Pubdate: Sat, 01 Mar 2003
Source: State Journal-Register (IL)
Copyright: 2003 The State Journal-Register
Author: Larry A. Stevens


Dear Editor,

Harm reduction is a philosophy of adapting to an imperfect world instead of 
lashing out against it in ways that make matters worse. The majority of 
Americans who support Roe vs. Wade are, to that extent, advocates of this 
philosophy.  Despite being labeled "pro-abortion", we take the pragmatic 
position that criminalizing abortion does more harm than good.  Comparing 
safe, legal, clinical abortion to the old days of back alleys and coat 
hangers, we choose the clinics.

It's a shame that this majority of harm reduction advocates doesn't apply 
the same pragmatism to the problem of drug abuse.  Comparing safe, legal, 
clinical heroin maintenance programs, for example, to the murderously 
violent and desperate back alleys of drug prohibition, we should choose the 
clinics.  Perhaps being labeled "pro-drug" is more fearful than being 
labeled "pro-abortion".

Reproductive rights are founded in individual choice regarding ones own 
body and ones own life.  This basic human right is jeopardized by a 
government that usurps the right to choose what drugs individuals may 
imbibe.  As long as individuals are not sovereign over their own minds and 
bodies, reproductive choice is in constant peril.

Larry A. Stevens

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