Faith Commons

Recent column on abortion inspires readers

This excerpt was originally published in The Dallas Morning News. You can access the full article here.

Roe was middle ground

Re: “Going to extremes on abortion — Former Democratic congressman says party is driving voters away by rejecting compromise,” by Daniel Lipinski, Jan. 22 Opinion.

Lipinski’s column, representing The Dallas Morning News’ initiative promoting The American Middle, cites abortion as evidence of extremism.

Roe vs. Wade was a middle-ground ruling. Roe did not force a woman to have an abortion against her will, while Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has resulted in states like Texas forcing a woman to give birth against her will. Bodily autonomy is a centrist, not extremist, value rooted in spiritual and democratic principles of personal dignity and competence.

As a Baptist minister, I defend the right of every individual to be responsible for their soul before God without interference from government or pressure from others. Depriving a woman choice about her body weirdly suggests that she is capable of being responsible for her eternal destiny but not her temporal future. This diminishes a woman’s humanity.

Roe established a fetal viability test, allowing for restrictions thereafter. It recognized the decision to end a pregnancy as part of a broader respect for the life of the woman. It also honored the judgment of medical professionals who have sworn to “do no harm” as a first principle.

The American Middle is where we were on abortion, not where we are.

The Rev. George A. Mason, East Dallas