Abortion - Pro Life - Abortion Q & A -- Cardinal O'Connor
I also wish to discuss these kinds of cases of abortion not only inregard to science and society as they are at this writing, but as to howsocietal or social perspectives might be philosophically modified and howmedical science is likely someday to be, the latter in ways that will bringwhole new problems to the question of abortion -- as well as whole newsolutions. The particular medical science developments I wish to take intoaccount are those of transplant or machine maintenance of a human embryo(though particularly a later stage embryo, which as of this writing isstill not medically feasible; transplant is already done in other animals,notably cattle); and the particular social perspective changes I wish totake into account are (1) some sort of "nurturing" assistance for the childrenof educationally and socially disadvantaged families -- not necessarilyjust "ghetto" families and not necessarily welfare nor governmental assistance,but personal relationships and mentoring that will give expectation thata child will not have to be born into such a hopeless or terrible situationthat an abortion might be better for it, (2) a change in adoption policyand child-rearing that would enable people who "give up" babies for adoptionto have some influence over, and some direct knowledge of, their child'sdevelopment, (3) elimination of unfair discrimination, particularly jobdiscrimination, based on unwed motherhood and the stigma attaching to someone'sbeing an "illegitimate" child, and (4) a change in the way we view theresponsibility for rearing children, both in regard to financial obligations,and in regard to their moral, physical, and academic education. I wishto consider these four social changes because it seems to me that theywould drastically reduce the number of abortions by reducing many people'sfeeling of need for an abortion as their only alternative to a very unhappyor wrongful birth. And to eliminate or reduce abortions voluntarily, byeliminating or reducing the (perceived) need for them, would be a goodthing.
("Fifty Questions on Abortion, ..
27. Some have imagined the possibility of using techniques of genetic engineering to introduce alterations with the presumed aim of improving and strengthening the gene pool. Some of these proposals exhibit a certain dissatisfaction or even rejection of the value of the human being as a finite creature and person. Apart from technical difficulties and the real and potential risks involved, such manipulation would promote a eugenic mentality and would lead to indirect social stigma with regard to people who lack certain qualities, while privileging qualities that happen to be appreciated by a certain culture or society; such qualities do not constitute what is specifically human. This would be in contrast with the fundamental truth of the equality of all human beings which is expressed in the principle of justice, the violation of which, in the long run, would harm peaceful coexistence among individuals. Furthermore, one wonders who would be able to establish which modifications were to be held as positive and which not, or what limits should be placed on individual requests for improvement since it would be materially impossible to fulfil the wishes of every single person. Any conceivable response to these questions would, however, derive from arbitrary and questionable criteria. All of this leads to the conclusion that the prospect of such an intervention would end sooner or later by harming the common good, by favouring the will of some over the freedom of others. Finally it must also be noted that in the attempt to create one can recognize in which man tries to take the place of his Creator.
Priests, deacons and religious do not differ from lay persons in having to make prudential judgments about the best approach to protecting the unborn. Some of you have felt in conscience that you must choose an approach that has brought you ridicule, criticism, public trials, and even imprisonment. There is no question in my mind but that what you do you do for all of us; the rest is in the hands of God. I know that in your charity you recognize that not everyone need pursue the same approach. I know you never think of others as cowards or as delinquent because they work for life in different ways. I regret that some others may not always express the same charity in their hearts toward you, but I know you can endure this as you endure so much else.
How the 'Fundamental Right' to Abortion Faded Away
That men, too, suffer because of abortion, however, is illustrated by the bitter reply of a man standing outside an abortion clinic with his pregnant wife. When asked by a sidewalk counselor if he wanted help, he answered, "No, I'm only the father."