In the Hobby Lobby case, the definition of abortion is open to question

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In her July 11 letter “Call It Abortion,” Gayle Wittmann challenges the media to say what they mean and substitute the word “abortion” for “women’s right to choose.” But Ms. Wittmann herself fails to say what she means by the term “abortion” and it is on this very point that the Hobby Lobby case arose.

One of the forms of birth control being resisted in that landmark case was the IUD because it was believed to be an abortifacient — “believed” being the operative word here because the science is still unsettled as to exactly what does happen with the IUD and the fertilization process.

Since Ms. Wittmann cites the Declaration of Independence in support of her argument against the “whitewash” of abortion, does she really believe that the fertilized human egg even before implantation in the uterine wall has the “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”? Is using an IUD, which may function to prevent fertilization or may prevent implantation of a fertilized egg, really the abortion of a human life? If a human egg is fertilized in a petri dish and the dish is knocked off the table, is that abortion? Does a woman really not even have the right to choose how she defines the microscopic events in her own body?

DAVID SIMPSON
Beaver Falls


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