To the editors:
The prochoice activists interviewed in Florence Hamlish Levinsohn's September 15 article seemingly assume that all abortion opponents are maliciously unconcerned about the possible consequences of a legal ban. But certain prolife groups have developed model legislation which calls this supposition into question. Consider the Women's Right to Redress Act promoted by Feminists for Life. Instead of criminalizing women who receive abortions (a course which FFL utterly rejects), the Act empowers them to effectively prosecute unscrupulous and incompetent providers. Thus it gives women rights they lack under Roe, which has allowed a callous and profiteering industry to get away with injuring and killing an astoundingly large number of women, aside from what it has done to their children. Roe did not eliminate the back alley butchers; it simply permitted them to advertise in the Yellow Pages and victimize a larger clientele.
So that no women and children will have to go through the destructive experience of abortion, Just Life is currently encouraging state legislatures to provide genuine alternatives to it. These include parental leave policies, increased public aid to women and children in need, and financial assistance to people who adopt special-needs children. Just Life's model bills express the hope that legal restrictions on abortion will spur our society at long last to develop truly life-affirming reproductive options.
These proposals are applauded by a good many prolifers. Not all of us, you see, are driven by a blind punitiveness towards women and children, a perverse desire to compound human suffering. We simply believe that women should not have to kill their children in order to be full-fledged members of society. And children should not have to be subjected to either the violence of abortion or the violence of growing up unwanted and abused. Human beings deserve better than this. And a society which can sink billions of dollars into absurd weaponry certainly has the resources to give them what they deserve.
Mary Krane Derr
Coordinator, Chicago Chapter
Feminists for Life of America
E. Hyde Park