Opposing Abortion With Reason Alone

Long before I became a Catholic at age 34, I opposed abortion.  I came to this position on the basis of reason alone — as an Evangelical I had not been schooled on this issue.  Evangelicals, by the way, did not start their anti-abortion activism until the 80s, taking over leadership from Catholics like Dr. Jack Willke (one of my personal heroes) who responded so quickly to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

My reasoning to oppose abortion was initially based upon reading a chapter written on the “contraceptive mentality” by existential psychologist Rollo May and the ‘Metaphysics’ of Aristotle.  From Rollo May I was spurred to think about our attempt to control nature, and from Aristotle I learned metaphysics of act/potency and the difference between ‘first nature’ and ‘second nature.’ 

At the moment of conception, a human person possesses a ‘first nature’ containing all the potencies of a human person, potencies that can become ‘act’ in his or her ‘second nature.’  In other words, all human persons possess a common first nature, while each of us actualize that first nature in different second natures.  

For example, if you compare my first nature to that of Brian Saint-Paul, they are identical — we both share the same potencies. But if you compare how we have actualized that nature in our second nature, then some serious differences appear, e.g., a golf swing, good taste in music, and the ability to dance 🙂

 

I have not read the recent book by Prof. Christopher Kaczor of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, but I know Kaczor and am confident his book is worth reading — “The Ethics of Abortion: Women’s Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice.” 

Kaczor provides his own argument against abortion on the basis of reason alone — I look forward to seeing it. 

 

Deal W. Hudson

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Deal W. Hudson is ​publisher and editor of The Christian Review and the host of "Church and Culture," a weekly two-hour radio show on the Ave Maria Radio Network.​ Formerly publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine for ten years, his articles and comments have been published widely in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and U.S. News and World Report. He has also appeared on TV and radio news shows such as the O'Reilly Factor, Hannity & Colmes, NBC News, and All Things Considered on National Public Radio. Hudson worked with Karl Rove in coordinating then-Gov. George W. Bush's outreach to Catholic voters in 2000 and 2004. In October 2003, President Bush appointed him a member of the official delegation from the United States to attend the 25th anniversary celebration of John Paul II's papacy. Hudson, a former professor of philosophy for 15 years, is the editor and author of eight books. He tells the story of his conversion from Southern Baptist to Catholic in An American Conversion (Crossroad, 2003), and his latest, Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States, was published in March 2008. He is married to Theresa Carver Hudson, also a Baptist convert, and they have two children, Hannah and Cyprian who was adopted from Romania in 2001.

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