By Mark R. MacGuigan
Few concerns have polarized Canadians and americans up to the abortion debate. during this considerate and thought-provoking mirrored image at the implications the legislations on abortion has on democracy. mark MacGuigan brings a much-needed point of view to this arguable topic. Few everyone is in addition certified to take action: MacGuigan is a former legislations professor, minister of justice and legal professional basic of Canada, a Catholic, and a federal appellate-court pass judgement on. Distinguishing conscientiously among morality and the legislations, MacGuigan incorporates a background of the legal legislations, the Catholic Church's perspectives, and the often-ignored roles of person moral sense, freedom and accountability in democracy. He experiences the fundamental debate, very important case histories, and the evolving social views that experience connected themselves to discussions of abortion. he additionally comprises chapters at the similar problems with birth control and euthanasia. MacGuigan refers to quite a lot of influential and overseas files and decisions: papal encyclicals, the Wolfenden file, Roe vs. Wade, a ruling in a case that concerned Dr. Henry Morgentaler, and various different assets. With nice candour, MacGuigan additionally explores how his personal perspective and place have replaced to the purpose the place he now opposes any laws restricting abortion earlier than viability. those who find themselves looking readability of the problems and people who are looking to uncloud the rhetoric and the arguments usually are not pass over studying this significant paintings.
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Additional info for Abortion, Conscience and Democracy
The education of children was neither universal nor expensive. Underpopulation was a main government concern ... That intercourse must only be for a procreative purpose, that intercourse in menstruation is mortal sin, that intercourse in pregnancy is forbidden, that intercourse has a nat- THE MORALITY OF CONTRACEPTION 21 ural position — all these were once common opinions of the theologians and are so no more. Was the commitment to an absolute prohibition of contraception more conscious, more universal, more complete than to these now obsolete rules?
Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine, notes, "Intercourse even with one's legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. " One does not need to be a trained Scripture scholar to recognize that the reference to the story of Onan, Gen. 38:8—10, is entirely beside the point. Onan, who "spilt his seed on the ground every time he slept with his brother's wife, to avoid providing a child for his brother," was punished, not for contraception, but for denying his familial responsibility.
These opinions, now superseded, could be regarded as attempts to preserve basic values in the light of the biological data then available and in the context of the challenges then made to the Christian view of man. Nevertheless, this unfortunate tradition found expression in the denunciation of Pope Pius XI in Casti Connubii in 1930, by way of reply to the qualified acceptance of contraception by the Church of England at the Lambeth Conference earlier the same year:10 54. But no reason, however grave may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good.