“Personally opposed, but…”


By Patrick Travers.

In last week´s debate, Vice President Joe Biden said that he has been a practicing Catholic his whole life, and therefore accepts the Church’s teaching that life begins at conception. He, however, refuses to impose his beliefs on those who believe differently and refuses to tell a woman how to use her body.

But, if life begins at conception, he therefore admits to believing that abortion is murder? And he therefore chooses to protect the choice of a mother (who has a live child in her stomach) over the very life of her child? The next step might be to protect a rapists’ choice over their victim, or a murderer’s choice over their intended victim… in order to not impose his beliefs on the rapist and murderer.

In response to this logical explanation of the Vice President’s incoherent “Catholic” position -which I posted on Facebook-, a young woman made the comment that I should “have a child first and raise him (perhaps even alone as single moms do) and then go and talk to her.” The response made me think about what is really underlying this debate. Could the difficulty of raising a child possibly justify the killing of a baby?

Vice President Biden’s position of being “personally opposed, but unwilling to impose his beliefs” reveals his implicit acceptance of a socially unacceptable reality. And the discomfort that this reality may cause to those who, like my Facebook follower, would be burdened by the difficulties of assuming responsibility for their actions seems to make evident what is really behind the fight to defend a woman’s “choice”: namely the convenience of “eliminating a problem”, of sex without consequences or responsibility.

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