The gavel slammed down in 1973 ruling against a state law that banned abortions except to save the life of the mother. The Court went on to say that states were forbidden from outlawing or regulating any aspect of abortion performed during the first trimester of pregnancy and could only act on regulations which were only slightly concerned with maternal health in the second and third trimesters. Going further the states could only enact laws protecting the life of the fetus only in the third trimester thus creating a slurry of both elation and mourning, protest and rejoicing.
Since that time men like Rev. Frank Pavone have been seeking to protect life from the moment of conception through natural birth and onto natural death. In Abolishing Abortion: How You Can Play a Part in Ending the Greatest Evil of Our Day Pavone has set his heart like flint against those who would side with the pro-choice movement. Not only has he drawn upon objective facts, he has also sought to bring a historical and biblical perspective to the issue of human life as a whole, while keeping the pre-born in the purview of the reader.
Written largely for the Christian and pro-life movement, Pavone issues a challenge and call to fight what he has called the greatest evil of our day. “There are certain battles in life and in history that call for the commitment of every fiber of one’s being, every ounce of one’s life and strength, for the whole of life. Ending abortion is one of them. That’s the power of this cause. And that’s the essence of this book: a call to cast off the shackles by which we limit ourselves, because those indeed are the most powerful shackles of all.”
In a typical Christian humanist way, Rev. Pavone attacks this from a decidedly Catholic position, though his propositions and facts are held by those from various religious backgrounds. He begins with humanity and and builds his case from there saying that “the battle to defend the children in the womb-that one segment of humanity whose rights are most cruelly denied-is a battle for humanity itself. And it is worth everything.” That point is certainly a foundational presupposition when bringing the talk of life to the water cooler.
In covering the most crucial aspects in the fight for life, Abolishing Abortion does exactly what it sets out to do. It makes the nominal Christian uncomfortable and asks us hard questions. It gives us the tools and arguments needed to address those who are on the other side of the issue. Though I disagree with some of his Catholic theology which comes through at some points, this volume is a helpful for those either looking to get into discussion or those who want to go deeper out into the water.
Guys like Pavone and those involved at Priests for Life are doing a wonderful job of including the rest of us. I would urge them to cast a wider net including public policy, philosophy, and more theological truths into their humanist-leaning movement. That being said, I’m thankful for the voice they have and the places they are taking this message. Add this volume your library alongside others who are writing on similar issues.