I am concerned with this statement. Many pro-life people do support a gestational approach, an approach that is clearly not intrinsically immoral, as Archbishop Miller has already stated, and confirmed by Cardinal Collins, and Priests for Life Canada. Yet AFLO continues to say there is something morally wrong with this approach.
Archbishop Miller said:
"Under the conditions articulated in Evangelium Vitae, n. 73, it is morally licit to work for and to vote for legislation, including gestational legislation, which limits the harmful effects of an unjust legal regime that permits abortion.
At the same time, it is also morally licit to withhold support for gestational legislation — and other incrementalist legislative strategies intended to limit access to abortion — if, after prudent reflection, one is convinced that it is an unwise legislative strategy.
The conditions articulated in Evangelium Vitae, n. 73 can be applied to the situation in Canada today with regard to gestational legislation. The Catholic faithful are free to support such legislation in good conscience. This does not mean, however, that Catholics are compelled to support gestational legislation.
We pray that the prolife movement may not be divided in spirit by disagreements regarding the practical wisdom of gestational legislation. We implore all within the movement to refrain from questioning the good will or motives of those who have taken a different stand from their own on this issue."Respected spiritual leaders have told us that a gestational approach is not an inherently immoral strategy, but a matter of prudential judgement. AFLO/CLC continues to contradict this. Saying that a gestational approach is immoral and intrinsically evil, judges these spiritual leaders as acting immorally. It also judges my actions as being immoral. That is what it means to support an immoral act: one is acting immorally. This is troubling.
In this latest statement, AFLO brings up a drowning baby analogy and says:
"Some supporters of gestational legislation have compared the present abortion situation in Canada with the scenario of two drowning children. “Aren’t you going to save one?” they ask. This is so misleading."I don't know what is misleading about this at all. I actually think the analogy doesn't go far enough. Let me expand upon it.
I am standing by a river with a friend. We see two babies drowning.
I know that I will probably only have time to save one baby so I want to jump in and save her. I do this knowing that the other baby will probably drown. At least I know I can probably save one of them.
But my friend believes it would be immoral to save only one of those babies because both babies equally deserve to live. So when I attempt to save one baby, my friend pulls me back because she knows there is only time to save one baby and she believes it’s wrong to save only one baby.
Not only does my friend not help me to save the one baby, but she also actively intervenes to prevent me from saving the one baby. As a result, both babies drown. I could probably have saved one of them if my friend did not believe that it was intrinsically immoral to save only one baby.
My friend has actively thwarted my efforts to save a drowning baby’s life. I am devastated.
This is exactly how I feel when anti-gestational pro-lifers try to persuade other pro-lifers that gestational limits are intrinsically immoral; I feel like they are thwarting our efforts to save lives.
I urge those who believe setting a gestational limit on abortion is intrinsically evil and immoral, to re-read Archbishop Miller's entire statement and discern for themselves how they regard gestational legislation.