Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Intellectual 'Pro-choice vs Pro-abortion' Neck Tie

I'm amazed at the intellectual knot people are tying themselves into justifying a non-vote or a vote supporting a Pro-Choice candidate.

"Pro-Choice is not the same as Pro-abortion", they seem to say, splitting hairs finer than the human eye can see.

Sheesh! (that's my second "sheesh" of the day)

Carl Olsen as an excellent post on the matter.. a must read.

"Pro-choice" vs. "Pro-abortion"? Or, "Pro-choice" = "Pro-abortion"?

A reader responds...

The problem with this parody, of course, is that Obama is pro-choice rather than pro-abortion. This is not to say that a pro-choice stance is morally defensible. It is not. But one would be unfairly slandering Obama to say simply that he is pro-abortion because of his pro-choice stance. Obama has spoken out and worked consistently to lower abortion rates. The moral problem with an Obama candidacy is its opposition to making abortion illegal. Legal abortion, however, is not the same as abortion accepted on a moral level.

For Obama to support the act of abortion would be for him to support an intrinsic evil. To say simply, however, that it is not the place of the state to restrict abortion is a morally wrong decision and an indefensible political stance. It is not, however, the same as an anti-racist supporting a racist. It might be the same as an anti-racist supporting someone who thinks racism is a terrible thing but does not think that the government should criminalize the racist practices of private businesses or people. This would be a troubling moral stance, to be sure, and not necessarily one that is defensible. It is not, however, fairly characterized in Donahue's parody.

I think that valid arguments could be made against pro-life Catholics who support Obama, but the overly-simplistic approach to the problem taken by this site and others only does a disservice to Catholic moral reasoning.

Well, goodness, I do dislike being perceived at being overly-simplistic, so let's see if I can be a little more complicated this time around. Let's start with the statement: "Obama is pro-choice rather than pro-abortion."
First, what does that mean? I ask the question seriously. In other words, what does it mean when someone says, "I am pro-choice"? What is being chosen? What choice is being supported, upheld, and favored? And why is that choice being supported, upheld, and favored? I think it is fair to say that most of those folks who use the description "pro-choice" claim they support a woman's right to choose to either bring a pregnancy to term or to terminate the pregnancy; they uphold a woman's right to make choices about her body, especially when it comes to issues that are sexual and reproductive in nature; and they favor the government abstaining from any infringement upon those rights and choices.


Thanks Carl...

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