I'm looking for common ground and common sense between pro-life and pro-choice groups. I think most people will agree that it is a tragedy when a woman would come to a point where she would consider destroying her fetus. What are the circumstances that would lead one to that point and how can we reduce and, over a long time, eliminate the desire to consider that option? Too often, these are questions that are ignored or trivialized in the abortion debate. Both camps stay focused on the legality of the issue. Zealous members of the pro-life camp harass clients on their way to clinics, when a "soft sell" approach might not only be more effective in getting their message across to those individuals, but also would demonstrate a greater degree of caring and sympathy towards people who are obviously going through a difficult time. Pro-choice advocates fail to capture media attention if and when they provide information about alternative means of dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. We as a society need to consider how to avoid this situation altogether.

Everyone who is physically mature enough to become a parent needs to be made aware of how pregnancies occur, all of the ways in which they can be avoided, the impact that those means may have on preventing STD's, and the consequences of contracting STD's. This can not be the exclusive domain of either the parent, the schools, or religious institutions, but needs to be done in cooperation with all of these groups. Conflicting messages will make it that much easier for facts to be ignored.

Those disseminating the information need to be informed as well. Parents, particularly need to know that while they may believe that their kids are not sexually active, they could easily become so. Parents need to be able to communicate with their children and provide an accepting environment. This is not to say that parents must agree with every choice their child makes, but they need to provide an environment in which a child won't feel that they have to hide the consequences of a choice that their parent considers unacceptable.

These are not all of my thoughts on this matter, nor do I believe that they are an overnight cure or even something that would eliminate the desire in society for abortion over the next 50 years. However, they are the best start that I can come up with.