The Ethics of Abortion: Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice

The Ethics of Abortion: Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice

The Ethics of Abortion: Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice

The Ethics of Abortion: Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice

Synopsis

When The Ethics of Abortion first appeared, this powerful collection of essays gained instant recognition as one of the first attempts to present both sides of the abortion debate in the words of leading proponents. Now, after two major Supreme Court cases, intense political wrangling, and heavy media coverage of often violent public demonstrations, the editors have updated and revised this groundbreaking book by adding thirteen new selections and retaining many popular selections from the previous edition. Comprehensive and balanced, this popular volume in Prometheus's "Contemporary Issues" series offers nineteen essays and three excerpts from the high court's opinions in Roe v. Wade, which changed the face of abortion law for all time; Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989), which regulated the use of public facilities for abortions; and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992), which imposed a waiting period and permitted parental notification. This provocative anthology covers such compelling issues as the pre-Roe abortion period in American history, abortion and the Constitution, abortion and feminism, abortion and Christianity, as well as the fundamental moral issues.

Excerpt

For at least twenty years now, the issue of abortion has grown increasingly difficult. Few issues have more thoroughly fragmented contemporary society. Operation Rescue and Rescue America, large anti-abortion organizations, have organized thousands of protest actions against clinics that perform or refer for abortions, against physicians who perform abortions, and against organizations that even indirectly are supportive of the practice of abortion. The people in these anti-abortion groups act with the fervor of absolute moral conviction. Likewise, women and men with equal fervor vow they will not allow abortion again to become a "back alley" activity requiring women to risk their fives to obtain what should be a safe and simple surgical procedure. So far as one can estimate such things apart from individual personal convictions, sincerity and integrity appear in equal measure on both sides.

Sometimes, however, the judgment that comparable integrity moves activists on both sides seems confounded by the facts. When Michael Griffin, an anti-abortion activist, allegedly shot and killed Dr. David Gunn, an abortion provider, at a clinic in Pensacola, Florida, on March 17, 1993, one could only wonder what acts of violence might be next on the activists' agenda, and what kind of moral or religious integrity could endorse killing to achieve its ends. Nevertheless, Michael Griffin, according to news reports, vowed to provide his own legal defense and to make the Bible its primary source. However much one might be baffled by Michael Griffin, the man himself apparently felt morally comfortable with his action. Furthermore, public statements offered by those commenting on behalf of Operation Rescue and Rescue America, while regretting Griffin's action, did not neglect to mention the millions of babies abortion providers like Gunn kill every year in America. They did not say Griffin was justified in killing Gunn, but . . .

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