The pro-life stance on abortion is often associated with and defended by traditional Christian beliefs , ; however, this paper will argue that it can and should be defended with secular arguments that appeal to reason and our shared human condition. This paper will try and counter the notion that the argument is simply another battlefield where religion and secular thought meet. Rather, it is an important issue that carries with it heavy implications not only for the religious but also for the secular. The major arguments discussed include the emotional and physical toll on the mother, the societal toll of having abortion legalized, and the rights attributed to every human being; first, however, the stance taken in this paper will be further defined and clarified.
There are many different beliefs floating around Christian as well as secular circles as to what it means to be “pro-life”. Some claim that this view equates all forms of contraception to abortion while others claim that to be “pro-life” one must only be against abortion. In his book The Pro-Life/Choice Debate, Mark Herring summarizes the Humanae Vitae, a document released by Pope Paul VI in the late 1960s, saying “it warns against using contraceptives and engaging in sexual relations for their own sake…” The stance that will be taken in this paper will be that to be “pro-life” is to be against abortion and not contraception. Equating all forms of contraception to that of abortion is an ill-founded and uneducated claim that does more to hurt the perception and potential power of the pro-life movement than it does to help it. It allows the discussion to veer far off the path, as can be seen in Christina Page’s book How the Pro-Choice Movemen...
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Haugen, David, Susan Musser, and Kacy Lovelace, . Abortion. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2010.
Herring, Mark Y. The Pro-Life/Choice Debate. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2003.
Lee, Patrick. Abortion and Unborn Human Life. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America, 2010.
Nathanson, Dr. Bernard. "Reflections of the Abortion King." In Back to the Drawing Board: The Future of the Pro-Life Movement, by Teresa R Wagner, 76-81. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine's, 2003.
Page, Christina. How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics and the War on Sex. New York: Basic Books, 2006.
Piehl, Norah, ed. Abortion. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven, 2007.
Williams, Daniel K. "No Happy Medium: The Role of Americans' Ambivalent View of Fetal Rights in Political Conflict over Abortion Legalization." Journal of Policy History 25, no. 1 (2013): 49.
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