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A Response to Amnesty International's Abortion Policy in Light of Mulieris Dignitatem

28 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2012  

Jane Adolphe

Ave Maria School of Law

Date Written: 2010


This work is the result of the author's participation in a conference on the interdisciplinary study of Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem. This Article focuses on chapter four, “Eve-Mary,” and in particular, the effects of original sin on the relationship between man and woman. When considering the “disturbance of this original relationship,” two questions are raised: 1) What is the original relationship? 2) How is it disturbed?

In response, Pope John Paul II argues that the original relationship between man and woman was one of “communion,” “unity of the two,” existing “side by side” and “one for the other,” founded on a fundamental equality that stems from their dignity as human persons made in the image and likeness of God. The original relationship was later disrupted and marked by a break in this unity, with more tragic results for woman, because mutual sincere gift of self is replaced with man’s domination of woman. The disturbance reaches an insidious level when a man forces a mother into an unwanted abortion, or injures or kills her, along with her unborn child, when the woman resists.

To flesh out this thesis, the Article is divided into two parts. Part I,“The Logic of Violence,” offers a critique of Amnesty International’s abortion policy. This section argues that AI’s abortion policy is riddled with internal inconsistencies and obfuscations about the true breadth of the policy. By pondering “The Logic of Love” in Part II, a person of good will can come to understand that the sine qua non to breaking the cycle of violence — AI’s avowed aim — is healing love and forgiveness.

Keywords: abortion, Amnesty International, Mulieris Dignitatem, violence against women

Suggested Citation

Adolphe, Jane, A Response to Amnesty International's Abortion Policy in Light of Mulieris Dignitatem (2010). Ave Maria Law Review, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2010. Available at SSRN:

Jane Adolphe (Contact Author)

Ave Maria School of Law ( email )

1025 Commons Circle
Naples, FL 34119
United States

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