On Wednesday, Sept. 12, over a dozen students gathered in the Fireside Lounge to participate in a rousing discussion on abortion hosted by the Veritas Society. These weekly meetings, called the Anscombe Seminars, are designed to give students the opportunity to improve their minds through Christ-centered, intellectual debate.
“These meetings are important,” said sophomore Clem Harrold, who founded the club on campus. “People need to be able to see the synthesis between faith and reason and be prepared to defend it.”
In this week’s seminar, students watched a video presenting a pro-abortion rights argument, and then they reviewed several other arguments used to justify abortion. After these were explained, students broke up into two groups of about ten each and proceeded to discuss the positions.
One point that was discussed was the argument that around 50 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage or “spontaneous abortion.” Pro-abortion rights advocates argue that if embryos from conception have the same moral status as human adults, then spontaneous abortion should be one of the greatest crises of the modern day. Since it is not an important issue today, it is logical to conclude that human embryos do not have the same moral status as that of human adults, according to pro-abortion rhetoric.
In the discussion that followed, students examined the legitimacy of the argument as well as the difference between abortion and miscarriage. Abortion is always a conscious choice to terminate the pregnancy, whereas miscarriage never is.
Other points discussed were the ordinary versus extraordinary means of preserving human life as well as whether or not human rights depend on circumstances; specifically, the group addressed what are known as the “violinist” and the “Tomlinson” arguments.
By the end of the discussion, the students had determined that though little attention is paid to early spontaneous abortion, this does not mean that human embryos have less moral status than human adults but rather that few people know how widespread the issue is.
Through Anscombe Seminars and the discussions within them, students are equipped with the tools they need to carry the truth out into the world, to make it known and to be able to defend it.
The next Anscombe Seminar will be Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge. The group will be discussing proofs for the existence of God.