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Ken Koehler , West Fargo, Published January 23 2013

Letter: In way of a clarification, life always gift from God

Clarification is needed in response to some of the statements attributed to me in one of the articles from The Forum coverage of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which appeared in the Jan. 20 edition.

On Page A8 under the heading “Outside clinic, pair divided by views can still connect,” the writer who interviewed me got some of it right – but apparently misunderstood other parts. First, let’s be very clear that the child in the womb is a human being, a person in continuous development, and therefore its life is to be protected. I started out by pointing out that records show that 95 to 99 percent of all abortions in our nation are done for reasons other than for what are usually referred to as the “hard cases” of “the life of the mother, rape or incest.” This is a very important fact to remember because most of the questions asked of me in the interview, as well as most of the objections to my pro-life presence outside the local abortion facility, have dealt with these “hard cases”

– even though they amount to only a small percent of those coming for abortions.

In regard to the life of the mother, I did mention that if there was absolute certainty that the life of the mother would be lost by continuing the pregnancy, then in this rare situation there is understanding for an exception to a no-abortion-ever stance – because there is another human life involved, that of the mother. Having said this, however, the facts show that with today’s medical advances, this choice between lives rarely needs to be made and the lives of both the mother and the unborn baby usually can be saved – and should always be attempted to be saved! This attempt to save both lives should take place in a hospital where the intent is to save life – rather than in an abortion facility where the specific intent is to end the life of the unborn person.

In regard to situations of rape or incest, I had not commented on them at all during the interview other than in my earlier reference to the very small percent of abortions done for these reasons. Unfortunately, the reporter must have accidentally assumed that I supported these as reasons for abortion. I don’t. I certainly understand why many do support these exceptions because of the tragic circumstances involved, but to automatically assume that the solution is to abort the innocent resultant life adds yet another tragedy to the women’s life – and of course brings death to the newly conceived life.

Again, please do not misunderstand or misinterpret what I’m saying here: I did not call rape a gift – for it is a horrible sinful tragedy. It is human life that is a gift.

Finally, The Forum article referenced a statement made by one of the abortion clinic escorts in which she suggested that pro-life people are out in front of the clinic to “shame” the women coming for an abortion. But that is clearly not why we’re there. In addition to attempting to save the lives of our innocent unborn brothers and sisters of the human race, we are there to offer help and hope and life to women who feel scared and trapped by their circumstances and who most likely will live a lifetime of regret if they intentionally end the life of their unborn baby.

God calls us to respect and protect all innocent and defenseless human life and to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” That’s why we’re there – because life is always a gift from God.


Koehler is a religious educator.