We would like to respond to the passionate and respectful letter written by Charles Pope that appeared in the Daily Bee on March 21. In it he wonders where the BCHRTF stands regarding the issue of abortion and the rights of unborn babies.
The mission of the BCHRTF is “to affirm the American principles and ideals of the inviolable dignity and worth of each human being.” The Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” Our response is in this context.
We want to acknowledge that the issue of abortion is very complex — and rests on principles that are definitely within the framework of an individual’s religious and spiritual beliefs. For example, the question of when a fetus becomes a human being is one that is not in the purview of science and certainly not of government.
As such — the BCHRTF does not take a stand on abortion rights, just as we would not have an opinion about an individual’s right to choose how, or whether, to worship. Individual members of the task force hold a wide spectrum of views, which the task force affirms their right to have.
We see it as a contradiction to — on the one hand — affirm an individual’s right to their own beliefs, and then adopt a principle that would dictate what to believe about abortion.
Bonner County Human Rights Task Force