Rocco Buttiglione clarifies his position here:
“I did not say it was wrong to seek to defend the rights of the child through the use of the penal code. I did not say that. The life of the child should be defended with all possible means. With penal law? Yes, of course, with penal law, where possible.“But this is not possible in Italy today, so we must rely on other means. We must realize that we do not have a consensus on an abortion ban.”However, he suggested pro-lifers in the past have relied “too much” on penal sanction, which is only the “one element” in the defense of life.“If we do not remove the causes that lead so many women to abort, we will not win our battle against abortion,” he told C-FAM. “We will not win our battle against abortion relying only on penal sanction.”He urged nations which retain abortion restrictions to defend their laws against abortion and also to complement such laws with “good policies in defense of motherhood, and for the support of mothers.”Otherwise the pressure to remove abortion restrictions will be too strong, he believed.“You cannot pit the support of the mother against the penal defense of the life of the child. They are two parts of one strategy to defend life. It is always better to have two legs.”
As many have argued, penal sanction alone will not solve the abortion problem. Laws favoring motherhood and cultural shift are the only methods that will be effective in the long run.
Nathan O'Halloran, SJ