Friday, September 16, 2005

re-criminalize abortion?

Catholic Scholars' debate on the re-criminalization of abortion held last night at the University of Delaware went well. Kate Rogers acquitted herself very nicely against Eileen McDonagh who argued that if a woman does not consent to pregnancy she has a right to take lethal force against the fetus who is "hijacking" her body and forcing it to undergo serious harm including the growing of a new organ (the placenta).

I was happy to see this argument aired and I hope that it will continue to be promulgated. It lays the true pro-choice position out on the table by conceding the personhood of the fetus and making a woman's consent to pregnancy of paramount importance. McDonagh actually said that rape was the lesser harm done to women because violation of her personal integrity by a rapist was of a much shorter duration than the nine-month violation done by a fetus when it imposes pregnancy on a non-consenting woman.

When truth is aired then those who seek truth sincerely have fewer obstacles to finding it than when facts are obscured, as with the right to privacy argument. Kids who hear it plainly admitted that the fetus is a person have a much easier time figuring out the morality of using lethal force against that invading person.

Kate did a bang-up job refuting the position. Mitchell Hall was filled. The News Journal sent a reporter. Being part of the Interdisciplinary Ethic Committee's Great Debate series gave this debate a higher visibility than the two that Catholic Scholars organized alone.

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