Choice Words by Francis J. Beckwith + Terry Schlossberg + David Mills + Frederica Mathewes-Green

Choice Words

A Critique of the New Pro-Life Rhetoric

by Francis J. Beckwith

A few years ago, I spoke on the topic, “Can the law be neutral on moral issues?” at a retreat for the trustees of a small liberal arts college in southern California. During the question time, one gentleman, an investment banker and attorney from New York City, said, “I agree with much of what you say, but I think that on one issue, abortion, the law can remain neutral. You see, the current law, affirmed in Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, does not take a position on abortion. For the law does not require women to have an abortion, and it does not forbid them from having an abortion. The law is neutral. The law is pro-choice.”

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Francis J. Beckwith is Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies at Baylor University. His most recent book is Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft (InterVarsity Press, 2010). His writing can be found at www.francisbeckwith.com.

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