In an Oct. 23 letter to the editor (“Horrified by mostly liberals causing country’s woes”), George Thackery wrote: “I am horrified by abortion up to and including the day of birth. What kind of monsters have we become?” He ended his letter by suggesting we work together to solve our problems.

Good! Our goal is beyond name calling and blaming. It’s finding solutions to problems. Let’s start looking for answers to questions that can enlighten our search for solutions.

Let’s begin with one problem he mentioned: “abortion up to and including the day of birth.” Let’s start with Montana and carefully define our problem.

Abortion rates have dropped by 27% since 2003. In 2017, 1,561 reported abortions took place in Montana. After the “baby” is 21 weeks old, abortions are allowed only if the mother has severe health problems or if her life is endangered. Eleven of those abortions took place after the “baby” was 21 weeks old. So only 11 late-term abortions were done because a woman’s health or life was deemed by a doctor to be at risk.

So what is the problem? Is it that 1,561 more women opted to have abortions, rates should be going down faster! Or should we find ways to eliminate all legal and illegal abortions, or to eliminate all unwanted pregnancies? Or are the 11 late-term abortions the problem that needs to be eliminated? Or is it that 51% of women seeking abortions used contraceptives that failed to prevent pregnancy?

After defining the problem, how do we together accomplish the goals based on that definition of the problem? Solving a problem will require resorting to hard work rather than indulging in counter-productive name calling, and let’s begin by electing someone willing to do the hard work of finding a viable solution. - Dean Grenz, Boulder

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