The Legal Positivism of the Pro-Life Movement
St. Thomas Aquinas states in his Summa that there are four integral parts of any law. These are 1) accordance with reason, 2) benefit to the objective common good, and 3) promulgation 4) by a rightful authority who has legitimate care for the community in question. Without any one of these parts, a “law” is no law at all, and is really nothing more than a weightless demand. For example, if a government suddenly declared that murder was legal, that declaration would have no authority over any citizen. It would not really be a law, because it is not in accord with reason and is detrimental to the common good of the community. It could not alter the reality that murder is intrinsically wrong.
But why talk in hypotheticals? Roe v. Wade was just such a so-called “law:” it made the murder of babies “legal.” It does not meet the requirements of Aquinas’s definition (it is not in accord with reason and does not benefit the common good), and therefore does not have the authority of a law. But con
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