I was recently lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Charles Camosy’s forthcoming book to review – ‘Beyond the abortion wars: a way forward for a new generation’. In this book, Camosy masterfully traverses the ‘battleground’ between the ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’1 camps in order to show that this battleground is in fact no such thing. In fact, as Camosy notes, the majority of the American public actually agree on a middle-ground position on abortion. Despite what one might think from reading certain media outlets and Twitter wars, there is actually a large consensus in the public regarding abortion. This insight is deceptively powerful. By demonstrating the areas of agreement, Camosy is able to help guide us beyond the abortion wars to allow a way forward for a new generation.
I was excited upon receiving my copy of the book for the simple reason that I had no strong a priori position on the ethics of abortion, other than a middle-ground and vague conception that abortion should be allowed but certainly isn’t morally desirable. I started this book, then, as a mainly blank slate. Of course, it wasn’t completely blank, because I’d been exposed to various arguments both in favour of and against abortion, but the writing on the slate was very blurred and ineligible. The abortion debate is often centered around one’s ‘agenda’ – the agenda as a woman, as a conservative, or as a Christian, and so on. I had no (conscious) agenda in reviewing this book, nor in the conclusions of the book.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.