The Casualties of War

It is becoming obvious to most people that there are many casualities of the Culture Wars in the U.S. Barack Obama’s famous rhetoric “there are no red states or blue states, there are only Americans” now seems quaintly naive. Bipartisanship, freedom of speech and thought, civil discourse, and democracy itself are severely wounded.

The battlefields of the Abortion War are littered with casualties. Women and their loved ones and abortion caregivers are obvious victims, but so too are those caught in the crossfire of the extremes and those who have been forced to choose sides. What cannot be heard, and is mostly silenced, is the complexity of an individual abortion experience, the deep moral thoughtfulness that can go into a pregnancy decision, the range of beliefs, feelings, experiences of all who are touched by abortion.

Against the din of the Abortion War, a small group of people who care about women and support quality abortion access have decided to re-start the Abortion Conversation Project. Courage or folly or both? Time will tell.

This time we want to employ a “conflict transformation” approach for our work. We do not expect those who are pro choice and pro life to sit down and talk like lambs and lions. Not at all. We want to talk to the people next to us, and those next to them, and the colleagues and friends of those next to them. We want to learn to listen to their complexities and teach them to listen fully to others and on and on, until we can hear more voices and more stories. We believe the war culture will have less opportunity to damage if we have a deeper understanding of people’s realities. We hope to heal some of the damage done.

Let’s start with some simple, small steps and get some practice listening to others who may not completely agree with us. Conversation exercises will be posted here regularly along with some thoughtful presentations. Comments and feedback will be moderated carefully and updated regularly. To join our circle, register if you are not already a wordpress user. We also encourage you to sign up for our mailing list on our website.

Let the conversation begin. It’s time. More than ever.

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6 Comments on “The Casualties of War”

  1. what a wonderful, thought provoking entry!

    i particularly like the emphasis on listening.

    i am an anti and i have learned that by listening ( i mean actually listening, not just keeping my mouth shut while i think about what to say next ) to those who are facing an unwanted pregnancy, i am better able to know what help i am available to offer to them.

    by listening to my choicer friends, i have learned ways in which to be better at my efforts.

    i could go on and on all day, both offering insight and asking for that of others, if allowed to, so i am glad that we have the future in which to share these things.

    i am so grateful to the founders for the hard work that you have put into this project because i think that honest open civil dialogue is so important about any issue.

    may the peace and love of the lord be with you all.

    god bless you!

  2. Caught in the cross fire? Try being a lower-income women in Tx right now! My IUD feel out in Feb and I am anxious about being able to get a new one via the Texas Women’s Health Program. If the programs is still afloat that is, Tx law says I cannot use my Medicaid card at a Planned Parenthood now but I don’t know of any other place to go but Planned Parenthood.

    Yeah I am caught in a cross fire alright, a showdown between the federal Social Security Act (says I have the right to chose my provider) and state of Tx Medicaid Women’s Health Program (forbids monies from being used at a PP). This will have to challenged in court but that takes too long, who am I gonna see about my IUD insertion this month?

    So frustrated right now, I could cry!

    A Casualty of the War

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