Thursday, December 2, 2010


A little bit of marketing goes a long way. Putting the right spin on a topic may sway public opinion in any direction on any particular topic. Just for example, in many circles the Church is labeled as being more restrictive in rights of human beings such as in the case of abortion. Some ways in which this is done is by portraying the teachings of the Church in this matter as being the whim of white haired old men in Rome forcing their morality on women and the rights that they should have over their own bodies; rights that those cranky old men retain while taking them away from women. “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries” is a common slogan.

It is proposed that pro-abortionists are more compassionate because they care about women and extending such rights to them; rights which “the Church” wishes to curtail. The two sides can then be separated into “pro-women” and “anti-rights” camps. If nobody bothers to think beyond these first salvos of the argument it seems to be pretty clear who cares more about women, rights, and freedom.

But is this the case? The Church puts forth that far from being more limited in extending rights that individuals should have over their bodies than the pro-abortionists, the Church casts a far greater net, includes more people, grants more freedoms and protects more rights. Human dignity, the right to life, the right to integrity of one’s body is preserved not just for those who can speak for themselves, not just for those with power, money, or influence, not just for those who can be seen, not just for those who have developed enough skills, not just those protected by law, not just those who are seen as productive to society, but all human beings, men and women alike, old and young, capable and challenged. No, the Church, the teaching of Christ are not more restrictive than Pro-Choicers, it is far more generous. And of course it will not seem so to those who wish not to recognize human life as human life and who feel restricted in their choice to end a human life that is not desired by them for one reason or another, but it cannot be argued (at least I think) that their net of human life to which they extend protection and integrity of life is far smaller than the Church – interestingly enough this is so even with those who are aborted who are female.

1 comment:

Pat said...

Excellent commentary, Father.

Fr. Pavone and others also point out that women's bodies (and men's) are legally constrained in many ways but few complain. For example, we are not allowed to consume too much alcohol and then drive; prostitution is illegal. Drug abuse is too, as are "underage marriage" and incest.