Pro-life legislation and the pain of compromise – Catholic World Report

A woman helps two young boys light candles during a ‘Value Them Both’ sidewalk vigil in Olathe, Kansas on August 1, 2022. Voters rejected a referendum that would have changed the state’s constitution to say that there is no constitutional right to abortion in Kansas. (CNS Photo/Kathryn White, Sourdough)

The defeat in early August of Kansas’ election initiative to remove the state’s “abortion rights” prompted the pro-life movement to question how to continue legal restrictions on abortion. abortion in our post-abortion.deer nation. Commentators were quick to conclude that Americans would not support a complete ban on abortion, so we should instead work for restrictions that leave the window open to various exceptions – medical emergencies for the mother, rape and incest. , before a certain period of gestation, to name only the most common.

Leaving aside the political specifics for a moment, there is a simple reason why pro-lifers are wary of compromise: everyone allows children to be killed. Abortion politics is unlike any other issue. The economy, education, taxation and health care are not zero-sum games; we can receive some or nothing of what we want and our lives go on. Abortion prevents a life from continuing. It is the only question that is all or nothing – life or death.

Pro-lifers also know that legalizing some abortions is intellectually incoherent. “Life is unviable – but only under certain conditions” really means that no life is sacred, especially if it goes against the will of a hostile adult. Subjecting certain babies to the death penalty based on factors beyond their control, such as geography, age and means of conception, is a cruel whim. It’s a fine line between “abortion only in certain circumstances” and “abortion as safe, legal and rare”.

A final fact that makes compromise distasteful is subjecting God’s law to the veto of his creatures. God commands forever: “Thou shalt not kill. Many contemporary Americans, on the other hand, estranged from the Christian religion that our Founding Fathers knew essential to maintaining virtuous and just Republican government, believe that there are moments to kill when the situation suits the individual. The broad public support for abortion under certain circumstances shows the dangers of democratic government centered not on doing God’s divine will, but on gratifying the disordered wills of human beings.

Recognizing these perils brings us back to politics and the problem of compromise when, in a very palpable sense, compromise is not possible.

But compromise, in the sense of offering concessions to reach an agreement, is not the right vantage point from which to view this new phase in the fight against the legal killing of innocent children in the womb. Job-deer America is the post-Christian America in which the biblical precepts, most succinctly stated in the Ten Commandments, are seen as hateful impositions on individual license, especially the license of sexual expression.

Given this harsh reality and the fact that just three months ago America ended fifty years of free abortion for all, any law restricting abortion is a victory. Beyond the limits themselves, these restrictions also have the power to redirect reasoning in the other direction: if abortion is wrong in some circumstances, is it wrong in all circumstances? Yes, the fine line mentioned above may lead one to conclude the opposite position: that abortion always takes the life of an innocent, and therefore never permitted.

In this way, restrictions on post-abortiondeer function related to the Mosaic law: they constitute a substantial improvement compared to the social manners which marked the life in the ancient world. But, as Christ makes clear in his Sermon on the Mount and in his prohibition of divorce, the Mosaic law was an intermediate, preparatory step toward something greater: the gospel law of love. The teachings of Christ, the new Moses, do not have the same meaning or impact without the teachings of Moses before Him.

The Israelites who strove for the promised land with Moses could not have imagined the fulfillment of the law that Christ would bring a millennium later. But God’s victory has come.

We have today, immersed in an America duped by the lies of the Sexual Revolution and fallen from Christ, have great difficulty in imagining a return to the Gospel and, with it, a rejection of abortion. But with God, anything is possible, and, working within the limits imposed by our hostile political climate, we must make use of the talents He has given us, even if they are only two or one. To set legal limits on abortion, even if not a complete ban, is to take our only talent and invest it in a renewed culture.

Yes, innocent children continue to be killed while waiting for the return on investment. But abortion is such a horrible evil that we cannot rid ourselves of it. In the vale of tears that is post-Christian America, we have no choice but to sow the seeds of life, knowing that some will be choked out by the weeds before the Master finally comes for the harvest. , which is still a long way off.

Thinking about compromising on abortion in this way is not a semantic sleight of hand, nor an escape or justification for negotiating with the devil. We don’t do evil for the sake of good. Rather, it is the harsh reality of a moral discernment that seeks realistic ways to defend life in a country that sees life not as a gift, but as a disposable toy. Edmund Burke expressed this harsh reality in political terms in his Reflections on the Revolution in France: “Political reasoning is a computer principle” which often requires “balances between the differences of good, in compromises sometimes between good and evil, sometimes between evil and evil”.

Just a few months ago, mandatory ultrasounds and waiting periods for people wanting an abortion were the best we could do to protect life under deer. If we could save a single life, we tried to do so. Our challenge today is that at this point in America’s history, we need to work incrementally by first restricting abortion before moving on to outright bans. This is our mosaic moment. God willing, the return to Christ our nation needs to make abortion as horrible a memory as slavery is not a millennium away.


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About Michael S. Montanez

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