I've written before on Catholic "pro-choice" politicians (here and here), and given the last post on Senator McCaskill, I thought it was time to address the common defense given by such individuals, which is that they are "personally opposed, but cannot force that view on others."
This answer usually comes in tandem with a statement by such politicians that they believe in the teachings of their Church, but that these teachings cannot be used in determining legislation, otherwise we would be a theocracy.
Okay, so let's follow the logic and see where it takes us.
The Church teaches that life begins at conception. If a Catholic politician believes the teachings of his Church, he acknowledges that life begins at conception.
Therefore, he believes that abortion is the ending of this life.
This is murder.
So, in essence, what the politician is saying is this, "I am personally opposed to murder, but I will not impose my beliefs on others."
But other people might not agree with us that life begins at conception, you might argue.
Let's say that someone, of another faith or culture, believed that black people were less-than-human. Would any politician today get elected if he claimed that he was "personally opposed to slavery, but couldn't impose his views on others."
What about the man who believes (because of his religious convictions), that women are to completely subject to their husbands, even when they commit violent acts in marriage. Would a politician really get away with claiming that she was "personally opposed to spousal abuse, but couldn't impose that belief on others?"
If we believe that life exists, we must protect that life. Quite frankly, I have more tolerance for pro-choice politicians who are not Catholic than those who are. Because the ones who claim to follow the teachings of their church are either lying in that claim, or they are okay with allowing life to be destroyed simply to accommodate another view.
While on the subject, another argument I hear often for abortion and embryonic stem cell research is that "scientists disagree about whether it is truly life at that stage". To these people, who may not be Catholic, the arguments of the Church will hold little weight. I was in such a conversation recently.
It went like this:
Me: You acknowledge that some scientists, many in fact, believe that life begins at or shortly after conception.
Pro-Choice Friend: Sure, but there are scientists to disagree, so we don't really know.
Me: Okay, fair enough. Now, suppose you were getting ready to tear down a building. You had one expert telling you there were live people inside there who hadn't evacuated. You had another expert who disagreed. Would you just tear it down anyway.
PCF: No, I would make sure, first.
Me: Well, then, why are we tearing down the building with regards to early life when we have experts who think there are occupants in the building?
You would think this would have been checkmate. It was. This is why my pro-choice friend abandoned logic completely and closed with, "Well, then let's just tear down the building anyway."
This is why the abortion fight is so difficult for those of us who are pro-life. Logic isn't even allowed in the door.