RE CHRISTINE Flowers' recent op-ed on the abortion issue (

"Who are the real 'extremists' now?," April 27


Flowers will not concede that the Catholicism of the Supreme Court majority might be relevant to their decision. Equally, she will not concede a religious or moral foundation to the non-Catholic court minority who dissented - insisting instead on a secular political explanation.

I argue that the logic of Roe was drafted specifically to avoid a confrontation on religious freedom by concentrating on the viability of the fetus as a measure of its biological integrity. As general as the Roe argument is, it still refuses the religious concepts and argument of the Jewish thinker Maimonides that a fetus which threatens the health or life of the mother is more an assaultive intruder, whose injury of the mother we are bound to prevent, than an innocent potential baby.

The majority's defense of its religious convictions, and of the Congress that passed the restriction - which deny Jewish physicians the right to save a mother's health in accordance with Jewish religious convictions - and Flowers' characterization of Justice Ginsburg's dissent - continue to phrase this controversy in terms of religious "pro-life" moralists opposed by political "women's rights" secularists.

In fact, many on both sides of are moral and religious.

Ben Burrows, Elkins Park