidate – that would make me complicit in the deaths of millions of unborn children. Give me a reason to change my opinion about your presidency: make a case for the pro-choice position openly, and allow it to be subjected to analysis and opposing arguments. I contend that once all the arguments are on the table, the pro-life position is the more reasonable position to hold.

Sincerely, and in the interest of our country and humanity,

Steve Thomas

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