Over 40 years ago when the public debate in the USA started to “heat up” those opposed to abortion seemed to reach a consensus that the term “pro-life” was a better label for their position than “anti-abortion.” “Pro-life is positive and matches the positive term “pro-choice” chosen by those supporting a women’s right to abortion.
I disagree with the selection of “pro-life” to label the stance of Christians who oppose abortion. Christians should oppose abortion because it is directly taking the life of an innocent human being. That is murder. Thou shall not commit murder.
There is no doubt that abortion solves some very nasty personal and social problems. Also abortion prevents the living of a life which no reasonable person would choose. Utilitarian morality justifies many abortions, Nonetheless abortion is murder even if for the greatest good for the greatest number.
Opposing abortion from a perspective of being pro-life tempts us to be dishonest by overstating the value of natural life. Natural (biological) simply is not a good condition worthy of being chosen under all natural circumstances. However, we never have a right to take a life, our own or another’s, for the sake of any good – even the good of natural death to relieve suffering. Life is a duty; not a good.
Not only does use of “pro-life” mislead us to the dishonesty of overstating the natural value of being alive in this world it also misleads Christians away from the life which is indeed intrinsically good. The life which is genuinely good is life with God for those who have led a proper natural life.
In effect, the term “pro-life” has misled Catholics into being too worldly. We cannot evangelize the secular world by giving life in this world an extremely high value if not the highest value. Secularists already value life in this world while it is, to reasonable people without religious faith, worth living.
My book on sexual morality makes a philosophical case for traditional sexual morality. It does not focus on abortion because abortion is a crime against justice. My book Confronting Sexual Nihilism: Traditional Sexual Morality as an Antidote to Nihilism was released by Tate Publishing on March 11, 2014. See Book Web Page for information about the book. The publisher’s listed price is $26.99. Free copies can be obtained here by credit card by paying $3.75 for shipping and handling.
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Charles F. Kielkopf
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