The pro-life movement has always been pro-women. Our priorities should reflect that.

Students from the Diocese of Lansing, Mich., holds signs during the annual March for Life in Washington Jan. 27, 2018. (CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard)  

As the United States approaches the 46th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, the pro-life movement is at a crossroads. The priority that the movement has for decades rightly given to the appointment of justices who recognize that the U.S. Constitution does not define a right to abortion has finally led to what should be a five-vote majority in favor of overturning or weakening Roe. As pro-life activists journey to Washington again this month to bear witness to the more than 50 million unborn lives lost since 1973, it is time for the movement to ask what its priorities should look like now.

To be sure, it is not immediately likely that Roe v. Wade will be explicitly and conclusively overturned. Many commentators predict that the court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, will steer a more incremental course, gradually validating states’ restrictions on abortion. The practical legal outcome of such an approach may not differ greatly from the results of an outright reversal.

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The proper constitutional settlement for the abortion question is for it to be returned to the states as a policy matter about which voters and legislators will and should continue to debate.

As we have long argued, the proper constitutional settlement for the abortion question is for it to be returned to the states as a policy matter about which voters and legislators will and should continue to debate. Whatever the degree and method by which abortion is returned to “politics as usual,” it will remain a divisive political question. The pro-life movement’s work becomes more complicated, not less so, as the prospect of meaningful legal protections for unborn children dawns. While judicial advocacy will continue to be important, developing and winning support for comprehensive pro-life legislation will require building a broader and more diverse coalition than the one assembled in opposition to Roe.

At the same time as the pro-life cause has its best prospects ever at the Supreme Court, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York vowed on Jan. 7 both to codify Roe’s results in state law and to push to enshrine it even further with an amendment to the state constitution. Nine other states have laws that codify a right to abortion. Pro-choice advocates, understanding the threat to Roe, have broadened their focus to include normalizing and even celebrating abortions.

At the end of 2018, The New York Times began running an extensive and tendentious set of editorials in defense of abortion, which are scheduled to run through January. (The entire series is already available online.) The Times paints a picture in which any legal attempt to defend the lives of unborn children is correlated with willingness—even eagerness—to “erode” the rights of women, driven by a desire for control over them. Carefully choosing the most extreme examples, the series implies that anyone who is not adamantly pro-choice is callously unconcerned about the lives of women.

Such unfair depictions will not surprise veterans of the pro-life movement. But they must concern us. The priority given to Supreme Court nominations has left the movement vulnerable to being reduced to the role of supporting player within an overall conservative political agenda. Along with pro-choice absolutism within the Democratic Party, this has hollowed out a vital part of national pro-life witness. Whatever one thinks of the historical prudence and necessity of the pro-life movement’s alliance with the Republican Party, its risks and limitations for the future are starkly evident.

We should be passionate about making sure that the rest of the world can see our respect for women as well.

Pro-lifers know well that the movement honors women, cares for women, is led by women and was founded by women. We should be passionate about making sure that the rest of the world can see our respect for women as well. Imagine a future in which every proposal to defund Planned Parenthood is linked to increased funding for maternal health and protections for pregnant women in the workplace. Imagine how much harder it would be to caricature pro-lifers as anti-woman—and how much closer we would be to protecting all unborn children in law and welcoming them in love.

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Mark Herlihy
4 months 2 weeks ago

The use of the word “tendentious” to describe the New York Times coverage of this issue is, in the context of this editorial, the quintessence of the pot calling the kettle black.

Abu Tom
4 months 2 weeks ago

IF YOU LET THE FETUS LIVE JUST 18 MONTHS . YOU WILL HEAR THEM SAY I LOVE YOU MOMMY. YOU TUBE SAVE THE KIDS ABUTOM

Nora Bolcon
4 months 2 weeks ago

If Catholics stopped supporting Pro-Life there would be more babies around the world getting born and saying these things to their moms. If you care about the unborn, you need to support free birth control, and easy legal access to abortion, paid universal health insurance for all, long paid maternity and paternity leaves for parents and paid for by the government quality daycare. We already have enormous amounts of evidence proving these are the things which actually lower abortion rates everywhere in the world. Restricting abortion by laws only increases its rate of occurring in every country of the world. A little bit of facts goes a long way. See my comment with accurate Guttmacher/World Health Org. research on this subject if you are interested in reality and really helping women and the unborn.

