Is Abortion My Choice?
Not Your Body. Not Your Choice.
Conversations between ‘pro-lifers’ and ‘pro-choicers’ can abruptly end, no matter how substantive the conversation has been, with a resounding, “It’s my choice! It’s none of your business!”
Does abortion truly come down to the private and autonomous decision of the mother?
Catholic teaching unreservedly proclaims, “NO!” “So great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb, that no alleged right to one’s own body can justify a decision to terminate that life, which is an end in itself and which can never be considered the ‘property’ of another human being.” (Pope Francis, 86)
A new life has begun! The child is not the mother’s body. Abortion is not a legitimate choice. “A widespread and insensitive mentality has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life.” (Pope Francis)
The safeguarding of human life takes precedence over individual choice so “one can never claim freedom of opinion as a pretext for attacking the rights of others, most especially the right to life.” (Declaration on Procured Abortion, 2)
“One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life.”
What About My Freedom?
There is a pervasive and insidious mentality that we are “free” to do whatever we want regardless of consequences. But “Life, especially human life, belongs to God; whoever attacks human life attacks God’s very self.” (Evangelium Vitae, 9)
“There are some indeed who go so far as to deny the existence of a moral order which is transcendent, absolute, universal and equally binding upon all.” (Mater et Magistra, 205)
This ‘freedom of choice’ argument – the backbone of cultural, social, and political justification of abortion – “reveals its more sinister and disturbing aspect in the tendency…to interpret the above crimes against life as legitimate expressions of individual freedom, to be acknowledged and protected as actual rights.” (Evangelium Vitae, 18)
But “can one exempt women, any more than men, from what nature demands of them…all publicly recognized freedom is always limited by the certain rights of others.” (Declaration on Procured Abortion, 15)
What we are suffering is “a corruption of the idea and the experience of freedom, conceived…as an autonomous power of self-affirmation, often against others, for one’s own selfish well-being.” (Familiaris Consortio, 6)
So, “The legal toleration of abortion…can in no way claim to be based on respect for the conscience of others, precisely because society has the right and the duty to protect itself against the abuses which can occur in the name of conscience and under the pretext of freedom.” (Evangelium Vitae, 71)
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