Pro-choice thought experiment

CV blog readers are used to seeing great posts on abortion and same-sex “marriage.” After seeing

  1. Emily’s post that government is almost always pro-choice,
  2. Steve’s post that the same-sex “marriage” movement is inextricably tied to social acceptance of contraception,
  3. Tom’s post that abortion victims are racially very skewed,
  4. Thomas’s posts that the DNC convention is going to be both a PP-fueled sex & booze hootenanny and a same-sex “marriage” sermon, and
  5. the recent story that Obama thinks newborns are “fetuses outside of the womb,”

I was reminded of a thought experiment I pitched to readers of Truth & Charity a couple months ago. A House bill to ban sex-selective abortions (acronym “PRENDA”) fizzled out since it didn’t receive two-thirds support. The President (shocker) was against the bill and offered a statement. Quoting myself:

A thought experiment: suppose legislation surfaces that attempts to ban sexual-orientation-selective abortions. Though science has not yet done so, suppose a “gay gene” is found. A Representative authors a bill “To prohibit discrimination against the unborn on the basis of sexual orientation or race, and for other purposes.” (PRENDA had the same first line, except substituted “sex” for “sexual orientation.”) Would you expect an Obama White House statement like the following?

The Administration opposes [sexual-orientation] discrimination in all forms, but the end result of this legislation would be to subject doctors to criminal prosecution if they fail to determine the motivations behind a very personal and private decision. The government should not intrude in medical decisions or private family matters in this way.

Of course, Catholics (and all people of good will) want ALL abortions stopped regardless of the reason why they are sought, because this “very personal and private decision” neglects the very person whose life is ended by the private decision of another.

Since that post, we’ve had the Chick-fil-A controversy, the Akin affair, and other various stories on abortion and LGBT issues, so it’s clear that the push for continued acceptance of abortion and same-sex behavior won’t be disappearing anytime soon. I am wondering whether proponents of these two issues have thought about the possibility of “gay abortions.”

Gay flag nice.svg at Wikimedia Commons

You will argue “The only people who would abort their gay babies would be religious wackos and people influenced by their hate; all the more reason to eradicate religious beliefs.” Possibly, just as some people who abort their female babies hate the possibility of bearing a girl instead of a boy, or just as some people abort their babies with Down syndrome because they hate the prospect of being “stigmatized” with a special-needs child.

But pro-choicers are pro-choice: though they may disagree with the reasons that a person chooses to abort, the choice must be legally protected and therefore abortion must be legally protected. “I’m personally opposed, but…” People may choose to abort their female or Down syndrome babies purely for financial reasons; “I/we can’t afford a baby right now.” The criticisms leveled against PRENDA was that it was impossible to enforce: people who didn’t want a girl would just say the abortion was for financial or emotional reasons.

So if a “gay gene” is found, would a PRENDA-like bill attract the same criticisms? Would the LGBT community be silent about “gay abortions?” It would seem to be equally unenforceable: an expectant religious couple who hated gay people would not appear any different from an expectant atheist couple with two or three gay children who then sincerely say “we can’t afford a baby right now.”

If pro-choicers will give a pass to people who want to abort girls for being girls, will they give a pass to people who want to abort gays for being gay?

Again, as I said at the end of my T&C post, it is crystal clear how the Church would respond to any of these developments: 1) those with same-sex attraction have exactly the same inherent dignity as everyone else, and must be given support in maintaining the virtue of chastity in bearing their particular cross. We all need God’s grace and His Church, the “hospital for sinners.” 2) a genetic predisposition toward same-sex attraction would be viewed no differently than a genetic predisposition toward pride, greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, or sloth. 3) abortion is always and everywhere “gravely contrary to the moral law (CCC 2270).”

Pro-lifers would clearly and unambiguously fight against sexual-orientation-selective abortions; what would pro-choicers do?

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20 thoughts on “Pro-choice thought experiment

  1. Erica Johnston says:

    Why are all you people judging what other people do with their own bodies? Why don’t you worry about your own issues? I’m sure you all have as much as the rest of us. . Oh wait, I’m on a Catholic website, my bad. Isn’t it God that I am being judged by? Remember, so are YOU!!!

    1. Tim Shaughnessy says:

      Because when a woman has an abortion, she is affecting the body of someone else, namely, her unborn child.

      God does indeed judge us, including what we do to “the least of these,” which is why pro-lifers (and hopefully all Catholics) fight to protect the unborn.

      We are supposed to judge behavior and are clearly given indications by Jesus that some behaviors are sinful. We are NOT to judge the eternal destiny of souls. But I think it’s pretty clear that we can make the judgment that an unborn baby who is killed is a morally evil act.

      1. Ayin Hara says:

        Shortly after the Roe v Wade decision, the late Phillip K Dick wrote the story “Pre-persons”. Its about abortion.

        In the story, Congress decided children don’t have a rational soul needed for viability until they are 12 years old. Consequently, children under 12 could be conveniently aborted postpartum. Alternate evidence of a rational soul was the ability to do algebra.

        Abortion “rights” conveniently lend themselves to ridicule because the inherent claim in any abortion is the unborn have no body.

  2. Heather says:

    Great thoughts. Thank you!

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