Russell and Duenes

The Horror that is Planned Parenthood v. Casey: Personal Autonomy

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“Am I my brother’s keeper?” ~ Cain, after he slew his brother.

Apparently not. The Scriptures tell us that we ought to “love one another,” “serve one another,” “bear one another’s burdens,” “encourage one another daily,” “be at peace with one another,” “outdo one another in showing honor,” “comfort one another,” “forgive one another,” “build one another up,” “do good to one another,” and “associate with the lowly,” just to name a few things we ought to do in our human relationships. Where would abortion fit amongst these commands? Yet where do these commands fit in our worship of radical, individual autonomy?

In Casey, the Court held that “Roe...may be seen as an exemplar…of personal autonomy and bodily integrity…No erosion of principle going to liberty or personal autonomy has left Roe’s central holding a doctrinal remnant.” Thus, according to O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter, personal autonomy trumps just about everything, even the survival of our unborn children. Think of this. Where should a human being expect to be safest throughout his or her life? If our mother’s womb isn’t considered the safest place, it should be. Yet in our desire for “autonomy” and “liberty,” we’ve made it perhaps the most dangerous place we’ll ever be, particularly if we’re African-American.

In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI said that “a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” If he thought in 1968, when he wrote this, that the use of contraceptives would have such an effect, what effect might he have imagined legalized abortion would have on the way in which men treat women? We need not imagine any longer. “Am I my sister’s keeper?”

Apparently not.



Written by Michael Duenes

July 16, 2012 at 3:59 pm

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