Anne Lamott on the rights of the born

The novelist and memoirist tells off a roomful of Catholics about abortion.

Published February 11, 2006 1:03AM (EST)

Note to fans of Salon contributor Anne Lamott: Check out her commentary about abortion in Friday's Los Angeles Times, in which she recounts going totally ballistic on a panel in front of more than a thousand Catholics.

When a man from the audience asks Lamott and the other panelists how they can reconcile their stances on peace and justice with the "murder of a million babies every year in America," the Christian writer has fantasies about waving a gun around to "show what a real murder looks like."

Instead, she outs herself as a woman who has had an abortion, and declares that many of the other women in the room surely have, too: "I announced that I needed to speak out on behalf of the many women present in the crowd, including myself, who had had abortions, and the women whose daughters might need one in the not-too-distant future -- people who must know that teenage girls will have abortions, whether in clinics or dirty backrooms. Women whose lives had been righted and redeemed by Roe vs. Wade. My answer was met with some applause but mostly a shocked silence."

And read on -- she's just getting started! Her work is not done until at the post-event reception she snarfs M&M's with another pro-choice Christian woman, an act which she calls a sort of communion.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Katharine Mieszkowski

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