Supporting Pro-Choice Law is Itself Immoral

June 30, 2008 § 7 Comments

It must in any case be clearly understood that whatever may be laid down by civil law in this matter, man can never obey a law which is in itself immoral, and such is the case of a law which would admit in principle the liceity of abortion. Nor can he take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it.

(Emphasis mine)

Propaganda about ‘finding other ways’ while favoring existing permissive abortion law isn’t merely bad policy. It is evil. Even if someone genuinely thought it was an effective tactic, likely to improve abortion statistics more than unequivocally opposing the existing wicked laws, it would still be evil to do it.


§ 7 Responses to Supporting Pro-Choice Law is Itself Immoral

  • Kevin says:

    The ability to engage in self-deception knows no bounds, but at least, you’ve made it harder for the the people at Vox Nova to continue doing so. Great work.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    First, a quibble: I suppose technically you could say that our present legal state post-Roe, post-Casey, etc., is a legal vacuum on the subject of abortion–a court-mandated absence of protective law–rather than a set of abortion-permissive laws.More importantly, this “subsidiarity” thing doesn’t even make good nonsense. If one charitably (maybe too charitably) takes it to be an exaggerated statement of respect for the “will of the people,” well, American pro-lifers aren’t proposing a coup d’etat followed by a pro-life absolute monarchy. We’re saying that Roe should be overturned and then that the elected legislators should pass laws protective of the unborn child. How could such an agenda possibly be in conflict with subsidiarity? Unless, of course, the unit of “subsidiarity” is now not supposed to be even the size of a U.S. state but is supposed to be just the individual woman! But in that case there could never be any protective laws, because some woman somewhere might wish to break them.But it’s probably ridiculous of me to try to parse this out and evaluate it logically.

  • zippy says:

    <>…a court-mandated absence of protective law…<>Anything which has (or attempts to have) juridical force falls under the prohibition here though, no matter what we call it. One cannot even so much as verbally support this court-mandated absence of protection, not for any period of time even as a putatively ‘temporary’ thing, without doing evil.As for trying to parse the subsidiarity thing, I agree with you. It is very, very obvious that the concept of subsidiarity is being abused in an argumentatively self-serving manner. You can think of my post not as endorsing the coherence of the belief, but rather as stipulating the possibility that it is sincerely held. People sincerely hold incoherent beliefs all the time. On the other hand the stipulation is a simple matter of charity: I suspect that in most cases the folks who express these kinds of beliefs really should know better. But it isn’t in my job description to sanction them if they refuse to recant.

  • Kyle R. Cupp says:

    “Propaganda about ‘finding other ways’ while favoring existing permissive abortion law isn’t merely bad policy. It is evil.”What is your thought on tolerating existing laws allowing abortion, as opposed to favoring or supporting them.

  • zippy says:

    I guess I would say that to <>tolerate<> them would be to expressly acknowledge their illegitimacy, but perhaps have other tactical priorities. To <>favor<> them would be to make public statements claiming that the pro-choice position is justified on some – any – basis.

  • Kyle R. Cupp says:

    Thanks for the response, and well put. Your thoughts on the latter have been a recent theme of your posts. Do you see the former position has having moral legitimacy?

  • zippy says:

    Kyle:<>Do you see the former position has having moral legitimacy?<>One may have <>additional<> priorities – indeed one probably <>should<> have additional priorities. On the other hand, every Catholic has, in the words of <>Evangelium Vitae<>, “<>a grave and clear obligation to oppose [positive law permitting abortion] by conscientious objection<>.”

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