Elizabeth Anscombe is one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century. A student of Ludwig Wittgenstein, she eventually researched and taught at Oxford for 24 years. She was also a devout convert to Catholicism, taking lots of heat for defending the Church’s most controversial teachings.
Her daughter, Mary Catherine Gormally, just recently posted some amazing pictures of Anscombe on Facebook.
Here’s the context of these incredible photos: After abortion was mostly legalized in England, Anscombe protested outside abortion clinics. In two instances, she was arrested. According to the photo description, Anscombe was blocking the door to the clinic when, as you can see, she was literally dragged away by police.
Princeton law professor and Catholic Robert P. George offered some insightful commentary on the meaning of the photos on his own Facebook page:
“The late Elizabeth Anscombe was one of the most eminent philosophers of the 20th century and probably the greatest woman philosopher . . . ever.
“Her daughter Mary Geach has posted photographs of her being arrested for blocking the entrance to an abortion “clinic” and being dragged away by police. I had hoped such photographs existed and I am delighted to see them.
“When Anscombe was a very young and little known academic at Oxford, she gained international attention for protesting the University’s awarding of an honorary degree to Harry Truman. She argued that Truman’s decision to target noncombatants in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a gross violation of just war and sanctity of life principles.
“By the time she was protesting the mass killing of unborn babies, she was an acclaimed thinker whose writings had helped to shape many of the most important philosophical debates. Yet her witness to justice and the sanctity of human life in the womb was almost completely ignored by the media.
“Her moral consistency stands in sharp contrast to the inconsistency (and inconstancy) of liberal elites whose views and values the media more or less reliably reflect.”