(Another) Another Theology of the Body Project--Beyond the Abortion Wars

One topic I haven't discussed in my Another Theology of the Body series is the question of abortion.  In part this is due to my own conflicted and uncertain thoughts on the topic.  Since I don't clearly know what I think on the topic, I don't have much to say.  Nevertheless, it is clearly an important topic, and it is something that is worth exploring and talking about.

Along those lines, I just finished a book entitled Beyond the Abortion Wars: A Way Forward for a New Generation by Charles Camosy.  Camosy is a professor of Christian ethics at Fordham University in New York City, which happens to be the alma mater of the older of my two sisters (making me, obviously, well disposed toward his work).  The thesis statement of the book is that there is a way forward from the polarized and fossilized abortion debate in the United States, one that takes seriously the commitments of pro-life people while respecting the concerns of (at least some) pro-choice folks.  To the end, he proposes a rather comprehensive legislative package that he believes satisfies both interests.  In setting out the case for his proposal, Camosy lays out moral, ethical, theological, and legal arguments related to abortion and issues related to abortion.

Camosy's book is very good, and I do think it moves the ball forward in the abortion discussion.  In fact, I think I could support a modified version of his policy package.  That's not to say that I agree with everything he says; in fact, I think there are some problems with the way he approaches certain issues that highlight some points of disagreement I have with elements of Catholic moral theology (or, at least, the dominant school of Catholic moral theology that has official endorsement at this time) more generally.

Working through those points of agreement and disagreement strikes me as a good vehicle for discussing this topic.  So, on the model of the extended Holy Sex! book review, my intention is to go through the book chapter by chapter.  Since this book is much, much better than Holy Sex!, this series will likely have far less snark than that one, but hopefully it will still be entertaining and thought-provoking.


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