The Doctor Speaks: Why So Many Abortions in the US?

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By: Henry N. Williams, M.D.

Q. Why are there so many unwanted pregnancies and abortions in the US?

A. It is true that this country has the highest rate of abortions and unwanted pregnancies in the world, largely be­cause we do not have the right kind of comprehensive sex education in public or private schools. When Surgeon Gen­eral Elders tried to implement it, shelost her job. Of course, sex education, including birth control and abortion need to be approached from a large perspec­tive. Ideally, we should accept ourselves as total human beings, with the need for relationship and physical intimacy as part of ourselves. For those of us who be­lieve in God, these drives are god-given, gifts to be used and not misused. When misused, they lead to anger, resentment and addiction. Money, social status, power and sex can all become the center of our focus and eclipse our calling to love God with our whole mind, our whole soul, our whole strength.

In relationships neither party should be hurt or forced to anything against their own will. Relationships must be on the basis of mutual respect and equality, car­ried out in complete honesty. When a relationship becomes sexual, both par­ties are responsible for being clear about what they want. If pregnancy is to be avoided, a physical barrier is best, and I would strongly suggest a fitted diaphragm for the woman and a condom for the man. Birth control pills do tend to cause problems in some women. I had dinner with a couple before going on a trip recently. When I returned, the woman had died as a result of a blood clot in the lung, and the Pill was held responsible. Abortion, of course, is always a difficult decision, frequently followed by sadness if not real depression.

This section would not be complete if I neglected to stress that in our pater­nalistic, almost exclusively heterosexual society, women are second-class citizens taught to be submissive, helpful and yielding. A real soul relationship, as de­fined above, has no limitation on the ba­sis of race, age, or gender. It should be welcomed wherever it is found. A con­cise description on how the early Chris­tian church of equality conceded to so­cial pressure after the Fourth Century can be found in Christianity and Crisis, by Rosemary Reuther.

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