Transfiguring the Unborn: Abortion, Human Equality, and Moral Perception

Moral differences over abortion need to be understood as differences of vision. While pro-life advocates rightly appeal to fundamental human equality, they also must respond to those who have difficulty seeing early human life as fully amongst us. Overcoming this difficulty requires developing a sense of awe and reverence before the sheer fact of human existence, as well as addressing common ways of looking away from the full moral reality of abortion.
Given that there are natural sex differences, it’s no surprise that those differences include some tendencies that can cause problems. This is true for both men and women. Yet the tenor of contemporary academic discussions about men, such as in the discourse about “toxic masculinity,” is much more negative. Properly understood, however, the problematic tendencies within the male condition actually present opportunities for virtue. Thus, they can form the foundation of a positive conception of manhood centered on the virtues of gentlemanliness, moral courage, and chastity.