Leonard Pitts Jr. is a syndicated columnist whose columns appear in my local newspaper. I don't always (or even often) agree with him, but his columns offer reasoned arguments (as opposed to angry rants) and provide insight into how someone who sees the world differently thinks and that is always a good thing. One of the issues we disagree on is abortion. He has always been strongly pro-choice.
So, it surprised me when I saw a headline over a recent column stating, "Yes, I guess you could say I'm anti-abortion." You can read the full column on the Miami Herald website: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article60122306.html
Here is the key excerpt:
How many baby bumps — wife, daughter, daughter-in-law — have I put my
ear to or touched in awe, wondering who this new person will turn out
to be and what things she will bring into life?
Baby love is not
exclusive to pro-life people. Nor, for that matter, is being “pro-life.”
The most ardent proponent of abortion rights favors life, after all, if
only because he or she has one. So the very language of the debate
creates false distance.
The iconography does, too. In recent
years, abortion foes have taken to brandishing gruesome placards of
dismembered fetuses to make their point. Those things never come close
to persuading me. They never leave me feeling anything but angry and
The most effective anti-abortion placard I ever saw
took a different approach, a tacit appeal to shared humanity and common
conscience. It said simply: “Abortion stops a beating heart.”
There you go. No need of weighty, philosophic discussions about the
soul or when life begins. I wanted to reject that sign the way you
reflexively reject anything that doesn’t agree with you, but I never
This is where we pro-life people need to reach people. With the prevalence of ultrasounds today, everyone can see the life inside the womb. We need to appeal to the shared humanity of the people both inside and outside the womb. Most people who are pro-choice are not in favor of the mass murder of innocents (there are exceptions). Rather, these people actually believe that they are doing something good for women. They are misguided, not intentionally evil. These are the minds and hearts we can reach and change, one at a time. Abortion stops a beating heart. The painful truth speaks for itself.