Following the recent and highly scrutinized statements from both frontrunner presidential candidates, pro-choice social commentator Camille Paglia weighed in on the issue with some surprisingly positive comments regarding the pro-life movement, which she says has “the moral high ground.”
Paglia holds this position so strongly that she even shrinks away from the label her contemporaries consistently use, “pro-choice,” believing it to be nothing more than a euphemism.
She admits the vast difference between the two viewpoints: “We career women are arguing from expedience: it is personally and professionally inconvenient or onerous to bear an unwanted child. The pro-life movement, in contrast, is arguing that every conception is sacred and that society has a responsibility to protect the defenseless.”
Paglia even brings up the pro-choice movement’s silence regarding the moral questionability of their stance, calling it “grimly utilitarian.” She compares it to the “superior moral beauty” of a religious doctrine defending life’s sanctity by including excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
“The Catechism says: ‘Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God….God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being’ (#2258). . . . Which embodies the more authentic humanism in this area—the Catholic Catechism or pro-choice feminism? If the latter, then we have much work to do to develop feminism philosophically.”
Paglia’s explanation for her “pro-abortion stance” and its seeming contradiction with her respectful consideration of the pro-life viewpoint is her belief that nature has placed unfair restrictions on women via their reproductive systems. She cites pre-Christian paganism as the source of her opinions, a time “when abortion was accepted and widespread.”
Regardless of these uncompromising statements, Paglia will not sugar-coat her position and closes with a particularly strong statement: “A liberal credo that is variously anti-war, anti-fur, vegan, and committed to environmental protection of endangered species like the sage grouse or spotted owl should not be so stridently withholding its imagination and compassion from the unborn.”