Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Keep asking, Ms Kissling

Shock horror! Frances Kissling, former president of Catholics for a Free Choice (sic) has actually had the guts to draw attention to one of the enormous elephants in the abortion industry's room. In a recent article, she admits that there are some occasions when a woman should not be allowed to undergo an abortion, for example, if she is in the late stages of pregnancy, if she wishes to undergo a sex selective abortion or if her reasons are entirely frivolous. She cites a grotesque and real life example of a woman who went to a clinic seeking an abortion because her baby would be born under the wrong star sign. The abortionist went ahead with the abortion because he could not deny her the right to make a choice, even if the reason were as ludicrous as that for not bringing a child into the world.

Kissling expresses concern about reducing an ethical debate to a single ideological point - choice - on the grounds that it makes the abortion lobby as "extreme" as they claim the pro-life lobby is, and in so doing she touches upon a much concealed point about the abortion lobby. It is extreme, its ideological obsession with choice at the expense of any other rights including the right to life renders it so extreme that it would be called fanatical or fundamentalist if it were a religious organisation.

Her comments have been roundly condemned in the combox and it is hardly surprising that this is the case, because she is exposing the Achilles Heel of the abortion argument. If it is morally acceptable to refuse certain reasons for abortion, why not others? If refusing to give birth to a child under the wrong star sign is a frivolous reason for abortion, what precisely constitutes a serious enough reason to end a human life? The abortion industry's ideology is narrow and extreme because it cannot be otherwise. The leaders of the global abortion campaign know this and Frances Kissling also must know this. It is not for me to say whether she is genuinely questioning the abortion industry's extremism or simply trying to appear moderate, but there is one thing I can say with confidence. The only final answer to such questioning is to retreat back into denial or to embrace the pro-life position. We are ready to welcome you, Frances.