Following last week’s pro-life victory in the Irish parliament, which saw the defeat of a bill legalizing abortion in cases of “fatal fetal abnormality,” Seán MacGiollarnáth, a friar in Dublin city, defended the pro-life position in the Irish Times.
MacGiollarnáth addressed accusations from an article by Dr. Robert Grant, who argued that the pro-life movement is based on mistrust of women. “One can only assume abortion on demand is to be avoided because one does not trust women to make the decision with the requisite thought and consideration it deserves,” wrote Grant. While this is a very common pro-abortion argument, it’s also a very weak one.
In his response, MacGiollarnáth calls out Grant’s arguments for what they are: ad hominem statements which avoid the real issues of the abortion debate. MacGiollarnáth argues that true compassion involves caring for both the pregnant woman and the preborn child, citing pregnancy resource centers as an example. It is not that pro-lifers mistrust women, but rather that they oppose the “structure of oppression and injustice” created by abortion on demand.
Dr Grant removes from sight the effect that “free, safe and legal abortion” will have on the baby. His arguments overlook the reality that there are two lives, mother and child, both needing support…. It’s a case of both/and rather than either/or. Love them both rather than allow arbitrary preference between them.
MacGiollarnáth briefly mentions the “strong commercial interests and forces in the abortion industry,” which play a huge role in abortion legislation and political campaigns.
After exposing and dismantling the arguments proposed by the pro-abortion camp, MacGiollarnáth concludes:
All human life before birth is in potential jeopardy, leaving its protection at the mercy of individual preference. The reality of this is enough to wake us up to the gift of life, which would be under threat.
The pro-life position is not based on a lack of trust in or a lack of respect for women, as MacGiollarnáth states. Rather it is based on true respect for all human life, including women.