Blog on abortion and people are going to get interested, maybe even mad. It’s just one of those issues. There have been a few interesting responses to my recent posts. Geoff gives us his own Kierkegaardian slant on the Tiller murder. Adam thinks that I don’t realize how dangerous it would be to society to consider fetuses as persons, and that I don’t give due attention to the question of the mother facing into the complexities of pregnancy and abortion. Our jolly friend, Craig Carter blasts me for allegedly attacking the pro-life movement and accusing them of complicity in the murder itself.
I only have a couple more points to make about this matter. First, I had no intention to try to ethically parse all the complexities of various pregnancies, nor would I know how to do so. As the stories that Andrew Sullivan has been posting show, these issues are infinitely complex and heart-rending. As such, I never intended any of my posts to be taken as trying to elide these issues.
This leads to my second point which is that the only thing I was really trying to do is to show how any sort of pro-life orientation that eschews violence is most intelligible within the context of Christian pacifism. Any sort of stance that wishes to make a high priority of preserving unborn life is most at home within a moral framework that understands violence as a power to be rejected. To argue for the use of defensive violence on the one hand and be staunchly pro-life in all circumstances on the other, and then to deny that such defensive violence can be deployed to prevent abortion (which is cast a genocide and murder) is simply an inconsistency. It just is. That doesn’t mean that all non-pacifist pro-lifers are terrible in every way. Just that they have an inconsistency in their ethical framework that I think deserves more attention, rather than the casual brushing over it has been recieving from many.