[Tribune] Grégor Puppinck “Abortion: let’s push back the limits of humanity”

Publié le : 7 February 2014

 Is man a philosophical concept, an idea or an abstract entity? Or indeed is it an intangible reality? The alarming number of abortions practised in Europe (1.2 million each year within the European Union including 220,000 in France) confronts us with heavy issues. In a forum for Famille Chrétienne, Grégor Puppinck pleads in favour of shifting the boundaries of humanity to include pre-natal life.

As far as Grégor Puppinck is concerned, the first vital step is to "change how people think" when faced with the question of abortion. There is a need to aim towards "greater respect for all human beings, right from conception" and "greater solidarity for pregnant women". Why set both objectives? Because the first to be affected by "dehumanisation" are unborn babies, frequently perceived as "a single cluster of cells", and pregnant women who are given "inhuman power […], to voluntarily and consciously terminate the life of another human being".

Reasoning goes off the rails when we try to "identify man on the basis of an idea"
. Grégor Puppinck wants the existence of a human being to be recognised "before birth and right from conception" because this is clearly "a developing person" and, as such, warrants protection. According to Puppinck, those in favour of abortion are incapable of deciding "when the being becomes human, simply because they separate being from human". This equates to an abstract idea of man – the idea whereby the embryo, foetus or even Down syndrome cannot be equated because they are far from being "the perfect human"

Secondly, Grégor Puppinck also wants to pose the question of abortion. It is not a case "of knowing whether or not an individual right to abortion exists" but of knowing where the "limits of humanity" actually are"The answer is in conscious observation, the fact that individual, human life exists from conception onwards". The frontiers of humanity must extend to pre-natal life, as in the past, using the same approach as that adopted for "other categories of persons (slaves, women, children, ‘the untamed)". This will have a high cost in terms of renouncing selfishness, but it is a step in the right direction.

The signs of cultural transition. He sees positive signs in Europe, starting with the ONE OF US initiative, which achieved record support with 2 million signatures in Europe. It should also be noted that "a dozen or so European states have discussed or adopted laws aimed at protecting pre-natal life more effectively and providing pregnant women with greater support". Furthermore, recent decisions taken by the European Union Court of Justice, European Parliament and the Council of Europe are encouraging, especially since the "Estrela" report, which sought to make abortion a fundamental right, has been overturned. Mention was also made to the March for Life in France, which has an increasing number of participants every year. Lastly, in the United States, “only 12% of the American population still think that abortion is morally acceptable".

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