The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Do unto others

| Thursday, October 14, 2004

In response to Andrew Yi’s “Abortion is a Human Right” letter, I wish to open my article with a quote from Ayn Rand:

“If I ask people whether they believe in life, they never understand what I mean. It’s a bad question. It can mean so much that it really means nothing. So I ask them if they believe in God. And if they say they do, then I know they don’t believe in life. Why? Because, you see, God – whatever anyone chooses to call God – is one’s highest conception of the highest possible. And whoever places his highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his life. It’s a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own.”

I do not question Yi’s claim that, as a pro-choice Catholic, his integrity and character have been repeatedly attacked. It certainly isn’t a compliment to describe the Catholic Church as having a pervasive undercurrent of anti-intellectualism. Ending one’s article with a quote from Ayn Rand, whose claim to fame, among other things, is her vehement condemnation of religion as being contrary to reason only reinforces this impression that Yi carries a deep grudge against the Catholic Church. In fact, the downright hostile rhetoric of his article seems profoundly anti-religion in nature; I am not surprised that his integrity and his faith in Catholicism would be questioned by others.

Is this to say that there is something wrong about not being Catholic? Certainly not. But the language Yi uses when he describes anti-abortionists as a sexist, misogynic bunch of bigots is harsh. Why then should he expect the inevitable response to be calm and reserved? When a person is called a bigot, a misogynist, a sexist (pig), it is an all-too-human reaction to respond with ad homonym of one’s own. Perhaps that is why Yi’s integrity and character have been repeatedly attacked. After all, he who casts the first stone has no right and no moral superiority when those he attacks fling his insults right back at him.

Lest there be the inevitable responses calling me a fool for missing the main topic of Yi’s article – abortion – I shall examine it in some detail, even though I feel that it would be repeating the same, tired old spiel to an audience that is not listening. Yi’s argument seems to indicate that he believes that the right of a woman to control her own body takes precedence over the life of the fetus. Very well. When then does the fetus gain the same rights of a human being as the mother? At birth? But such a claim is nonsensical – one minute before birth, one hour before birth, one day before birth – how much difference is there in between? To arbitrarily designate time x as that point in time when a fetus magically becomes a baby is about as logically coherent as believing that Pinocchio’s Fairy Godmother transforms him from a puppet into a little boy.

In closing, I suggest Yi consult a dictionary before he bandies big words about. I am not a bigot. I do not hate women. I do not consider women somehow inferior to men. I am none of these things, but I do condemn abortion.

Chang-Tze Chia



Oct. 14