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Letter: The war on women is escalating

In light of news that a North Carolina legislator has proposed the death penalty for women who seek abortions, Wells writes, "it takes women's rights back uncomfortably close to the 1600s when women suspected of witchcraft could be brutally executed."

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Local TV coverage lately has filmed a man standing in front of the Fargo abortion clinic holding a sign that reads "Babies are MURDERED here." This is one man's belief or opinion, but from the national polls I've seen it is certainly not the belief or opinion of the great majority of Americans. Unindoctrinated people do not think it is fair to strip the deeply personal rights of a grown woman and hand those rights to a half-formed blob of protoplasm.

Recent radical changes to abortion laws are not the result of a groundswell of anti-abortion public sentiment, but they are clearly the result a decades-long, determined effort by an unholy, undemocratic alliance of conservative politicians and patriarchal Christian churches. The politicians are mostly right-wing Republicans who have resisted the sexual revolution because it opened the door to many social changes unacceptable to them, including abortion, same-sex marriage, etc.

The offending churches are spearheaded by the Roman Catholic Vatican, which has preached for 150 years that human ensoulment at the moment of conception creates a complete human person, so any removal of the fertilized ovum, embryo, or fetus from the womb is a heinous, unforgivable act of killing a human---in other words, murder. However, absolutely nothing substantial or indisputable in the Talmud, Bible, or even the U.S. Constitution advocates, justifies or defends that quasi-legal assertion.

This has not stopped many state legislatures from enacting laws with severe penalties for women and their abettors accused of having abortions. Most ominously it was just reported that North Carolina legislators have proposed a law invoking the death penalty for doing or having an abortion. This is an eye for an eye, a life for a life, and it takes women's rights back uncomfortably close to the 1600s when women suspected of witchcraft could be brutally executed. If I carried a protest sign, it would read "The War On Women is Escalating!"

Dudley Wells lives in Twin Valley, Minn.

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This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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