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Thoughts on Abortion

I saw a bumper sticker that said “You Can’t Be Catholic and Pro-Abortion.” I think that’s probably true but I’m not sure I would interpret that statement the way it is probably intended. The Christian tradition has been against abortion for a long time and I think that’s a good idea. So what can Catholics (or anyone else who feels the same way) do?

1. If you’re a woman and sexually active, make a decision not to seek an abortion.
2. If you have an extra bedroom, contact Catholic Charities and tell them that it’s available for any pregnant woman needing a place to stay until she can have her baby and give it up for adoption.
3. Be involved with agencies that offer alternatives to abortion.
4. Since most women seeking abortion are poor married women who can’t afford another child, support legislation that will improve health care programs and help people in poverty.
5. Support legislation that enhances life at every level. No capital punishment. No unjustified wars in which our young people are killed. No hopeless environments where death looks better than life.

So there’s a lot for Catholics to do. But what do I think Catholics should NOT do? They should not try to have Roe vs.Wade repealed. And why not? Because legality is different from morality. Thomas Aquinas supported legalizing prostitution but certainly didn’t think it was moral. Intelligent and ethical people differ about when life begins. We live in a pluralistic society. There is no moral consensus on this matter. Consequently, we should all support a pro choice platform. No one has the right to force his or her moral view on others on an issue where there is no consensus. Furthermore, Thomas Aquinas also pointed out that a law that cannot be enforced is not a good law. No one can force a woman to bring a child to term. This does not work as a law. When it was a law, wealthy women flew to Sweden and poor women took their chances in back alleys. Look at those five points again. There’s a lot of work to be done there.

By Ron Miller – October 20, 2004

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