Peter Kwasniewski

Featured Image
Shutterstock.com

Blogs,

The death of common sense—one of the many casualties of abortion

Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter

July 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – I once read a news release about a couple that had frozen a fertilized embryo many years ago, and decided to thaw it out and “have a second child” rather than “destroy the embryo.” In one and the same sentence, we read: the couple decided to “have a second child” rather than “destroy the embryo.

But if an embryo is not a human being, where would that “second child” have arisen from? Could a couple choose to have a second child if there was no child to be had? There is nothing in the child that was not already present in some way in the embryo.

Not only have modern embryology and genetics done nothing to shake a truth so evident to all; on the contrary, they support it a thousandfold. That is why the eminent geneticist Jerome Lejeune bore witness in courts all over the world: modern science shows that there is no fundamental biological discontinuity in the entire process from fertilized ovum to born child. If one invents a right to kill the former, one logically must invent a right to kill the latter.

There are now university professors who are coldly “rational” enough to draw the conclusion: since we have legalized abortion, we ought to legalize the killing of small children when they are severely disabled or perhaps simply unwanted. Dr. Lejeune saw that you must either defend human life consistently from beginning to end—conception to natural death—on the grounds that innocent human beings have a dignity that no one may violate, or you have to maintain that limits on killing are purely arbitrary and can be changed at will by legislative fiat.

Let us go back for a moment to the newspaper article which not so cleverly combined in one sentence the phrases “have a second child” and “destroy the embryo.” Imagine a parallel construction. If someone were to say: “I decided to take care of my grandmother, instead of injecting that bag of bones with lethal drugs,” we would think this person, just to have such a thought, was heartless, insane, or criminal—for it is abundantly clear that the insulting phrase refers to the old grandmother, and the intention to inject lethal drugs is murder.

But if a woman should say: “I have decided to go ahead with my pregnancy and give birth to a little baby, instead of having him—or rather, the fetus—dismembered by a knife or destroyed by acid,” the media, the government, and a good portion of society remain calmly aloof. “That’s each woman’s decision.”

What strange tricks of thought, what bizarre self-deceptions are practiced in the modern world! As long as language and experience mean anything, we know what a pregnant woman is: a woman “with child,” a woman whose body is now fully geared towards nourishing and protecting this unborn child until it is viable outside of the womb.

Yet language itself has been twisted and distorted past recognition. Pregnancy is now considered a “medical condition” or, according to some radical feminists, a disease or an act of foreign aggression. It is hard to believe that people could be so alienated from nature, so far removed from the simple facts of biology, that they would be able to overlook the obvious structure, the procreational design, of the male and female bodies. The female body is structured to conceive and bear children, and any healthy woman would rejoice in this fact, recognizing the indescribable dignity it confers upon her as a “mother of the living.”

Sign up for our FREE pro-life and pro-family newsletter

LifeSite's daily headlines delivered right to your inbox. The best way to stay informed on the issues that matter.

Select Your Edition:

Finished reading? You can make a difference, too!

Support pro-life and pro-family journalism with a donation today!



Share this article

Advertisement
Peter Kwasniewski

Peter Kwasniewski holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College in California and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. After teaching at the International Theological Institute in Austria and for the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Austrian Program, he joined the founding team of Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyoming, where he taught theology, philosophy, music, and art history, and directed the Choir and Schola. He now works as a freelance author, public speaker, editor, publisher, and composer.

Dr. Kwasniewski has published five books: Wisdom’s Apprentice (CUA Press, 2007)On Love and Charity (CUA Press, 2008)Sacred Choral Works (Corpus Christi Watershed, 2014); Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church (Angelico Press, 2014); and most recently, Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness: Why the Modern Age Needs the Mass of Ages (Angelico Press, 2017)Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis has also been published in Czech, Polish, German, and Portuguese, and will soon appear in Spanish and Belarusian.

Kwasniewski is a board member and scholar of The Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine, which is publishing the Opera Omnia of the Angelic Doctor, a Fellow of the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies, and a Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center. He has published over 750 articles on Thomistic thought, sacramental and liturgical theology, the history and aesthetics of music, and the social doctrine of the Church.