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It has been twenty five years since I addressed an audience on the topic of abortion rights. The last time was two years after Roe v. Wade, and I was at a seminar in Washington on how to deal with the anti-choice movement which was then growing rapidly. I felt, and said, that our conversation seemed to assume that we were fighting a political campaign, which would have an end, and that I feared we were instead beginning an enduring struggle. I immediately felt horrible - as the only man in the room I was the wrong messenger for that message.

So I was honored when I was asked to speak here today, but more than ordinarily anxious about addressing an audience. This was a topic on which I had let others do the speaking for a quarter of a century.

After September 11, however, this, like so many things, changed. Two weeks after the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked, I attended the dinner of CARAL.

The program included a marvelous jazz singer. She had changed her...