Re: ABORTION AND THE CHURCH: LET'S NOT BE AFRAID OF THE MURKY WATERS!
Posted by Karen on January 14, 2006, 5:58 am, in reply to "ABORTION AND THE CHURCH: LET'S NOT BE AFRAID OF THE MURKY WATERS!"
Because of personal experience I am a bit reluctant to get into a full fledged debate on this issue but I want to say that the church's recent statements regarding women who have had abortions is very welcome.
In the '70's as a student at a Catholic girls high school I seriously do not even like to think what would have happened to us had we even mentioned the word 'abortion' in hearing distance of some of the nuns....today the church is regognising the trauma involved and offering its support to women through things such as Project Rachel.
it can only be good.
: The recent controversy over the RU487 drug has
: again ignited the abortion debate. In one
: way, I’d very much like to wholeheartedly go
: along with the Church’s insistence on the
: sacredness of human life right from
: conception, but…well, it just doesn’t seem
: to stand up in the real world!
: This is true even if you just look at the
: way the Church’s teaching has evolved
: historically. There seems to be some
: inconsistency in the fact that the Church
: does not take such an absolute stand on
: other life-and-death issues: I mean, if you
: can have a “just war”, why can you not have
: a “just abortion”? Also, I find it hard to
: believe that the Church’s stance has nothing
: to do with the fact that women – and least
: of all married women – have had NO input
: into the development of this teaching!
: In fact, I think that both sides in the
: abortion debate tend to greatly oversimplify
: matters. I find it disturbing when the
: “pro-choice” lobby seem to see a fetus as
: little more than part of a woman’s body, and
: they regard abortion as a private matter
: between a woman and her doctor. However, I
: also find it disturbing – quite distressing
: in fact – when the “pro-life” lobby seem to
: take it for granted that an embryo/fetus is
: a fully-fledged human being from the time it
: is just a few cells, that this should be
: unambiguously obvious to any
: half-intelligent and half-decent person, and
: that women who have abortions, and those who
: perform them, are no different from any
: “other” murderers!
: Yet many intelligent, morally decent people
: DO accept abortion as being justified under
: certain circumstances. And if you think
: about it calmly and objectively, I don’t
: think it is unambiguously obvious that a
: few-days- or few-weeks-old embryo is a human
: being. Obviously, life begins at
: conception, but does this necessarily mean
: that right from the start the fetus is a
: fully-fledged human being, with the same
: rights as you and I? I remember once
: reading the suggestion that we should regard
: the fetus (especially during the first few
: months) not so much as a “human being”, but
: as a “human becoming”. Thus, just as it
: gradually takes physical shape, and
: gradually grows towards viability as a human
: person, so it GRADUALLY acquires the rights
: that go with being human.
: The problem is, I believe, that abortion is
: literally a unique issue. In no other area
: do we get such a conflict between “right to
: life” and “right to one’s bodily integrity”;
: also, more perhaps than any other issue, it
: makes us confront the impossible question of
: what constitutes a “human being”. The
: Church’s teaching may seem the simplest way
: out, and also the way that puts us on “the
: side of the angels”. But we live in the
: murky, uncertain world of humans, not the
: world of the angels! I think the
: “pro-choice” lobby do have some valid
: points, and I believe we need to rethink
: this whole issue with honesty, openness and
: of course trust in God.
: Is anyone else “out there” prepared to wade
: though the murky waters and have a
: conversation about this vital matter?