Synopses & Reviews
"O'Brien, former president of Bucknell University and the University of Rochester, has articulated a balanced perspective on abortion, which, given how contentious this issue has become, means it will probably please very few. Placing the words 'Catholic' and 'dissent' in the same title may turn some off, but this is hardly the primary purpose. The author's great contribution is in illustrating a way to navigate this thorny social issue while maintaining civility and respect. He is a master of well-crafted arguments and does not allow ad hominem attacks and overly emotional rants to rule the day. The author understands the weak points of each side of this ongoing debate. Criminalizing abortion, he contends, is a road with a dead end for the pro-life contingent. To the other side he insists that a human fetus is not simply chaff-it is deserving of respect and some moral consideration. O'Brien is well versed on the literature regarding abortion, and he frequently quotes numerous scholars. A reader needs to have an open mind to benefit from this author's work, but those who do will gain much.
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This provocative book takes a critical look at what is increasingly viewed as the central political issue for Catholics_abortion. From pro-choice politicians being denied communion to Democrats being called 'the party of death,' for some of the most vocal Catholic leaders, the abortion issue often trumps all others. The author, a practicing Catholic who is against abortion in principle, believes the Church is on the wrong course with this issue, with grievous results for the Church and American society more broadly. He gives a brief history of abortion legislation, then explores the issue from legal, moral, and Christian perspectives, presenting compelling reasons why Church leaders and Catholics should stop trying to overturn Roe v. Wade and reconsider the issue.