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Abortion laws

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 Contents - Mar 2008AD2000 March 2008 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Man-made global warming: new religion? - Michael Gilchrist
Tribute: B.A. Santamaria: ten years on - Cardinal George Pell
News: The Church Around the World
Man-made climate change: another great hoax? - Peter Finlayson
Recovering the sacred in modern church architecture - Moyra Doorly
40 Years On: Vatican II at its mid-life crisis - Br Barry Coldrey
Easter: The Sacred Triduum in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (1962 Missal)
Crescat amor: What is the nature and purpose of theology? - Fr John O'Neill PP
La Sapienza: Benedict XVI: the papacy and the university - Pope Benedict XVI
Vocations: The priesthood: a special relationship with Christ - Fr Pat Stratford
Vocations: Signs of hope in US diocese
Letters: Christ's Church - Frank Mobbs
Letters: Married clergy - Frank Bellet
Letters: Canadian Lectionary - Matt Walton
Letters: Language - Kevin McManus
Letters: Liturgical abuses - Dennis Macdonald
Letters: Response - Richard Stokes
Letters: Homosexual 'marriage' - Arnold Jago
Letters: Altar rails - Corinne O'Loughlin
Letters: 'Re-ordered' churches - Brian Tooley
Letters: Abortion laws - Robert Prinzen-Wood
Letters: From India - Fr. A. Joseph
Poetry: Time-Warp - Bruce Dawe
Books: GOD AND CAESAR: Religion, Politics, and Society, by Cardinal George Pell - Catherine Sheehan (reviewer)
Books: SEARCHING FOR AND MAINTAINING PEACE, by Father Jacques Philippe - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Books: JOURNEY OF A FAITH COMMUNITY, compiled by Tom Johnstone - James E. Scarlett (reviewer)
DVD: NO TURNING BACK: Confessions of a Catholic priest, by Fr D. Calloway - Fr Martin Durham (reviewer)
Books: Books available from AD2000 Books
Reflection: Benedict XVI on Lent: 'authentic conversion to the love of Christ' - Pope Benedict XVI

There are some Catholics who believe that the present laws on abortion must be upheld because 'law is law'. They believe in legal positivism which holds that a law is valid because it is successfully promulgated and enforced.

History has shown this is not the case. Doctors were authorised by laws under the Third Reich in Germany to kill prisoners in medical experiments. Later, after the war, they claimed in their defence that the law at the time authorised or allowed them to do those experiments.

This defence was rejected by the courts who declared that positive legislative acts lose their obligatory power if they violate natural law. People are obligated to ignore those unjust laws and to uphold true justice.

Government authorised abortion clinics are therefore unjust in that, even though allowed by recent law, that law does not produce any legitimate legal effect. Future governments would be just in setting up courts to prosecute present-day abortionists for crimes against humanity. They could not use as their defence that 'law is law'.

To put it in the terms of St Thomas Aquinas, 'An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law'.

Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in the American South in 1955. Natural law supported her stand against an unjust segregationist law. This is an example often cited by the left/liberals.

Regents Park, Qld

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 21 No 2 (March 2008), p. 15

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