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Conscience. 1993 Spring-Summer;14(1-2):33-6.

Abortion in a just society.

Abstract

PIP:

A female Catholic theologian imagines a just society that does not judge women who decide to undergo an abortion. The Church, practitioners, and the courts must trust that women do make person-enhancing choices about the quality of life. In the last 15 years most progress in securing a woman's right to abortion has been limited to white, well-educated, and middle or upper middle class women. A just society would consider reproductive options a human right. Abortion providers are examples of a move to a just society; they are committed to women's well-being. There are some facts that make one pessimistic about achieving abortion in a just society. The US Supreme Court plans to review important decisions establishing abortion as a civil right. Further, some men insist on suing women who want to make their own reproductive decisions--an anti-choice tactic to wear away women's right to reproductive choice. Bombings of abortion clinics and harassment campaigns by anti-choice groups are common. These behaviors strain pro-choice proponents emotionally, psychically, and spiritually. Their tactics often lead to theologians practicing self-censorship because they fear backlash. Abortion providers also do this. Further, the reaction to AIDS is that sex is bad. Anti-abortion groups use AIDS to further their campaigns, claiming that AIDS is a punishment for sex. Strategies working towards abortion in a just society should be education and persuasion of policymakers and citizens about women's right to choose, since they are the ones most affected by abortion. Moreover, only women can secure their rights to abortion. In a just society, every health maintenance organization, insurance company, and group practice would consider abortion a normal service. A just society provides for the survival needs of the most marginalized.

PMID:
12178856
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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