Editorial Response: Pro-Life is Pro-Women

Margot Giuliano, Staff Writer

Dear Gentlepeople:

I write in response to an editorial that appeared in the Villanovan on Wednesday, February 3 that addressed the issue of a woman’s right to choose.  My connection to Villanova spans over 38 years, as an adult learner, faculty wife, degree recipient (MA Education 1986), and proud parent of children who both studied there and one of whom is a graduate.  

My background will help clarify my remarks – I am a feminist. I believe in women and in women’s rights. Women need good care and good counsel. I do NOT believe that abortion guarantees nor contributes to a woman’s reproductive autonomy. While such autonomy is vital, the whole woman must be considered and not a destructive option that receives all of the media attention.

The President’s actions are not consistent with Catholicism.  The line is crossed when an individual takes actions directly contrary to that teaching.  Abortion plainly is the taking of life, and while the science did not support this at the time of Roe vs. Wade, it unequivocally does now.  While women deserve to know all there is to know about their reproductive ability and the rights thereof, abortion actually denies their rights. It is a quick fix to a situation that is profoundly complicated. Once it is done, there is no accountability to the woman or the man involved in the creation of the life destroyed. Our President is not only differing from Church teaching and law but actively promoting destruction of fundamental moral values.

Let’s address reproductive rights.  The woman has the right to control her body.  This does not begin at conception of a child, but at the act that leads to conception.  It involves all of the ways in which a woman cares for her body and her person and her right to do so with or without our judgment. The pleasure of having sex contributes to the procreation of the species and includes the accompanying responsibility. One cannot separate the act from the responsibility.

 Once a child is conceived, that individual also has rights.  At that time, the woman is now responsible for not just herself, but also her child.  The man is as well.  They chose to conceive.  The rape argument will be raised.  These women are also important.  They deserve great care. But how can it be argued that after experiencing horrific violence, they themselves should perpetuate the violence by destroying life? 

The national and political debate over the issue of abortion illustrates the poor level of instruction at all levels of the beauty of the human body, the autonomy of the person, the sanctity of life and the self- respect we all deserve. These problems should be addressed rather than signing orders and approving laws that act as an eraser – if we can’t see it, it must be gone. Plus, abortion is much less expensive in both time and money than truly caring about the individuals.

Our country was founded on Judeo Christian values. The Muslim faith also holds these values dear.  Murder and the taking of the unalienable right to life has always been a crime in most religious traditions. To diminish anyone’s objections on the basis of religion is disingenuous. You cannot claim to be a person of faith yet deny others the right to practice differently.

Do NOT mix radical behavior with faith.  They do not equate. Zealots always will have a loud voice – it is part of their makeup.  Currently, people with fundamental religious views are mocked and/or discredited because those radicals with loud voices and prominent behavior do bad things. This dishonors the faith even of those doing the mocking and working to discredit others – it actually brings their faith into question.  People of faith do not actively work to hurt others.

I agree that abortion should not be a political issue. The Democratic Party, of which President Biden is the head, has made it clear that unless a candidate is Pro Choice, he or she will not receive the support of the party. The politicians you emulate use abortion because it an emotional trigger and always garners a response. If you do not want it to be an issue, you must make that clear to your politicians at all levels.

Cardinal Bernardin promoted the Seamless Garment of Life (the concept was created by a woman). Every aspect of life on earth and every social issue are intertwined – race, environment, immigration, death penalty, abortion and so many more – and we are proscribed to respect life on all these levels.  If we do not advocate for the most vulnerable, we are not respecting our great responsibility to care for all God has given us.

Pope Francis agrees. But he is often selectively quoted. In his belief that all people are worthy of God’s love he shows great kindness, yet his unequivocal position that all life must be respected is ignored. He is clear that life begins at conception.  “Laudato Si’ On Care of Our Human Home” is perhaps his writing that is quoted most frequently. He writes extensively on the theme that “science and technology have given us tremendous power over nature and ourselves.”  To specifically quote Pope Francis, “Science and technology are wonderful products of a God-given human creativity.  Never has humanity had such power over itself…but we must also consider the array of technologies that Totalitarian regimes employed to kill millions of people in the 20th century!” 

He concludes, ”How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?” He takes this further in his conclusion of the document, “Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification for abortion.”

It cannot be more clear – abortion is not about reproductive rights.  It is a tool to abdicate our responsibility mandated by Christ. ”Love one another as I have loved you.”