Can you be morally opposed to an evil but still support the legality and practice of that evil?
One of the most mind-boggling arguments I hear from people on the issue of abortion is, “I’m morally opposed to abortion but I cannot tell someone else what to do and it should remain legal.” Every time I hear this argument it makes my head want to explode.
I have often said to people that I’m sure many said that in the time of slavery. I ask them how they would react to someone saying, “I’m morally opposed to slavery but I would never tell anyone not to own a slave.” The reaction is always, “that’s not the same thing.”
Before I get into my response I wanted to look at history and find people actually using that argument. I was recently in Lancaster, PA at the Catholic Marketing Network working the Priests for Life booth. I looked up historical references to Lancaster and found a lot about our 15thPresident, James Buchanan.
One of the first things I read about Buchanan was that he was morally opposed to slavery but didn’t want to make it illegal. Not only had I found someone who used this contradictory argument, I found a US President who espoused this argument.
He went beyond saying that it should remain legal and even went so far as to proclaim interference in slavery was an evil. On Dec 19, 1859 in his third annual message to Congress he said, “”Had it been decided that either Congress or the territorial legislature possess the power to annul or impair the right to property in slaves, the evil would be intolerable.”
To him the attempt to stop slavery was more evil than slavery itself. I would argue that he couldn’t truly be morally opposed to an evil and yet support and defend the practice of that evil. He couldn’t call slavery evil if he believed and declared any attempts to interfere with slavery evil.
So how is this the same thing when it comes to abortion? The answer is quite simple, both slavery and abortion are evils that take a group of human persons and strip them of their rights. Both slavery and abortion allow one group to determine the worth and value of another group and decide their fate.
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Buchanan in his writings and speeches proved beyond a shadow of doubt that he truly did not believe that black people were not truly equal humans.
“What would be your situation, fellow-citizens, if negroes were admitted to an equality of political and social rights with white men and white women? …. The subject is too disgusting, and I recoil from it.” (speech on August 18, 1838)
“Alas for the South! It is already ruined for years to come without immediate remedy. Negro equality & negro suffrage have already done their work.” (letter of November 2, 1867)
“The opposition to Negro Suffrage in the South, as well as in the North, has been the principal cause of our triumph everywhere. Abandon this, & we are gone.” (letter of November 9, 1867)
He could not in any believable way truly say that he was morally opposed to slavery when he did not believe that blacks were truly humans. In the same way I cannot believe someone who argues that they are morally opposed to abortion if they believe that pre-born humans are not human enough to protect with full human rights.
Anytime we as a society decide that other humans do not enjoy the same basic rights as us because of uncontrollable circumstances such as skin color, religion or age we are committing a great evil. When anyone disguises this belief as an attempt to protect the rights of one group of people over the rights of another group, this is one of the most ignoble mindsets and must be rejected.
Abortion like slavery does exactly this, it pits the rights of an one human over the rights of another human and strips them of personhood for the convenience of those with power. Both practices are evil and cannot be defended as a right ever.
Most people have heard the phrase, “History repeats itself” and that is exactly what happened when the preborn had their personhood stripped away and the abortion holocaust was unleashed on our nation. While this phrase is often used to point out evil events I believe it will be used again to describe the abolition of abortion.
When those who claim to be morally opposed to abortion truly embrace what that means and raise their voices and demand an end to this genocide, we will see history repeat itself. We will see our preborn brothers and sisters freed from the tyrannical Supreme Court decision that declared they are not human persons and see their rights restored.
One of the shirts I wear the most often reads, “I am the generation that will abolish abortion.” This is not just a saying on a shirt to me, it is a truth that I fight and dedicate my life to everyday. I urge everyone who has used this apathetic argument to not just be morally opposed to abortion, but be enraged by this evil and demand its abolition.