Roland Merullo is correct that both pro-life and pro-choice advocates can move beyond abortion and work fervently to prevent unintended pregnancy (“Beyond prolife and prochoice,” Op-ed, Jan. 22). Effective family planning methods are the best way, and, happily, a large number of devout Christians agree — by their own practice and by their broad approval of contraceptives.
Christian Connections for International Health is a network of 163 diverse Christian organizations — Catholic and Protestant, evangelical and mainline, US and international. Our survey of members found that they approve helping couples determine the number and timing of pregnancies, including the use of voluntary family planning methods. Many want to help in providing family planning services, consistent with their beliefs and values.
Although 1 in 3 American women have an abortion in their lifetime, in the absence of effective contraceptives — as in the former Soviet Union — abortion rates are even higher than in the United States.
Global experience widely confirms the importance of ready access to effective family planning methods and quality services for the health of women and children.
Family planning should be championed by pro-life and pro-choice groups, and our elected leaders, as common ground for improving health and reducing abortion.
The writer is a reproductive health specialist and cochairman of the family planning and reproductive health working group.