Copyright (c) 1993 Saint Louis University School of Law
Saint Louis University Public Law Review
CASEY, BRAY AND BEYOND: RELIGIOUS LIBERTY AND THE ABORTION DEBATE
13 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 467
PAUL D. SIMMONS *
Govenor Casey's remarks are a clear and forceful statement of the strong feelings against legalized abortion in America. 1 A person committed to choice regarding abortion is tempted to respond to various points raised in his provocative speech. That the type of scholarly precision some would have preferred was absent was due as much to the nature of the occasion as to the purpose of his address. Speaking to a sympathetic audience regarding the politics of abortion is hardly an incentive to precision or reflective analysis of some of the profound issues involved. Rather than respond to certain points in his speech, however, I propose primarily to deal with the Supreme Court decision which bears his name. 2
First, a word of clarification. Pro-choice commitments are generated by many concerns. My own is based on concerns pertaining to religious liberty and how First Amendment guarantees should affect public policy. I am by training and profession a Protestant theologian and ethicist. My knowledge of moral constructs makes it extremely problematic for people to speak as if the moral issue involved in abortion is prima facie evidence that it should be made illegal, or as if an elective abortion is ipso facto an immoral action. There are things about abortion that no one likes--even those who believe strongly that it should remain legally available. The Governor's remarks capture that side of our feelings. But that is not the end of the debate. Strong feelings need to be subjected to careful analysis ...
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