Saturday, August 28, 2010

Granting that abortion is murder how does one reconcile being pro-life with the issue of bodily autonomy?

This is an eminently reasonable question. Yes, abortion kills miniature human beings. There's no doubt in my mind that it does. But does that mean I have a moral obligation to support the siccing of cops on abortionists, women who have abortions, and people who counsel women to have abortions?

Isn't that what illegalization means, operationally? Siccing cops, prosecutors and judges on people who engage in the banned activity?

If you favor making abortion illegal, how far do you take it? Should all those who are party to an abortion face the same state sanction? More to the point, should a woman having an abortion face the same term of imprisonment as a woman (or a man) who kills a 30-year-old? Why not? Abortion "is murder," isn't it?

What if you were to find yourself living in an anarchist (i.e., self-governing) society, something along the lines of colonial America, the (not so wild) Wild West or medieval Iceland? Would you feel comfortable pointing a gun at a woman contemplating abortion? If you wouldn't feel comfortable forcing a woman to bring her pregnancy to term, why do you feel comfortable voting "pro-life"? All you're doing is electing politicians who promise (a politician's promise!) to hire cops who promise (a cop's promise!) to point the gun on your behalf.

Does the Gospel command us to sic the cops on bad people? Is this the Christian position? In that case, whom else would Jesus sic the cops on? Prostitutes? Adulterers? Drunkards? Fornicators? People who use contraceptives? Slackers who miss Sunday Mass?



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