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.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Abortion "Rhetoric"

Last week, Eduardo wrote:

In any event, and this is really my principal point in writing this post, given the differential treatment of abortion, I think it is highly inappropriate for advocates of prohibition … [to use] the rhetoric of "murder" … arguments that almost always rely on the language and imagery of murder (e.g., Cardinal George's blood-drenched language, frequent references to the killing of millions of defenseless "children," comparisons to the holocaust, etc.).  I don't think that proponents of this particular mode of argument can have their rhetorical cake and eat it to.

Eduardo wrote this in the context of this year’s election, but if this “rhetoric” is inappropriate in the context of an election, maybe it is inappropriate elsewhere as well.  My questions for Eduardo and others is this:  Is using “blood-drenched language, frequent references to the killing of millions of defenseless ‘children,’” merely “rhetoric”?  Or, is it language designed to express the truth of the matter asserted?

Is abortion the taking of a life?  Is the form of the taking an act of intentional killing of a life?  Is the life taken innocent of any wrongdoing?  Is the life taken human?  Is the method of taking the innocent human life brutal?  If the answers to these questions are “yes,” then Cardinal George’s “blood-drenched language” is a form of truth telling, not merely rhetoric, political or otherwise. 

And, it seems to that it is beyond dispute that the answers to these questions are “yes.”  Don’t misunderstand.  By saying that it is beyond dispute, I am not attempting to shut down the conversation.  Quite the opposite, I am inviting the conversation.  I would like someone who is opposed to this truth telling rhetoric to explain to me how abortion is not the brutal and intentional taking of innocent human life.  In other words, what is untrue about the rhetoric?


Scaperlanda, Mike | Permalink

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