I'd wanted to write this post for a while but stubborn pride kept me from it. Because my prior stance made me feel like a Catholic outsider. Some people outright debated my right to call myself a Catholic. But, I will say it because my readers and commenters made me think long and hard - I don't believe any human has a right to abort their child. What I am specifically saying is that a woman/couple should not be able to have an abortion simply because they don't want to give birth to their child.
It wasn't the religious, Catholic argument against abortion that finally swayed me. The argument that drove me was from an atheist. A living philosopher, Don Marquis, he teaches in Kansas, wrote what I think is a pretty famous piece called "Why Abortion Is Immoral." His article is in one of my college textbooks, Intervention and Reflection: Basic Issues in Medical Ethics. I saved only those textbooks that dealt directly with my major and minor and my medical ethics book. I loved that class. The professor was visiting from NYC and she never held a driver's license. She was born and raised from what I remember in New York City and never had a reason to drive a car. I respected that but thought it must have been very hard to her to adapt to Los Angeles.
So, I think it was my final paper for that class where I argued, I think intelligently and logically-sound that a woman has a right to an abortion in the first few weeks of pregnancy. For the longest time (up until now) my concern was that the right to an abortion was right because a woman's right to protect her own interest and well-being overrode her unborn child's right to life. I know that's a feminist argument and I wouldn't automatically disavow feminist beliefs because I believe equal rights are important to women specifically and society in general. Those societies that harm or restrict the rights of women just because they are women, I think intrinsically harm those societies and don't allow them to prosper.
I'd support the general restriction of abortions in the United States and beyond. But with that act, an entire generation's (or two or three) idea of how to live your life would have to fundamentally change. Men and women, including sexually active teenagers would have to thoroughly understand that once she gets pregnant, that's a final event. God-willing, that child will be born and they'd have to decide to parent or allow someone else to take that job. I guarantee, because I've known people like this, that people believe that they can have sex and inconsistently use contraception and it's no big deal because if they get pregnant, they can always just have an abortion. Since I used pseudonyms, I don't mind saying that one of these people was Jack.
Jack called me one night in 2004 and told me that his girlfriend was pregnant. I asked how he could let that happen. He said they were careless. He didn't want to have a child with her. He wanted to have sex with her and take her to restaurants and various other places but he definitely did not want to raise a child with her. And I guess adoption was off the table, too. No kid roaming the streets, living a life. She had an abortion.
I know a fair number of men personally whose past girlfriends got pregnant with their child and they all insisted she have an abortion. And some of these men professed a belief in Christ. People's habits would have to dramatically change. I know that's a welcome idea to the Catholic Church since extramartial sex, contraception, abortion are all sinful. But a lot of people, a lot of men would not be open to changing their sexual habits.
Which brings me to a different but not altogether unrelated topic, some people's attempt to end prostitution. I think it's morally wrong for a man to use a prostitute. I definitely blame the buyer. I read tonight this very interesting opinion on trying to eradicate prostitution and I think it's worth a read. It made me think about things I hadn't thought of before; and there's value in that for me. Oh, and here's a video of atheists talking about their opposition to abortion. Interesting if you as a Christian believed only those who believed in the Savior, believed abortion was wrong.