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Supreme Court Decisions

You are a Catholic, and--as most everyone knows--the Catholic Church is opposed to abortion. Is it fair for you to impose your religious views on others?

No, it would not be fair for me to impose my religious views on others. But that is not what I am doing when I say that we should recognize the right to life of the unborn. I oppose abortion for the same reason that I oppose infanticide--because the unborn are living human beings and all human beings have a right to life. Neither of these bases for my position on abortion is simply a matter of theology. As I explain in The House of Atreus, whether an organism--born or unborn--is living or a human being are biological questions, not theological ones. One can show that the unborn are both human and alive without resorting to religion.

The only remaining possibility is that I am imposing my religion on others by insisting that every human being has a right to life. Does the Catholic Church insist that all human beings have a right to life? Yes, I'm proud to say that it does. But Catholics are not the only ones who profess to believe that all human beings have a right to life. Many people of other religions, and even agnostics and atheists, share the same view. The Founding Fathers built our country on the "self-evident" truths that all human beings are equal and have a right to life. And numerous international human rights treaties declare that all human beings have a right to life.

My position may be consistent with Catholic teaching on abortion, as it is on infanticide, but that does not mean that I am imposing my religion on others simply by opposing abortion or infanticide.

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