Andrew Wolfe
4 months 2 weeks ago

There is no way we can more strongly refute the "anti-woman" argument than we already have. We pro-lifers cannot earn respect or get any kind of favor or credit with any pro-abortion media. It's a waste of time even to consider the possibility of attaching anything to pro-life legislation to prove our bona fides; those who espouse abortion will not ever accept it. For decades they have been accusing us of not supporting women in crisis pregnancies, and refuse to witness our myriad crisis pregnancy centers that do just that. All their sexual predator champions like Harvey Weinstein make no dent in their insensibility.

The people have seen what abortion is and they are revolted by it. We don't need any political triangulations or postures—we just have to drive past the abortion advocates and let the people follow through in the resurgence of decency to marginalize abortion as clearly and decisively as possible.

Alexandra Schmid
4 months 2 weeks ago

Andrew, I am against abortions, but I am beyond tired and frustrated that the pro-life movement solely focuses on women. It takes two people to make a baby: a man and a woman! The Pro-life movement needs to focus also on the role of men in this!! AND on Pro-life for ALL people, incl. criminals! the death penalty is wrong. Jesus will be the final judge and we should not take another person's life, no matter how terrible his or her crimes are. Lastly, while I am Roman Catholic, I have a real problem with forcing laws unto people who are non-believers or practice a different faith. The entire pro-live movement needs to focus on LOVE and Compassion and NOT judgment, blaming and hating... If you really love your neighbor, you would support laws like extended maternity leave, financial childcare support, etc...

Nora Bolcon
4 months 2 weeks ago

There are no pro-abortion groups. No group is out there going I can't wait to get my long awaited fun abortion. You are helping in the demise of the unborn because you are uninformed regarding the facts as to what lowers abortion rates and what grows them. Cure your ignorance and then you can join the pro-choice group's stand that states abortion may be immoral or undesirable but making it a crime only increases the dead of both women and the unborn so we need to pick a different response to the issue.

J Jones
4 months 2 weeks ago

This is nonsense.

If and when the Catholic Church focuses its "pro-life" comments on MEN, I will believe the Church is actually interested in preventing abortion as opposed to controlling women.

Start every "pro-life conversation, article, brochure this way: Men, support every child you father until that child is 18 years old NO MATTER WHAT. To do anything less, for any reason other than a life sentence in prison, is a sin.

I have NEVER a homily that even vaguely makes that statement.

Until then, this is all about controlling women and letting men off the hook for a situation that can NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER happen unless a man unzips his pants.

Bev Ceccanti
4 months 1 week ago

Andrew: Many are grateful for your stance in the face of the veritable Devil himself. Screeching women have cowed so many. Jesus Himself wouldn't have had their required 'union' ticket to speak because He was a man.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 1 week ago

Speaking of screeching and confused women, . . . Hi Bev!

For the record: Jesus was the one who told every believing Christian to not judge or condemn anyone for any sin. We are not called to make any laws in any nation for any reason by Christ. Christ merely told people to uphold life themselves and TEACH not Order others to do the same and to help not jail anyone who needed it. He would have supported welfare, and never would have tried to force women to gestate a baby and then demand they give the child up to others if they could not afford to raise that child. If you care about the unborn, you need to support the right to choose while supporting being taxed for government funded quality daycare from birth along with government funded universal health care for all and government funded training and education for all who need it to find quality work and also be willing to be taxed to pay for the unemployed until they can find new work. Making abortion a crime increases its rate in every country of the world and none of your screeching at the facts will change them or make them not reality.

Todd Witherell
4 months 2 weeks ago

Well written and reasonably argued.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 2 weeks ago

Not really - no facts all fiction. Also I love how the author tells us about if we spend paying for the maternity help of mothers when we defund planned parenthood that will help women. Actually, it may help with some cost of maternity needs of some women but all the poor women who now don't have life saving cancer testing that they used to have will still die of the cancer they didn't catch. The government funding we have cut so far only went to cancer testings and basic health care of mostly non-pregnant poor women. None of it was permitted to go to abortions to begin with and all you defunder advocates who keep telling us those centers will be replaced with health care clinics in the same areas the planned parenthood clinics were lied. In Utah they closed four planned parenthood clinics and only one clinic has replaced it to take care of the poor women who desperately needed that testing and basic care and can't always afford to get rides to a new clinic farther away. So kudows to you guys - more dead women on your heads - just cancer victims who would have lived but now won't. Let us not forget in the states that have already started restricting abortions - we have not seen less abortions we can attribute to these restrictions but we have seen more self-aborting disasters already increasing in these states.

