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Jan Strout and Toni Van Pelt recently wrote about the evils of House Bill 302, The Montana Personhood Constitutional Amendment. They used the emotional argument that supporters of this bill want to put the autonomy of women “in the hands of lawmakers.” I disagree and believe that the drafters of this bill are motivated to protect the unborn rather than to control and suppress women and endanger their health in the process.

Strout and Van Pelt have themselves convinced, and are trying to convince the readers, that all people who consider unborn children “persons” are extreme and dangerous. Some may be extreme, but most are people who value human life from its onset and want to see that life protected. At the moment of conception, the unique genetic imprint of that person-to-be is set. In the natural order of things, the woman carrying that fetus is the first line of protection for it, its advocate, its nurturer. I know life gets more complicated than that, and that sometimes the conditions for a pregnant woman are problematic. In extreme cases, I reluctantly acknowledge that abortion may be the lesser of two evils. However, there are options, including adoption, which gives people who want children a chance to have a family.

The argument about abortion concerns more than the woman who is pregnant; it also concerns the unborn child whom, if the mother will not protect him or her, must have champions among people, even legislators, who embrace the sanctity of life.

Susan Lyons

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Billings

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