With the 2012 presidential election looming, the political landscape is filled with debates over issues such as abortion and women’s rights. In order to help engender discussion on this issue, the William H. Hannon Library will be holding a Faculty Pub Night with LMU philosophy professor Dr. Christopher Kaczor regarding his latest book, “The Ethics of Abortion: Women’s Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice.”
According to Kaczor, the stance he takes in his book regarding this sensitive subject is that “abortion is morally wrong” and that it is “intrinsically evil.” This event will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Von Der Ahe Family Suite on the third floor of the Library.
Rather than looking at it through a religious or moral lens, Kaczor believes that abortion should be judged using an ethical standard, particularly “the ethics of inclusion.” The ethics of inclusion, in Kaczor’s words, are that “every single human being, no matter what race, religion, location or condition, should be respected by all and protected by law.” He contrasts this with the ethics of exclusion or, by his definition, “that some human beings don’t count because [of] their race, religion, location or condition.” He believes that this is the standard that has been applied to abortion, and it is “rationally unjustifiable.”
Using the ethics of inclusion, he argued that “if all human beings have equal [basic] rights, then human beings prior to birth also have equal rights.” Because of this, he concluded that since “killing innocent human beings violates their basic rights and is morally wrong, and since abortion kills an innocent human being prior to birth, abortion is morally wrong.”
The goal of his presentation, according to Kaczor, is for students “to call into question certain dogmas that many people accept such as that abortion simply destroys ‘a mass of tissues’ or ‘opposition to abortion is based solely on religious belief.’” He said that his presentation will also cater to “whoever cares about the promotion of justice.”
Kaczor argued further, “[My] book is a very secular case that abortion is intrinsically evil and should never be done by someone committed to the promotion of justice.” Kaczor believes this because “if the pro-choice view is correct, people who are pro-life defend a view incompatible with justice.”
On the other hand, “If the pro-life view is correct, people who are pro-choice defend a view that is compatible with justice,” Kaczor said. He believes that “most LMU students are open-minded and willing to consider diverse views that are distinct from their own.” Because of this, he hopes that “everyone, regardless of their view, [will] consider” his arguments and perspective.
In order to encourage student participation and discussion about the abortion debate, the presentation will also have a 20-minute question and answer section, where students will have the opportunity to learn more about, or perhaps disagree with, Kaczor’s beliefs.
The message of Kaczor in regards to his secular approach to abortion has spoken to certain students.
“[Professor Kaczor] has a very strong, secular case for why abortion is morally wrong; however, I would be interested to see how he ties this in to the legal and political issues of abortion, because the debate is far more than whether or not abortion is morally acceptable,” said Sophomore English major and Loyolan contributor Nick Lepore.
Among interested students, the topic for this upcoming Pub Night is one of the chief reasons some cite to explain why they are interested in attending. “[I feel] it will broaden my perspective on a controversial and important issue for this generation,” said sophomore engineering Savin Damkar.
The Faculty Pub Night event is, according to its coordinator, outreach librarian Jamie Hazlitt, “the Library’s way of celebrating the faculty’s research and accomplishments.” The goal of these events is that students “get to see what faculty do outside the classroom.”
The Library committee picks professors that are publishing books like Kaczor, who recently released his new book, “The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction about Catholicism.”
The professors and topics for this series are also deliberately chosen to reach “a balance of liberal and conservative opinions,” according to Hazlitt. This is especially relevant because of the election season and the focus placed on women’s rights and abortion. The event also includes food as well as wine and beer for those over 21, and is open to the entire LMU community.