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Monday, May 4, 2009

Abortion and the President

During President Obama's 100 Days In Office Address, he recounted his personal philosophy regarding abortion. The President answered a question about FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act) by first stating that abortion was an ethical and a moral dilemma - an interesting admission! He then went on to state that a woman was much better equipped to consider the moral and ethical implications of abortion than Congress or the Courts. Too bad, using his logic, that both have already weighed in on the matter and pronounced abortion to be legal.

President Obama obviously believes in one's ability to have a fully informed and operative personal conscience - this is not an uncommon philosophy today. But, let's really examine women's ability to personally assess the ethical and moral nature of abortion when experiencing a crisis pregnancy.

First, crisis pregnancy infers that it (the pregnancy) occurred under less than ideal circumstances; either a contraceptive method failed, the mother is unmarried, a woman was raped, or she is involved in a relationship in which pregnancy is feared and/or unwanted by herself, her husband or boyfriend, or casual acquaintance. In any case, there is pressure to abort the newly conceived life by the one who fears or dreads the pregnancy. This could easily include the mother -to-be herself, her boyfriend or husband, co-workers, fellow students, or parents of the pregnant woman.

Overt pressure clouds someone's ability to reason properly. Sin also clouds our ability (conscience) to reason properly. It is fair to state that a "sin(s)" was involved in the resulting "crisis"pregnancy. When a woman is unmarried but sexually active, she and her partner commit sins against chastity. Married couples who resent a pregnancy fail to love each other authentically. Rape is an aggression against an innocent person. Therefore, most will agree that some type of unloving action occurred between two persons when a woman winds up with a crisis pregnancy. This doesn't mean that good can't result from the pregnancy, with God all things are possible.

Recently, a commentary reminded me how sin clouds our intellect and our ability to reason properly while disposing us to further sin. Pope Benedict teaches that we see Christ - not with our eyes - but with our souls and our hearts. Only when our souls are pure, are we able to see Him clearly. Only when we see Him clearly, are we able to reason properly. Sin calcifies (hardens) our hearts making it difficult to see or respond to God as we should.

Therein lies the problem with President Obama's statement. None of us are able to see or reason clearly while in the state of sin. While it is nearly impossible for the Courts or Congress to make truly righteous judgements or laws, I disagree when Obama states that a mother facing a crisis pregnancy is best equipped to make the right decision.

When faced with a crisis pregnancy, the mother- to - be must first look to the wisdom of the Church and the righteous example of the Blessed Virgin Mary who faced pregnancy as an unmarried woman. Although Mary had a holy pregnancy, she nonetheless had to face many of the social pressures facing today's unmarried mothers. Only when we depend on God and His Church, can we rest assured of finding the right answers in the right places.

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