In a previous blog - October 5, 2011, I treated the pro-abortion argument that abortion is preferable to growing up in an abusive environment. I countered with one does not know the future and therefore to extrapolate the fate of the pre-born is unfounded. A very bad move.
Today, owning in part to Liberal member of Parliament Justin Trudeau, I wish to address another flawed pro-abortion stance, namely, "I'm opposed to abortion personally but respect the woman's right to choose."
This logic is ascribed to the federal MP for Papineau (Montreal) who recently spoke at a Catholic high school in Pembrooke, ON. The local MP criticised the high school for presenting a pro-abortion politician to the impressionable teenagers. A summary of this story may be found here.
I think that there are two ways to address this stance - a weak way and a stronger way.
THE WEAK WAY
The Wisconsin Right to LIfe argues by presenting comparisons as the following shows:
- I am personally opposed to child abuse, but I can't interfere with a parent's choice to beat their child.
- I am personally opposed to killing, but it's a person's right to kill another.
- I am personally opposed to stealing, but I can't force someone else not to steal.
- I am personally opposed to rape, but I can't walk in the rapist's shoes.
These arguments reduce to approximately the following form:
- I am personally opposed to (a given action), but I can't force another to be likewise.
So, a lot hinges on what the particular action is.
For example, if I substitute the blank with "supporting the Toronto Maple Leafs," one sees a weakness with the argument. So, what the given action is bears on the value of the argument form.
Rather, I like Mr. Robert Byers's comments to the Trudeau article.
Why is Trudeau opposed , personally, to abortion.??? The Catholic stance is that abortion kills a human being and thus they are opposed. He should say whether he believes abortion kills a human being or not! If he does and still supports then why is he not supporting murder.! Pro-lifers should hold these people to a intellectual standard in articulation. Words matter.
THE STRONG WAY
To say that "I'm opposed to abortion personally but respect the woman's right to choose" does not show the full picture. This stance fails to account for the presence of another human being - the tiny human being growing in the mother's womb.
In the calculus on whether to abort, the value assigned to the woman's choice goes unmitigated by any other factor, including the inestimable value of the life of the unborn. The unborn child simply does not count for anything.
So, the argument fails because it presents an incomplete picture.
- Oremus pro invicem