On Pro-Life Endeavors

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I found the following strongly worded and provocative entry in a comments box at Disputations--as it was a rejoinder somewhat off the main point, I thought I would drag it out and comment upon it here.

Comment by Mr. Jospeh D'Hippolito at Disputations

Second, regarding your skepticism of voting because of "pro-life" issues: The biggest problem with "pro-life" Christians in general is that they demand (let alone expect) a democratic government expressed through republican institutions to remake society in their moral image. That is beyond the scope of such institutions, which are designed to ensure individual liberty against government intrusion, not to create a society of virtue where none exists. The Founding Fathers always knew that the success of their experiment depended on a virtuous citizenry.

Besides, "pro-life" Christians have deluded themselves into believing that the ultimate answer to abortion lies in public policy, rather than private endeavors. What sort of endeavors? For one thing, sex education based on personal responsibility and Christian values. For another, centers funded by Christians of means where unmarried, pregnant women can have their babies safely, learn maternal skills, perhaps even get a modicum of job training and a GED. For a third, promoting adoption as an alternative to abortion.

Mr. D'Hippolito and I have exchanged views in the past at Disputations. Mr. D'Hipplolito tends to strong language and strongly worded thoughts. That said, I cannot but agree with the essential thrust of what is said here. Well, let's say that with a little demurral. I do believe that as committed Christians we should push to have as much of our worldview as possible represented in the laws that drive our society; however, I do not think that legislation is ultimately the solution to the problem. The solution lies in making abortion not merely a crime but unnecessary and undesirable.

Now, to give groups credit, many pro-lifers do not spend their time pushing for absolutist legislation that has, it seems to me, little chance of success. A great many do run the kinds of help places Mr. D'Hippolito lists above--but more are needed and more volunteers are needed, and more responsibility needs to be taken by parents for the proper education and instruction of children in matters dealing with sex--and yes, schools should be stressing Chrisitan values and personal responsibility.

All that is here seems very sensible to me. I would just add that it does no harm to continue to work for legislation that helps to put limits on abortion as well. I just don't think it is reasonable, practical, or sensible for that to be the main or only thrust of any work toward a solution to the problem and crime of abortion.

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I have - I suppose - mixed feelings about this.

I believe abortion is morally wrong, and I am on the board of directors of a pro-life crisis pregnancy counseling center. Our group has done *so* much good for young women (actually, some are 12 year old kids) who are pregnant and looking for help. Our business is booming (unfortunately), and (fortunately) we are getting good support from the community and planning to expand operations.

One of the programs we are trying to grow is to teach kids about abstinence - a program called MAP (Making Abstinence Pay). But in the absence of abstinence, these kids ought to use some sort of contraceptive. OK, I said it - I'm Catholic and I said kids ought to use contraceptives if they don't abstain.

It does not harm to try to promote legislation that helps put limits on abortion. But folks, the genie is out of the bottle, and even if outlawed, we will continue to have an 'abortion problem' until we *all* teach our kids that having sex outside marriage is not right; that it's not God's plan for them.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 9, 2003 9:24 AM.

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Prayer Attributed to Sir Francis Drake is the next entry in this blog.

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