MYTH: "Pro-lifers are a bunch of religious fanatics trying to impose their faith on everyone else."
-While it’s true that most pro-lifers are religious believers, so is the population as a whole, at least in the United States [see here]. Even if pro-lifers tend to be more observant than their fellow citizens, they adhere to a moral tradition that the vast majority shares.
-Also, the public arguments pro-lifers make against abortion are rooted in natural law and concrete scientific fact. The most fundamental pro-life argument is that science proves that unborn babies are both alive and human from the moment of conception, and so to destroy them is, by definition, the taking of a human life. The taking of innocent human life is always wrong in and of itself, and if we can declare some human lives expendable, then none of us has a clear right to exist.
-Since the pro-abortionists can’t produce any facts or scientific evidence that unborn babies are not living human beings, they need to create a philosophical definition such as “personhood” that is designed to exclude living humans who don’t meet certain subjective standards (brain activity, ability to feel pain, emotions, viability, etc.). Some also use quasi-theological arguments, such as that unborn babies do not yet have souls: I recall one “pro-choice” cleric, not a Catholic, who relied on the etymological connection in many languages between “breath” and “spirit” to argue that we don’t have souls until we are able to breathe (notice that the pro-life argument doesn’t use or need the concept of the soul). They also use emotional arguments to obscure the injustice done to aborted babies.
-Religious believers have the same right to try to persuade their fellow citizens as anyone else; if their fellow citizens don’t find their arguments persuasive, they don’t have to go along. To paraphrase Saint John Paul II, we propose, we don’t impose.
-In the United States the purpose of the First Amendment to the Constitution is to protect religious believers from the state, not the other way around. Certain opinions are not prohibited simply because they have a religious basis.
-Just because a law corresponds to religious convictions does not make it an imposition of religion. Murder, theft and all sorts of other crimes are condemned in the Bible and in Church teaching, but I don’t hear anyone calling for the revocation of those laws on that basis.
-The abolition of slavery, the civil rights movement, and many similar movements for social improvement were led by believing Christians; should we reject the laws that resulted from these as an “imposition of religious faith”?
-There are agnostics and atheists who nonetheless recognize the injustice of abortion, such as the atheist writer Nat Hentoff, or the abortionist and NARAL founder Bernard Nathanson, who was still an atheist when he changed to a pro-life position (only later did he embrace the Catholic Faith).
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Essential Pro-Life Resources:
Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments (link)
The Elliot Institute (link)
National Right To Life Committee (link)
To See The Entire Abortion Myths Series Click HERE