3. A third factor separating abortion from other justice issues is its legal status. Unlike other instances of massive killing of human life, like terrorism or serial killing, which stand clearly outside the law in advanced nations, abortion enjoys legal sanction. Pope John Paul wrote of the novelty of such “scientifically and systematically programmed threats” (“Evangelium Vitae,” No. 17).
4. A fourth distinguishing aspect of abortion is its arbitrary division of human beings into those worthy of life and those unworthy. Abortion deals not with the random killing of unrelated individuals, but with the circumscription of an entire class of human beings (the unborn) as non-persons, excluded from the basic rights and protections accorded to all other human beings.
If human dignity depends on anything other than simple membership in the human race — be it intelligence, athletic ability, social status, race, age, or health — we immediately find ourselves having to distinguish between persons who count and those who don’t.
5. Abortion even distinguishes itself from related questions of medical ethics, such as euthanasia and assisted suicide, by the absence of any possibility of informed consent. The status of the unborn as voiceless and most vulnerable adds a further dimension to discussions of the morality and gravity of abortion. Here the bioethical category of “autonomy” cannot be applied, since unborn children have no way of speaking for themselves.
6. Finally, abortion differs from other major social ills such as unemployment and divorce because of its relative invisibility. Abortion takes place behind closed doors, and is hushed in public. As in the case of slavery, ending the social injustice of abortion relies mainly on the courage and willingness of persons and institutions not directly involved in abortion to speak out. Rev. Thomas D. Williams, L.C.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Abortion and Social Justice
My sister sent me this link. The article explains why this issue is so important from the point of view of social justice.