Review: Charles Camosy’s Beyond the Abortion Wars

beyondOur Sunday Visitor has just published my review of Beyond the Abortion Wars: A Way Forward for a New Generation, by Charles Camosy. My take is generally positive, but not without serious criticism. A snippet:

Furthermore, Camosy says abortion law in the U.S. cannot be understood as “settled” (a legal term used to justify maintaining status quo). The 1992 Supreme Court decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey said states may restrict access to abortion as long as these restrictions do not pose an “undue burden” on the mother seeking one. This was a new standard, and one very different than a supposed right to “privacy,” as Roe v. Wade established in 1973.

Pro-life Catholics take note: Since Casey, social programs that make child-rearing less difficult for parents — especially poor women — also make it harder to call a proposed abortion restriction an “undue burden.” Any law that provides wider access for poor families to welfare, family and medical leave, and health insurance serves to erode the legal grounds for abortion. Arguably, the long list of recent significant state-level abortion restrictions succeeded thanks in part to such programs. The same programs will make future restrictions all the more reachable.

The full review is here.

(Incidentally, I reviewed Camosy’s previous book, For the Love of Animals: Christian Ethics, Consistent Action, on this blog, here.)


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