Fall 1971

Page 88


John F. Dedek

Abortion: A Theological judgment Until vm¡y recently Catholic theologians all agreed that one may never directly destroy or abort a fetus for any reason.

When a federal court overturned the Illinois abortion law as "unconstitutionally vague" on the grounds that it did not clearly specify what acts were violations, there was a brief surge of abortions in some Illinois hospitals until a stay was issued against the lower court's ruling by United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. The first woman to take advantage of the temporary unclarity about the status of Illinois law was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune, which reported that "having an abortion was an easy decision for her." The Tribune quoted the woman as saying, "I didn't even consider this a pregnancy. You either want it or you don't want it. I didn't think I was killing anything. I can't help the way other people think." An intelligent decision needs greater clarity than that. In 313

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