With friends like pro-life, who needs mass murderers?

VIRGINIA RYAN
4 months 2 weeks ago

I agree with most of what you say and I want to add that the suggestion that returning this issue to the states is frightening. It is clear that whether we are talking about social safety net support, education, health care, or whatever else is necessary for human beings to live well, some states (and we know what and where they are), are NOT caring for their citizens, especially their poor and racially minoritized ones. I am really, really surprised (and actually angry) that the editors would suggest that this is the beginning of a resolution. There’s so much more I’d want to say but starting with the absurdity of the suggestion that the states should settle this issue is terrifying.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 2 weeks ago

Agreed Virginia and thanks for your thoughtful response. Women can't take more hits and these anti abortion laws increase the rates of death of the unborn as much as women.

Bev Ceccanti
4 months 1 week ago

Nora: Are your claims sourced?? What 'fiction' are you referencing?

Nora Bolcon
4 months 1 week ago

Really - my facts are easily found on the websites or at the offices of The World Health Organization, and at the site for Guttmacher or even from the United Nations if you prefer to ask them. The U.N. uses The W.H.O. research which is identical to the Guttmacher's results on the stats. regarding world wide abortion levels and the environmental causes surrounding those levels. There is also no source with contradictory evidence to Guttmachers. So no fiction coming from me unlike your comments which display no evidence to support them in reality.

Bill Mazzella
4 months 2 weeks ago

Trump is now Anti-abortion. He was always pro-choice. A striking example, there are a zillion others, how this is a political issue. Period.

Bev Ceccanti
4 months 1 week ago

Does it matter? If your point is to stem the tide of the expanding abortion industry, is it difficult to decide between the planned parenthood party and the party whose representative has changed his mind?

Nora Bolcon
4 months 2 weeks ago

What pack of lies! See FACTS below: Countries where abortions and birth control are difficult to procure or are illegal or criminal have the highest abortion rates world wide - no exceptions folks. They also have dramatically higher maternal death rates - Guttmacher research agrees with the World Health Organizations research - the stats are correct. There is no evidence suggesting Guttmacher's research is incorrect.

Pro-life saves no one but kills greater amounts of the unborn and women, by the millions, cumulatively, globally.

Pro-life was not started by women for women. It was started by church leaders (mostly men) and women and men who mistakenly believed criminalizing abortion would somehow prevent abortion - it doesn't and we have known this fact for over a decade. There is no evidence, globally, or in the U.S., that indicates allowing legal abortion, at any time during pregnancy, for anyone who wants one will increase the numbers of abortions occurring in that country as long as that country also allows for cheap and easy access to birth control. None!

The U.S. (for now) and Western Europe which have the loosest and easiest access to birth control and abortion have the lowest rates of abortion overall - See stats. Western Europe even lower because they offer free health care, free daycare, and longer paid maternity and paternity leaves. That is what we need to change.

Wanting something to be true - doesn't make it true. Reality accuses the Pro-Life's demand for criminalization of abortion guilty of the sin of knowingly causing the greater deaths of both the unborn and women. Pro-life has known these below stats and so has the Catholic Church Hierarchy. How can they know this research and still demand to make it illegal, unless the only reason they push for this response to abortion is the desire to control women's bodies? Nothing else makes sense. Stop lying - this push to take the choice away from women is about controlling women not helping them or saving anyone and it always has been.

