Today as a culture here in Canada we tend to prize our individuality as a false sense of autonomy over relationships, community engagement and duty. In the abortion debate, individual autonomy is often at the core of discussion,” the archbishop pointed out.“You’ve heard the slogan ‘my body, my choice’ offered as a discussion ending argument. But this is a false sense of personhood.
“God made us for relationships within and with one another. Our choices affect not only our lives, but also those of our family, our friends and the larger community. Our decisions have an impact beyond the limits of our own bodies, our own selves.”
Archbishop Prendergast expanded on this theme, explaining, “The true measure of personhood is not the degree of our autonomy; the true measure is our service, in love to God, found in the needs of our neighbour.”
“Who is our neighbour?” the archbishop asked: “the poor, the marginalized, the suffering, the defenceless, and yes, even those invisible in the womb.”
“To be a fully actualized human being is not to be autonomous. Rather, to be fully human is to be in communion with God and our sisters and brothers in the mystical body of Christ. We are not made to be solitary individuals. We are made to be individuals in solidarity with God and with each other.” (Source)
I think this might one of the few times that I’ve heard a Canadian bishop actually publicly engage the lame pro-abort arguments. One of the objectives of Cardinal Ouellet is to choose bishops who actually defend the faith, instead of having an emphasis on being “pastoral”. I think pastoral went out in the 70s but has hung around 40 years too long. Anyhow, from a Faith and sociological perspective, +Prendergast certainly does a great job.
I’ve got my own pithy responses to this “my body, my choice” argument:
1. If it’s your body and your choice, why is my wallet involved?
2. If it’s your choice, why is your boyfriend making the decision to abort for you?
3. If it’s your body, why does “your body” have two heads, two sets of arms and legs, two hearts and two of everything that we would otherwise not expect to find in one human body?
4. If it’s your choice, why does the abortion lobby do everything in its power to ensure that it’s not informed?
5. If it’s your body, what’s with the sperm in it?
6. If it’s your choice, it’s the slave owner’s choice too. Chattel is chattel, after all.
7. If it’s your body, what organ or appendage are they dumping in the abortion bag after the “procedure”?
8. If it’s your choice, then it’s your tragic consequence too. Abortion destroys the lives of women. Not all choices are created equal.
9. If it’s your body, why was your first child not as lucky as your second?
10. If it’s your choice, why did that baby all of a sudden become a “product of conception” when you changed your choice?