To the editor:
In the middle of the day, carrying a heavy jug to collect water from an ancient well, a woman in the New Testament encountered Jesus.
She was scorned by her community, which was likely the reason why she went to the well during the hottest part of the day instead of the customary, cooler hours of early morning or early evening. She was avoiding people.
She engaged in a dialogue with Jesus who revealed to her His knowledge that she was not married and was now in a relationship with a fifth man, fully subscribed to a cycle of a sinful life. She came seeking water but then came into the realization that the spiritual water she was lacking could be secured.
He convinced her to change her life, and she became possibly the first woman evangelist.
In another familiar scripture story, a woman had been accused of adultery, and the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees, consigned her for punishment to death by stoning. Politically they were trying to trap Jesus into a dilemma to legitimize a method to convict him too.
If he advocated for her mercy He would be accused of violating the law, but if He did consent to her execution he would violate His own mandate to uphold the sanctity of life.
When he challenged them with "let the first without sin throw a first stone,” and they abandoned their malicious intent, she was saved with He admonishing her to "sin no more.”
Neither of these women had any rights. No man involved in their demise was held responsible. They bore alone the consequences of their actions. Marginalized, discarded and left alone, they were victimized, not only by their poor choices but by a society that held them responsible alone in their travails.
It is astonishing how a young woman today , carrying an unwanted child, is similarly situated. So many are lonely, isolated, frightened and dealing with feelings of remorse and guilt, and unable to see a breakthrough. Many are also victims of coercion, abuse and even rape.
How incredible it is that the men who were willing participants in the act that created a life — and therefore a consequential condition in the woman's life — are almost always totally absent, other than driving the young woman to the clinic.
Legislators in Massachusetts are promoting legislation that will, for many, inflict further abuse on women. Two bills that expand abortion services into new areas don't demonstrably help women and also raise the level of excess in terminating life in shocking new ways.
H.B. 3320 and S.B. 1209 would legislate expanded abortion services for late-term abortions for any reason and eliminate the requirement that late-term abortions be performed in a hospital. Additionally, the legislation would eliminate the requirement that provides medical care to a child who survives an attempted abortion; eliminates the requirement that a minor under the age of 18 have the consent of a parent, guardian or the courts; and expand funding to provide abortion services to women who cannot afford it.
That last point is compelling.
For the vast majority of women facing an abortion decision, poverty and the consequences of raising a child is a primary decision driver. This legislation is deficit in providing social support.
Instead of providing solutions to help women consider alternative decisions — such as birth control, wellness, health and adoption — death is the ultimate solution of this legislation. It is the death of a child, as well as the termination of a woman's right to avert making an irrevocable decision that could negatively weigh upon her for the rest of her life.
This legislation is wrong.
It neither supports women nor a new life without a voice.