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Rational Dialogue on Abortion Issues

December 07, 1997

Msgr. Jaime Soto criticizes Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) for voting against the ban on partial-birth abortions (Letters, Nov. 17).

He seems to forget that abortion rights forces don't consider her a reliable ally. Her faith is Catholic, and the citizens who elected her to Congress are generally pro-life. She supports a medical exception to protect the life of the mother. This can hardly be called voting with her party rather than representing her district on this fundamental issue of life.

Pastor Stephen Mather says late-term abortion is a difficult ethical issue (Letters, Nov. 23). He seems to forget that protecting unborn life involves serious moral questions even during the earliest months. He uses words that will comfort the abortion doctors and clinic owners and their accountants. He commends Sanchez for taking a courageous stand. But she can hardly be pleased when he fails to call the woman expecting new life a mother, and calls the woman's unborn baby a pregnancy.

It seems clear that Sanchez, Soto and Mather agree that God forbids needless killing of unborn children. They probably also agree that no divine law commands us to send people to jail for abortion.

Mather includes the woman, the doctor and God in his analysis of the debate about when life begins. Soto opposes the death penalty and promotes wider access to the political process, as part of his total respect for the dignity of life. Sanchez encourages us to see controversial topics from the other person's point of view.

As a voter in the 46th Congressional District, I find this dialogue refreshing. Sanchez inspires civilized, rational discussion of pro-life issues. It's a welcome change after 18 years of hate-driven rhetoric from her opponent, Bob Dornan.

TERRENCE W. HALLORAN

Garden Grove

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