Re: Last Sunday’s letter by Barbara Britten about Planned Parenthood (“Employ equivalent terms for activists on abortion issue”):

I would identify myself as pro-life and pro-abortion on behalf of women, girls and children who are dealing with unintended pregnancies.

Ms. Britten described religious protests at Planned Parenthood as “orderly and quiet.” Ellen Murphy, in another Sunday letter, said she’d been verbally abused as she walked past Planned Parenthood without intending to enter.

Ms. Britten seems unaware that those protesting also oppose the use of contraceptives and all of her suggestions “to keep pregnancy away.”

Abortion was made legal to save women’s lives and to keep families intact. Nobody wants an abortion. Nobody wants an unintended pregnancy.

Girls as young as 9 are raped, impregnated and die. The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, in its report on the sexual abuse of children by thousands of clergy throughout the world (including over 700 U.S. Catholic priests), has pleaded with the Vatican to allow abortion for girls whose lives and health are at risk and to release guilty priests’ names and addresses. They have not.

Child molesters and rapists aren’t excommunicated. Yet a mother who secures an abortion to save her young daughter’s life, as a Brazilian woman did in 2009, is excommunicated.

In Paraguay, an 11-year-old gave birth last month after having been raped. The government had denied her an abortion.

When children are forced to have babies, this is religion at its very worst. It’s inhumane to force a child dealing with the trauma of rape to continue a pregnancy and, if she lives, to give birth.

Pope Francis has criticized the church for putting dogma before love and for prioritizing moral doctrines over service to the poor and marginalized. There is a time for mercy, compassion and abortion to save the lives of human beings.

Gene Proctor

West Bath