Ethan Bachand ’22
This past Tuesday, Dr. Christopher Kaczor visited Holy Cross to give a speech on the ethics of abortion to the College in Rehm library. The talk, organized by Students for Life, examined the various challenges that come with the controversial topic of abortion. After an hour lecture, the floor was opened up to questions from students in attendance,
Dr. Koczar is a philosophy professor at Loyola Marymount. Prior to that, he also worked at Loyola New Orleans, the Catholic University of America, and Princeton University. In addition to teaching, Koczar has written or edited 14 books, including his most recent work, The Ethics of Abortion: Women’s Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice.
After being introduced by the Co-Presidents of Students for life, the talk started with a personal anecdote from the speaker. This was followed by an analysis of the moral questions that arise from abortion. Taking a pro-life stance, Koczar stood by his position while also fielding questions from the audience on either side of the issue.
After the talk, Dr. Koczar stated that “Probably the biggest misconception that people who haven’t studied the issue have is sometimes they think that the human fetus is just a blob of tissue. That’s really not true at all. The human embryo is a living, developing human organism that is quite complex and really isn’t, again, just a blob of tissue. You have the fetal heart rate beginning at 19 days and you have sucking thumb and all the limbs developed really early in pregnancy. Many people are not aware of that.”
However, his mission with talks such as these is not to invoke a reaction, but instead to discuss the issue. Speaking about what his goal is with these talks, Koczar said that “I hope to introduce some people to new ideas that they maybe didn’t think about or consider. I hope to be able to be involved in a conversation with them.”
He would continue supporting this point, adding that “For me, I try to both hold on to what’s good but also be open to what’s new and different. I try to combine the old and the new. Some things that I’ve believed for a long time I still believe, but then I try to learn, grow, and develop whenever I find something new that’s true.”
Juliana Holcomb , Co-President of Students for Life, expressed gratitude for the talk, stating “I’m really grateful for this fantastic opportunity to bring Dr. Kaczor to Holy Cross to discuss a highly controversial topic through an ethical lense and his own experience.”
Students for Life Secretary James Dooley echoed the sentiment, saying “On behalf of everyone from Students for Life, we thank you for coming out and supporting us. Also for engaging in this discussion which is important. We believe it is a social justice issue and approach it in the most loving and compassionate lense… We’re looking to love and serve others and that really lines up with our Jesuit mission.”
Photo by David Sullivan ’22
Professor Christopher Kaczor encourages discussion over the ethical nuances to abortion.