Book Plunge: The Ethics of Abortion

What do I think of Christopher Kaczor’s book published by Routledge? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Kaczor’s book on abortion is a rather surprising one, and that’s a good thing. He starts out by laying out the parameters of the discussion. He wants to make it clear that his goal is not to antagonize people who have had an abortion and paint them out as monsters. He wants to make sure we know we are making a statement about an action and not about the people who do an action.

Kaczor’s book is systematically outlined to go through all the arguments that he can. He deals with the concept of personhood and why the human embryo even should be seen as a fully human person with rights equal to yours and mine. He regularly interacts with defenders of abortion and for those concerned that this is just a religious rant, he does it without appealing to the arguments of a particular religion. His arguments are scientific and philosophical.

For my money, the best part of the book is the sixth chapter. In this, Kaczor deals with many of the objections that will often be raised up against the pro-life movement. Some, such as the case of twinning, can be dealt with in many other works. Some, I’m not used to seeing talked about. For instance, Kaczor talks about the scenario of being in a burning building and being given the chance to save five adults or ten embryos and points out that most of us would save the adults. Are we being inconsistent? Kaczor presents a powerful argument as to why this is so. (And yes, I don’t tell it because I think you need to go out there and get the book yourself.)

Kaczor also interacts with questions such as asking if contraception is the same thing as abortion. He comes down on a side that is very favorable towards contraception when properly used. I found this to be a quite interesting take on the matter and helped deal with something that is often leveled especially against Protestants who are pro-life.

Kaczor has a final chapter dealing with the idea of artificial wombs. If science were to invent something like this, would this end the abortion debate? Kaczor seems to think it would certainly help so perhaps some scientifically minded people out there who are pro-life might want to consider this. Of course, Kaczor wants to make sure these actions are not done for frivolous reasons and does criticize that too often abortions take place for those reasons. One such example he gives is sex-selective abortion.

Kaczor’s book is a thorough takedown of the pro-abortion position and yet at the same time incredibly fair. He does not demonize his opponents and tries to present their arguments in the best possible light. Kaczor is certainly systematic and rigorous. If you are interested in learning about the best in pro-life argumentation, you owe it to yourself to read Kaczor’s book.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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