Pro-Life Aristotle
Taking both sides of the abortion debate seriously.


LOPEZ: You are optimistic about the prospect of artificial wombs bringing an end to the abortion debate. But that could be a tad fantastical, couldn’t it? Friendly human-like aliens who want to adopt children might end the abortion debate too. I’m sure there are awesome pro-life sci-fi movies to be made, but we don’t live in The Twilight Zone.

KACZOR: I’m not especially optimistic about this prospect on the practical level. First, I think it would be fantastically expensive, at least at first. Secondly, I think that many women who seek abortions would choose to end the life within them rather than choose an early adoption through artificial wombs.

LOPEZ: Can the abortion debate end without artificial wombs?

KACZOR: I don’t see any end to the debate for some time, but of course something radical could happen that changes everything. For example, if the very existence of the human race were threatened, I can imagine people thinking very differently about abortion. But this is rather sci-fi.

LOPEZ: How do you hope pro-lifers use your book?

KACZOR: I hope that this book can be of use to many students who encounter justifications for abortion in the classroom. It could be used to train pro-life speakers and advocates. I know it is already being used in classrooms at Georgetown University and Catholic University on the East Coast and Biola University on the West Coast.

LOPEZ: Pro-choicers?

KACZOR: The book has already been reviewed by many who favor abortion, and I was happy to see that they seem to be respecting the position the book takes even if they do not agree with it. For example, David Boonin said, “This is one of the very best book-length defenses of the claim that abortion is morally impermissible. It is clear, thorough, thoughtful and carefully argued. I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in the subject to read it and to study it.” In a prominent journal in philosophy called Ethics, another defender of abortion, David DeGrazia, said, “In my estimation, the greatest success of the book is that it suggests to any fair-minded reader that the pro-life view remains standing as a reasonable position, notwithstanding some very powerful arguments from defenders of abortion.”

LOPEZ: What’s the most important point made in it?

KACZOR: The most important point is that all human beings regardless of race, sentience, gender, viability, class, or birth have intrinsic dignity and a right to life.

LOPEZ: If there can be only one take-away from your book for anyone, what would you hope it would be?

KACZOR: I would hope that after reading my book, someone would either come to the conclusion or be strengthened in their belief that abortion is wrong. This idea was so well articulated by the late Richard John Neuhaus, “We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every unborn child is protected in law and welcomed in life.”

— Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online.