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"Oh, no! I'm going to have to work as a pro-choice consultant!"
(Image stolen from www.chiesa.espressonline.it)
Let's imagine an absurd situation: The Virgin Mary, having financial difficulties, would need to find a job, but all she could find would be a consulting position for a pro-abortion organization.
What would the Virgin Mary do? How could she help these women who are promoting abortion, without annoying or contradicting them? I don't know, but I imagine she might say:
"Girls, girls, let's think together! We have a heavy burden, an important
responsibility. All the women on Earth need us! We must defend our sisters!"
"Allow me, as a consultant, to make a strategic suggestion. It seems to me that we should carefully avoid using pro-abortion arguments, if these arguments can then be turned against us! If a supposedly pro-choice argument can become anti-women, then we should find a better one!
The Virgin Mary could then examine typical pro-choice arguments, to see if they could be used to oppress women. Let's therefore continue imagining what she'd say.
We must be careful when we answer "It's my choice!" to the question "Is abortion good or bad?" Of course, if we're in favor of abortion, that answer seems good. Indeed, if an abortion is good or bad depending on the free choice of a man, then all a woman (since a woman is a man) needs to do is to decide that her abortion is good, for it to become good.
The problem is that with such an argument, we've just set up completely new "rules of the game" for Morality! If an act is really good or bad because of the simple choice of the person who performs that act, then it's not just abortion that we've justified, but rape, theft, and even the re-election of George Bush in the USA!
Here again, if an act becomes good or bad depending on the sex of the person committing it, then a heman could say: "Only a heman can understand!" and then tell all women that kidnapping little girls to abuse them is perfectly good.
Attempting to justify abortion by saying "It's my body!" is dangerous for the promotion of the status of women. What could we answer to a husband who beats his wife, if he said: "My fist is part of my body, therefore I do what I want to do with it!"
If we answer that this husband has a right to swing his fist, but not where his wife happens to be, because his wife is a distinct human person with its own human dignity, we will be told by the pro-lifers: "But that's exactly what we're saying! The child in his mother's womb has human dignity, and we must respect it!"
This argument is also dangerous for the status of women because it weakens science and promotes religious obscurantism. We know as a scientific fact that what's temporarily inside the mother has its own distinct genetic code different from that of the mother's, that it often has an incompatible blood group, and that without the placenta, the mother's immune system would kill the foreign object in her uterus.
Some feminists don't move women's rights forward when they approve of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision which says that on one side of the uterus, it's a human person, but on the other side of the uterus, it isn't.
In Philosophy, we learn to distinguish substance, and the "accidents" (no relation to car accidents). Some examples of substances: dog, man, seagull, etc. Some examples of "accidents": standing up or sitting down, weighing 90 or 100 kilograms, wearing a tuque and mittens, or not, etc. Obviously, a dog remains a dog, whether it's sitting or lying down. A man remains a man, whether he's wearing scuba-diving equipment or not. A rabbit remains a rabbit, whether it's in the hutch or has run away.
If we claim that what's in the mother's womb becomes a human person by crossing on the other side of the uterus, then we've just demolished human dignity, by lowering it down to the level of an accident.
We are fighting for the cause of women. We try to make people understand that a woman always has human dignity, whether she's rich or poor, here or in a Muslim country, healthy or handicapped, etc.
In the same way, if a scuba diver looses his human dignity because he puts on his diving equipment and dives under water, and then this same scuba diver recovers his human dignity when he comes out of the water and removes his oxygen bottle, we've once again lowered human dignity to the level of an accident. Let's not forget that in the uterus, the child lives under water, breathing thanks to a very sophisticated apparatus called a "placenta".
We have to be careful when we say that what is in the mother's womb is "only a bunch of cells". After all, we women are also composed of cells! If we study a chunk of meat, we can observe that it's composed of atoms of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, etc. But women are also composed of atoms!
Obviously, a woman is much more than a piece of meat! A woman has human dignity, and we must repeat it time and time again, in season and out of season! But we must also rationally demonstrate where women's dignity comes from. We are going to have big problems if we claim that our whole dignity comes from a simple arrangement of atoms!
We also have to be careful with this thing about "levels of complexity". Imagine for a moment the following situation. You take a completely empty garage, and you lock the door. Then, once in a while, you raise the door to slide under it a recycling bin containing empty tin cans (steel), mailman elastics (rubber), empty wine bottles (glass), etc. Then, after nine months, you open wide the door, and you find a brand new Ferrari sports car!
If such a thing happened, you'd be forced to admit that, right from the start, there was something inside that garage that already had such a high "level of complexity" that this "thing" was able to build a Ferrari all by itself!
Here again, we're back with the same problems. If abortion is a good thing, then abortion for a poor 13 year-old girl who has been raped will be a very good thing! But if abortion is a good thing, then there's no use coming up with that argument. And if abortion is not always a good thing, then the argument about the raped girl can be turned against women.
Indeed, if abortion becomes a good thing because the mother doesn't want or cannot love what is in her womb, then that means that the dignity of a human person depends on the emotions and the desires of surrounding men.
What then will we answer to the husbands who burn or strangle their wives, because they don't love them any more?
Would the Virgin Mary have said such things? I don't know, but sometimes I doubt it. Indeed, everything here above depends on reason and logic: we take a pro-choice argument, and we try to logically infer anti-women consequences, to show that the argument is bad.
Except I've never met a reasonable pro-abortion person. I'm not saying they don't exist! But I've never met one. All the pro-choicers I've discussed with had "faith in abortion". These persons blindly believed in abortion.
Our Lady of the Beautiful Baby, pray for us.
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