- Author: Ward Biemans, SJ
- Paperback: 392 pages
- Publisher: Connor Court Publishing Pty Ltd (February 13, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1925138968
- ISBN-13: 978-1925138962
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
The Heart and The Abyss: Preventing Abortion by Ward Biemans
The context for Biemans' work is the development of law and practice on abortion in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. The choice of these two countries is apposite. The UK (with the exception of Northern Ireland) was one of the earliest western countries to legalise abortion and the UK law provided a template for many other countries with similar legal frameworks, most particularly across the Commonwealth. Whether or not the reality matches the theory, the Netherlands has come to be seen as the ultimate liberal country in which abortion is (relatively) rare but almost always legal. Thankfully, the Western European context provides a basis for a much more complete discussion of the issues and arguments surrounding abortion which will be of immense value right across the world.
Biemans draws together insights from the fields of medicine, economics, psychology, politics, law, theology and ethics. He engages effectively with the most recent empirical work on the practical impact of abortion law and uses this to provide fresh insight into the key ethical debates. Integrating such disparate fields is no easy task and it is to his great credit that he has managed to find a balance between rigor and accessibility which will enable this work to be of use to a broad range of users. The importance of caring for both the mother and baby have been understood and put into practice by the pro-life movement for many years, as has the recognition that women need care and reconciliation rather than condemnation after abortion. This understanding is central to Biemans' work, as is his conclusion that rights and needs of the mother and the unborn baby are not only of paramount importance but complementary to each other rather than in opposition. Given Biemans' understanding of theology and Church history, this volume will surely become a standard source of reference within Catholic institutions. The approach is balanced and scholarly, but it is hard for the reader to avoid the conclusion that the right to life of the unborn, the rights of women and the social consequences of abortion should not be seen as standing in opposition to each other and requiring of compromise.