Frequently we hear in Mormon circles that while the overwhelming majority of abortions are an abomination in the eyes of God, civil laws against it are a violation of the divine principle of free agency. Hence, the pro-life position is the “devil’s plan” to force God’s children to do the right thing. Freedom of choice is the Lord’s plan, or in other words, pro-choice. What is wrong with this line of reasoning? Can a person oppose abortion and still be pro-choice? Elder Dallin H. Oaks explains the sophistry involved in this kind of fallacious thinking in his BYU address, Weightier Matters. Among other things he says:
“If we say we are anti-abortion in our personal life but pro-choice in public policy, we are saying that we will not use our influence to establish public policies that encourage righteous choices on matters God’s servants have defined as serious sins. I urge Latter-day Saints who have taken that position to ask themselves which other grievous sins should be decriminalized or smiled on by the law on this theory that persons should not be hampered in their choices. Should we decriminalize or lighten the legal consequences of child abuse? of cruelty to animals? of pollution? of fraud? of fathers who choose to abandon their families for greater freedom or convenience?Similarly, some reach the pro-choice position by saying we should not legislate morality. Those who take this position should realize that the law of crimes legislates nothing but morality. Should we repeal all laws with a moral basis so our government will not punish any choices some persons consider immoral? Such an action would wipe out virtually all of the laws against crimes.”
Other topics that Elder Oaks addresses in this wonderful talk include the poor thinking that frequently accompanies calls for diversity and tolerance.
It is my opinion that a saint who appeals to libertarian philosophy to justify his stand against anti-abortion laws, claiming that such laws violate the fundamental principle of separation of Church and state, is being seduced by the fundamental error of modern libertarianism which I have outlined in another post. He is failing to acknowledge that our constitutionally guaranteed rights originate with our Creator, and that an acknowledgement of Him does not violate the the First Amendment so long as it does not establish a state church or religion.
The devil has great power to deceive, and he does continually corrupt our understanding of true philosophy.