From Guttmacher: Abortion and Birth Control Stats.
(Notes from my other research on this topic - bottom)
REGIONAL INCIDENCE AND TRENDS:
• The highest annual rate of abortion in 2010–2014 was in the Caribbean, estimated at 59 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, followed by South America, at 48.
The lowest rates were in Northern America, at 17, and Western and Northern Europe—at 16 and 18, respectively.
• Across regions, Eastern Europe experienced the largest decline in the abortion rate, from 88 in 1990–1994 to 42 in 2010–2014. Despite this decline, there is a persistent gap in rates between Eastern and Western Europe (42 vs. 16) likely reflecting lower use of effective, modern contraceptive methods in Eastern Europe.
• The overall abortion rate in Africa was 34 per 1,000 women in 2010–2014. Subregional rates ranged from 31 in Western Africa to 38 in Northern Africa. There has been little if any change in abortion rates in these subregions since 1990–1994.
• For Latin America, subregional abortion rates range from 33 in Central America to 48 in South America. Rates have increased slightly since 1990–1994, but not by statistically significant amounts.
• Abortion rates in Asia have also fallen since 1990–1994, although not significantly. Asia’s subregions all have rates close to the regional average of 36 per 1,000 women.
• Highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. When countries are grouped according to the grounds under which the procedure is legal, the rate is 37 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age where it is prohibited altogether or allowed only to save a woman’s life, compared with 34 per 1,000 where it is available on request, a nonsignificant difference.
• High levels of unmet need for contraception help explain the prevalence of abortion in countries with restrictive abortion laws.

What I have researched from other appropriate sources agrees with Guttmacher but also indicates the below information on this subject:
The World Health Organization Research agrees with the Guttmacher Research. Their results are almost identical.
However, neither the W.H.O. or Guttmacher can give us a solid conclusion, due to lack of evidence, as to what happens when countries offer easy access to quality birth control but make their abortion laws stricter. This is due to the fact that most countries either are lenient on both issues or they are strict on access to both abortion and birth control.
We could make some confident speculation, based on the global evidence that does exist, that in countries, currently, where laws are strict for both abortion and birth control or where both are criminalized, that were these countries to loosen up laws on birth control access alone and not on abortion, the abortion rates would come down more, and likely closer to where the Western and developed nations are at. However, these countries are not necessarily or likely to get quite as low as the western, industrialized, countries since there does exist evidence that the mere difficulty of access to abortion alone lends, especially in certain cases, to higher abortion rates by itself.
Unfortunately, in the countries where the laws for abortion become much stricter than in the past, such as may exist in the U.S. for the future, the amount of abortions could increase quite a bit even if birth control access remains easy and free. One of the reasons this is true is due to the fact that, in these countries, many women who get pregnant in their later years, 40s or older, often now seek to get an amnio to see if their fetus is healthy. They can only get this during the late part of the 3rd month or beginning of the fourth month of their pregnancy. With stricter laws, some of these women may decide they don't want to take the chance the fetus is unhealthy or has downs syndrome, and instead may opt to get an early abortion thru more easily, anonymously obtained, although perhaps illegally obtained, abortion pills. These pills become not an option in later months, and testing would put women in a position to not be able to deny they are pregnant, publicly, if they wait, so this puts the women at risk they could be charged with a crime if abortion becomes illegal. (Please note: I am not suggesting this is right or moral or Christian behavior but only that the reality exist and I personally know quite a few women who would fit this category, today, in the U.S. despite anyone's opinions or beliefs)
A horrible side effect of the above situation is this: 50% of all downs fetuses naturally miscarry in the first trimester, and 40% that make it to the 2nd trimester miscarry then. Fetuses that have other severe health issues often miscarry, naturally, within the first three - four months of pregnancy as well. The amount of downs fetuses that become born infants are very small amounts even for older women. This illness is still quite rare overall. This means many women could end up aborting perfectly healthy fetuses, by the thousands, each year, or more, to avoid the possibility of having an unhealthy baby, and this number increases if women already have other children. One way some western countries avoid this issue is that they keep early abortions legal and allow later abortions into the 4th and 5th month if the fetus has tested unhealthy or the woman's life is in real danger if she remains pregnant. Many married older women think they aren't fertile when they still are and stop taking birth control.
Lastly, there is no existing evidence that easy access to abortions, even throughout pregnancy, equates to more abortions, in any country, that has free and easy access to birth control. In fact, countries with easy access to abortion and also free easy access to birth control have the lowest rates in the world, and these rates lower even more when those countries offer mandated longer paid maternity/paternity leaves, free quality universal health care, and free, quality, public daycare. (The only exception to this seems to be Sweden. Despite Sweden's similarly ease of access to both abortion and birth control and it's offering many of the benefits listed above that other Western European Countries offer, it still has quite a high abortion rate. However, there is no evidence suggesting that tightening Sweden's existing laws would lower its rate for abortion and doing so would likely only raise it even higher.)
The evidence we do have seems to indicate, on a global scale, that despite what seems reasonable in theory, i.e., harsh abortion laws will lower abortion rates, is completely false when put to the test in reality. It just may be that easy access to abortion, and lenient abortion laws, help more to reduce abortion rates than having strict laws against abortion, in any country. Perhaps some morality issues simply cannot be solved by force or threat but must instead be dealt with by respecting the situation of the people involved and helping them out of their place of fear or desperation, with physical and material protections and emotional and spiritual support. We could do much more perhaps by encouraging a choice for good, and for life, without attempting to control women. We could choose to help women in real ways, instead of trying to corner them into doing the Christian thing.

