William Raspberry {op-ed, Sept. 16} says that "hardly anyone can be fairly described as 'pro-abortion' " and suggests consensus might be reached on efforts to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.

Quakers are among those strongly pro-life and strongly pro-choice, but nevertheless reached unanimous consensus on the following resolution, adopted Aug. 11, 1979:

"Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends recognizes and reaffirms the basic commitment of Friends to the sacredness of life as well as the quality of life. We do not advocate or encourage abortionas a desirable method of birth control. Nevertheless, we acknowledge that in some extremely unfortunate circumstances a woman might find abortion the least undesirable of several tragic options. The responsibility for mak-ju ing such a decision ultimatelyrests with the pregnant woman herself." SHELDON D. CLARK Sandy Spring, Md.

William Raspberry's piece asks whether the abortion issue can be defused, at least for purposes of a social agenda. Unlike Mr. Raspberry, I do not think this is possible -- at least not until we recognize that the legalization of abortion in 1973 overturned 200 years of our national history, as well as its basic premise that we are created equal.

When the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they accepted as its focal idea that we are created equal. They were all aware that abortion occurred, yet they all agreed we are created, not merely born, equal. This distinction has had profound meaning for our development as a nation.

Abraham Lincoln penned the Gettysburg Address aware that abortion occurred. Yet the focus of that document also is that we are created equal.

The legalization of abortion means that we are not created equal. Only when we accept this as the outcome of legalization can we ever hope to defuse the issue of abortion. JOE GANNON Bethesda