In 1986, an article was published in Commonweal encapsulating a view that to some people seems deeply incongruous. The author of this article was Sidney Callahan and the article was entitled “A Case for Pro-Life Feminism.” The views Callahan laid out remain as profound calls to look to the circumstances within which choices to terminate pregnancy occur, and to target them rather than only the procedure itself. Callahan argued in part that the availability of abortion as a solution to these problems allows society to continually fail to address the reasons that it is hard for women to have and raise children. Whether or not you agree that abortion is immoral, Callahan’s ethical redirect can be a valuable tool to add to one’s mental repertoire.
Rebecca Bratten Weiss, a farmer and philosopher and instructor at Franciscan University in Steubenville, has done just this. She responds to the kerfuffle over Donald Trump’s discussion of punishing women for seeking abortion, and to a similar set of issues raised by a new law in Poland, by redirecting our attention away from abortion toward the circumstances in which choices to abort take place. It is worth a thought. You can find it over at Patheos.