Thursday, July 24, 2008

Deacon Keith Fournier: "A New Abolitionism, It is Time to End Abortion"

Deacon Keith Fournier writes as Catholic Online:
... We witnessed another example of the powerful abuse of loaded language in a sad chapter in our own American history - when slavery was “legal”, even called a “right” and protected by the United States Supreme Court. The lingering effects of this social evil still cry out for remedy!

Human Persons whose skin pigmentation was darker than those who then held the reigns of power were treated as property and allowed to be “legally owned” and used by others - all with the approval of a Supreme Court which had sacrificed Natural Law and Justice.

A very similar jurisprudence is found in Roe v Wade and its progeny; an entire class of persons, children in the womb, have been relegated to the status of “chattel”, personal property, who can be disposed of by those more powerful than they.

They have no voice that can be heard except our own.

These human children, our first neighbors in the first home of the whole human race, their mothers’ womb, are being killed by chemicals and surgical strikes - all of which is currently protected by the power of a State.

They have no power to resist this new form of slavery without our help. They are subject to use, abuse and destruction by those with more power. Medical science has simply confirmed what our conscience already knows; the child in the womb is our neighbor.

***
In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down abortion bans across the country. In so doing, they “legalized” the killing of the unborn in all 50 states throughout all nine months of pregnancy, at least in the positive law. Fifty million lives have been taken since then in procured abortions.

The Court “created” a new “right”, somehow discovering it in a “penumbra” around the so called “right to privacy” in the U.S. Constitution. Even many of the legal scholars who support legal abortion now acknowledge that the legal opinion is a disaster. It was poorly reasoned, based on junk medical science, inaccurate history and is on a collision course with itself.

Each time Juan Williams used the phrase “anti-abortion rights”, I cringed in my car seat. I asked him aloud in my car the following question:

“Juan, if you had been alive during the last round of slavery, would you have referred to those who rightly opposed it, even though it was called a “right” and protected by the then Supreme Court, “anti-slavery rights activists”?

***
Human Rights activism always requires an asymmetrical approach. The choice is not “either/or”, it is always “both/and”.

I have long supported incremental efforts geared toward the limitations and curtailment of abortion. I was a practicing pro-life lawyer for a very long time. For seven years in the last decade I led the American Center for Law and Justice which used such incrementalism in securing the protection of pro-life speech.

However, pitting these complimentary strategies against one another is wrong. It also fails to comprehend the gravity of the moral evil that is legal abortion.

That is why I have now chosen to use a new term to characterize my own opposition to legal abortion. It is time for a new abolitionism. It is time to end abortion!


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My Comments:
Count me as an abortion abolitionist. If that puts me in the "extreme" camp, as the slavery abolitionists were viewed even by slavery opponents such as Lincoln, so be it.

I once opposed moving too fast at the state level, preferring a more incremental approach, out of fear that another Supreme Court setback reaffirming Roe would set the pro-life movement back even further for at least another generation.

I still prefer taking incremental steps toward chipping away at Roe. But as Deacon Fournier notes, there's no reason such an approach can't be "both/and" rather than "either/or".

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