December 3, 2012

Victoria Toensing made some good points in her Nov. 30 Washington Forum commentary, “Come out, pro-choice Republicans,” but she missed others.

The hypocrisy of some pro-life extremists is hardly a reason to abandon that movement. Similarly, the outrages of some abortion providers are not a reason to outlaw abortion.

Ms. Toensing and many others assume that there are two “sides” to the abortion debate when, in fact, almost everyone holds views that are both “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” People differ only on where to draw the line.

A woman in Ireland who was 17 weeks’ pregnant died last month after being denied an abortion — an outcome that must outrage even the most ardent anti-abortion advocate. Conversely, even the most adamant abortion-rights supporter would agree that a woman in labor does not have a right to abort. Many believe that abortion for sex selection should be banned.

There are pro-choice Republicans, just as there are pro-life Democrats. None should feel compelled to remain “in the closet.” A person’s views of abortion are not naturally related to their views on the deficit, school funding, tax policy, etc. Thus, all political parties, and voters, should welcome people who support their overall goals, even if they differ on some issues.

Deborah Prigal, Washington