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TWO SIDES SERIES: Pro-Life

The Catholic Church advocates a culture of life over a culture of death, which us why we oppose abortion. This culture of life comes from our faith and the teachings of Jesus Christ, as we believe the gift of life is derived from God’s love. This loving gift of life manifests itself in the individual unique value found in all people. Nowadays, we often observe people reduced to a commodity: devalued, without regard to human dignity. As a result, a servant-slave mentality of who should live and who should die prevails. Instead of considering that life is a unique and precious gift, the current social attitude seems to find life expendable. This mentality is enforced through popular culture and the media, which desensitises our perceptions of the value of life, even de-humanising it. We have seen this in Britain, in the form of selective eugenics where disturbing information about late-term abortions and the elimination of handicapped babies was released in July 2011 by the British government. It was shown that in England and Wales there were a number of abortions carried out on babies suffering from cleft palates, club feet, and Downs Syndrome.

In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI, described abortion as not only a “deep wound” in society, but as the antithesis of a human right.
“The fundamental human right, the presupposition of every other right, is the right to life itself. This is true of life from the moment of conception until its natural end. Abortion, consequently, cannot be a human right…it is the very opposite,” he said
“In stating this, I am not expressing a specifically ecclesial concern. Rather, I am acting as advocate for a profoundly human need, speaking out on behalf of those unborn children who have no voice. I do not close my eyes to the difficulties and the conflicts which many women are experiencing, and I realise that the credibility of what we say also depends on what the Church herself is doing to help women in trouble.
“I say this out of a concern for humanity”
For years, pro-choice activists have claimed that they were about ‘choice’, a woman’s right to choose. They argue that those of us who oppose abortion do not need to have one if we do not wish to, but should not stop others. However, recently the debate has moved from “Our Bodies, Our Choice” to “My Choice, You Don’t have a Choice”.

In demanding all women have access to and the right to abortion, Pro-Choice activists strip the rights of doctors to conscientious objection. That is, a woman’s right to have an abortion should not infringe on a doctors right to object to performing one. Little is said of the emotional effect on these medical professionals who under law are required to abort pregnancies for health reasons. It seems some now see the profession of medicine not as a vocation of service, but merely as one of meeting the demands and ‘needs’ of the patient, even if those demands are unreasonable or not in the best interests of the patient. Such a view not only harms the patient, it harms physicians and, in turn, society.

We understand being anti-Christian today is becoming fashionable, but the fact remains that the Catholic Church is the oldest and largest provider of healthcare in the world. Since the foundation of Christianity we have had a great tradition of care. Often it has been a counter-cultural witness of love and solidarity. Abortion leaves many people shattered and grieving. Some people mistakenly believe that legalising abortion will remove some of the pain abortion can cause. Instead of legalising abortion, we should be offering all those wounded and suffering the hope of healing and peace.

Richard Houlihan

The author Richard Houlihan

1 Comment

  1. Typical pro-lifer – this entire piece is devoid of any real argument. You don’t address any of the legitimate reasons for abortion, any of the pro-choice arguments or any real concerns with abortion other than the basic all-life-is-holy religious stance.
    What about women who are the victim of rape, for whom the child and pregnancy will be a constant reminder of the horrifically traumatising incident – not only for the mother but for everyone in her life? She has literally no choice in this matter – a man has taken away her rights and here she is being compelled to carry to term and raise a child as a result of this? There is no justification for this other than your flimsy argument that “The Catholic Church advocates a culture of life over a culture of death”.
    How about women who are financially and emotionally incapable of raising a child? Women who know that they cannot offer their child anything but a difficult and unhappy, often unwanted childhood? Women in abusive relationships or suffering drug or alcohol abuse, women with no money to feed and support themselves let alone a child? Young girls, basically children, impregnated after a drunk hookup at a party or by a boyfriend who isn’t emotionally prepared for any kind of responsibility? Young students trying to support themselves through University and pave a life for themselves – should they be forced to give that up in order to move home or struggle to survive in an unhappy, underfunded life in which all future career prospects are infinitely narrowed?
    Why should a woman or a couple not have the right to choose whether or not to enter into a life of struggling to support a child with a severe mental or physical handicap? I’m not saying that people with these handicaps are in some way lesser or not deserving of the same rights as others, but why should a family be subjected to the difficulties inherent in that kind of life merely because they happened to conceive a child with this disability?
    And finally, why should a woman sacrifice her life; her freedom, her education, her career, passion, dreams, romance, her ability to travel and explore the world and herself, because of an undeveloped foetus with no consciousness, personality or ability to feel pain?

    Perhaps if you had addressed these valid arguments and given a better founding to your pro-life stance this article would have been more worthwhile and even the slightest bit persuasive.

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