Prolifer here who has adopted a more nuanced view of prochoicers than what I had before.
On the internet I have seen memes, graphics, comments (e.g. discussing politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Andrew Cuomo, etc.) that depict the idea of a “pro-choice Catholic” as oxymoronic.
And there was a time when I thought that as well: “You can’t be Catholic and pro choice”.
I now think this view is theologically and philosophically problematic.
I’m not just referring to the fact that you are Catholic by virtue of your Baptism and have the indelible mark on your soul irrespective of your politics.
I’m referring to the distinction between denying a moral doctrine taught by the Church and deciding which moral evils ought to be prohibited by law.
There is a spectrum between “all sins should be outlawed” and “no sins should be outlawed”. In between those polar ends are “some sins should be outlawed”.
It is entirely possible for a person to believe that abortion is evil but “should not be outlawed”. Many of us have encountered people who hold this view. Many of us have tried to pursuade them that abortion is among the types of evils that warrants the intervention of law.
But the point is that a Catholic who is “pro choice” because he/she denies that abortion is evil and therefore believes it should be permitted by law is a different case than a “pro choice” Catholic who affirms that abortion is evil but believes it should not be prohibited by force of law. Stated another way, that abortion should be legally tolerated.
Consider St. Thomas Aquinas’ argument for tolerating prostitution
Consider St. Thomas Aquinas’ argument for the execution of heretics
Relate them to the title of my post:
“On whether being “Pro-Choice” and “Catholic” are mutually exclusive”
Can someone be Catholic and be Pro-Choice in regards to heresy? e.g. that heretics should be free to be heretics without incurring penalty of law (death).
Even though heresy is a moral evil traditionally regarded as murder of the soul (in that sense worse than murder of the body).