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posted: 11/11/2012 5:00 AM

Questions to ask about abortion

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Moderators' questions in political debates are meant to enlighten voters on where candidates stand on various issues. As we have discovered recently, they unfortunately don't always succeed. However, in our own lives, good questions do prompt us to more deeply consider issues and force us to ponder why we believe what we believe. They often are the only catalyst to changing one's mind. With that, I would like to offer five questions to help us all develop a thoughtful, not a reflexive, position on abortion.

1) If you do not believe that human life begins at conception, when do you believe it begins? At what stage of development should an unborn child have human rights?

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2) Currently, when genetic testing reveals an unborn child has Down syndrome, most women choose to abort. How does one answer that this phenomenon resembles the "eugenics" movement of a century ago -- the deliberate "weeding out" of those a society would deem "unfit" to live?

3) In many states, a teenager can have an abortion without her parent's consent or knowledge but cannot get an aspirin from a school nurse without parental authorization. Do you support any restrictions or parental notifications regarding abortion access for minors?

4) If a pregnant woman and her unborn child are murdered, do you believe the criminal should face two counts of murder and serve a harsher sentence?

5) Do you believe abortion should be legal once the unborn "fetus" is viable -- able to survive outside the womb?

Many of us take a pro-choice position of disapproving of abortion ourselves but not wanting to force our beliefs on others. To those, I would pose a final question. What if the issue were slavery rather than abortion?

Richard Kaiser

Elk Grove Village

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