Friday, February 23, 2007

A Plea to My Readers

I need help.

Those of you who know me personally will readily agree, but I have a specific situation with which I need your assistance.

On March 6 I will be one of ten clergy persons participating in a forum at the Medical College of Georgia here in Augusta, GA on the subject of “Religious Perspectives on Women’s Health Issues” (with a focus on abortion and contraception). The panel is a good one and is comprised of folks who identity themselves as “pro-choice” as well as those who see themselves as “pro-life.”

This is a subject that I have needed to think about, pray about, and address. The invitation to participate in this forum gives me that opportunity.

Now, here’s how you can help me. As I prepare for the forum I intend to post my thoughts on this blog. What will appear here will emerge from and be a part of my process of thinking through the issues. I will really be thinking in print. What I write will not necessarily reflect my conclusions but it will represent some steps toward my conclusions.

Please dialogue with me. Post comments. Tell me where you think I’m right and where you think I’m wrong and tell me why. Give me evidence to help me where you think I’m on the right track and evidence that will take me in a different direction when you think I’m wrong. Argue with me. Encourage me. But please help me. I really want to think the issues through as thoroughly and clearly as I can but I need the input of others to do so.

My blogs on this subject will appear on Tuesday, February 27, Wednesday, February 28, and Friday, March 2.

I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

3 comments:

The Beast said...

Mike,

I will certainly be praying for you. I would be interested to know the backgrounds of the other clergy and if there is a more specific context for the discussioni, such as basic human rights, constitutional rights, moral law, etc.

Mike Ruffin said...

Beast, my brother,

Thank you! The audience will be made up of med students who will, I would think, be interested primarily in the ethical questions surrounding their dealings with patients who might need or desire an abortion or who have contraception questions. I think that the panel has some Roman Catholics, a Reformed Jewish rabbi, and some main line Protestant types. I may be the only Baptist. I hope you'll be able to read the blogs and give me some feedback.

Stacey Hudson said...

Wow, I do not envy you. I am, personally, anti-abortion. But I have a hard time extending my personal beliefs into politics and health care, even though they are not based on a particular religion. I think it is important that people - even health care providers - be allowed by society to live their beliefs. I do not believe that a pharmacist who is opposed to the morning-after pill should be forced to dispense it. But they should be required to point a customer in the direction of someone who will. This becomes a problem in rural areas, in which there may be only one such health care provider, and the nearest may be too far away. I do not know the solution to this problem. I know in the so-called old days, they had doctor-circuits that worked in much the same way as a legal circuit. Perhaps that is something to consider.