Tuesday, October 30, 2007
A couple of weeks ago, Eduardo raised some questions prompted by the Guttmacher-WHO study on abortion. He asked whether if making abortion illegal would not reduce the incidence of abortion, but only make abortions more dangerous, would that give cause to rethink, not the morality of abortion, but the connection between views on morality and views on legality. More broadly, he asked whether Catholic legal theory requires a particular legal conclusion regarding the morality of certain abortion practices, divorced from a consideration of the effects of whatever action it is concluded must be taken.
I don't know if Eduardo has received any private responses to his inquiries, but I have been disappointed not to see anyone publicly (at least here) take a stab at these questions, which I think are important and difficult ones. The question of the (im)morality of abortion is an easy one. But the question the law ought to do in the face of that immorality raises a host of prudential considerations. I think if we are going to advance the debate on abortion in a meaningful way, we need to give greater consideration to questions such as those raised by Eduardo.