Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Abortion "Rhetoric": A Response to Eduardo

Two responses to Eduardo’s post, which suggests that calling abortion for what it is – the brutal and intentional taking of innocent human life – is overly simplistic. 

First, it is a form of evasion employed by pro abortion rights advocates for decades (note, I am not saying that Eduardo is a pro abortion rights advocate) to avoid the typical case by moving to the extreme.  Here, Eduardo combines three extremes:  1) an 8 celled embryo, 2) a rape victim, and 3) a mother whose health or life is endangered.  My first response is to move back to the typical case and ask whether it is true or false that the typical abortion involves the brutal and intentional taking of innocent human life?  If true, then this sort of rhetoric is a form of truth telling or truth reminding.

Second, I’ll engage Eduardo at the extremes to which he is drawn.  Neither rape nor the health of the mother (interestingly, this is the term used by the Supreme Court in Roe) addresses the question of whether abortion involves the intentional and brutal taking of innocent human life.  It places the decision to act within a particular context but it doesn't change the nature of the act.  As for the 8 celled embryo,  Eduardo concedes that it is the intentional taking of an innocent human life.  His only quibble seems to be over whether the taking is brutal or not.  I am glad that we have found so much ground for agreement even in this extreme case.


Scaperlanda, Mike | Permalink

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