Daniel Houston
4 months 2 weeks ago

The pro life movement is NOT led by women. The Knights of Columbus is pictured in your own photo attached to this article. Please try and be honest and admit that there is a huge problem with loud middle age men leading the Pro Life movement.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 2 weeks ago

Thank you Daniel for some truth. That sexist bunch of men needs to be no longer supported by our church. No charity needs to be gender exclusive and of course it is completely corrupt and involved in insurance corruption too.

monicabaruth@gmail.com
4 months 2 weeks ago

Amen, Daniel.

Jim Lein
4 months 2 weeks ago

I think men, including the KCs, who want to outlaw abortion should take a pledge to not contribute to an unwanted or problem pregnancy. And think back to their past behavior: are they certain they never contributed to this problem?

Nora Bolcon
4 months 1 week ago

Thanks Jim . . How true!

Mike Bayer
4 months 2 weeks ago

As a male I have no idea what a woman with an unwanted pregnancy must feel and what she fears. For those women who are single, young, poor, and without a large and reliable group of friends and family to assist her the prospects of motherhood and raising that child must be terrifying. The article claims the the Pro-life movement supports women. How? Certainly not financially or with healthcare. I suppose warning her of the perils of eternal damnation constitutes "support" and "honor" in the eyes of some, but pro-lifers are not providing real time solutions and certainly not the lifetime of that child that the Movement insists must be carried to term. I don't like the idea of abortion, yet until the pro-life movement is actually pro-life for ALL human beings from conception until death by putting your money where your mouth is, I can't be in favor of outlawing abortion.

Alexandra Schmid
4 months 2 weeks ago

Thank you Mike for showing empathy and compassion and for hitting the nail on its head. I am Roman Catholic, I am against abortion but based on the same reasons you've mentioned above, I am not in favor of outlawing abortion. Furthermore, the U.S. has people from many different faiths and non-believers, so forcing laws on such people is another major problem. Furthermore, I would like to see the pro-life movement to finally understand that it takes two people, a man and a woman, to make a baby. I am beyond frustrated to constantly lay the blame on women. What about the role of the men and their responsibilities in this??? How are we Christians showing love and compassion to these women who are scared, who can't even financially support themselves and then deal with all the anxiety of raising a child. Many women simply can't afford childcare if they work 8+ hours a day. Pro-LIFE needs to focus their conversation on REAL solutions, incl. extended maternity leave, financial support, free childcare, etc, and on the role of men who are EQUALLY responsible when a child is conceived. Lastly, pro-life should encompass ALL humans, incl. criminals. The death penalty is wrong! Every single person, no matter what they have done, is still a child of God. Their judgment day will come and it will be Jesus who judges, not us!

Bev Ceccanti
4 months 2 weeks ago

Alexandra: I'm not a sheltered 'suburban' woman. Most of those on welfare are women with children and I'm glad there is help for them. They get food stamps, wic, well baby care and section 8 housing.They can also choose to adopt the baby out. Sadly, many women are pressured into abortion Women have come to believe it's the 'responsible' thing to do.... The capital punishment argument is a crock ..a false dichotomy. It is a false argument. . Pro life is pro life..many, if not most are against the death penalty... but the body counts are incomparable. ....And by the way , I don't think nonbelievers should be forcing believers into participating in this grotesque 'private' activity between a woman and her doctor, through employment,taxation, or any other way. With all due respect, I have to doubt the sincerity of your 'pro-life' stance.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 1 week ago

Bev you need to educate yourself. Anti abortion laws increase abortion rates in every country of the world along with increasing maternal death rates. This is the evidence or the facts. Not liking facts does not hinder the effects of the facts in the world. We currently have some of lowest abortion rates in the world. Where countries in South America have the highest rates despite their having the strictest anti-abortion laws. So it is time to ask yourself what is the change you really want to see here in the U.S. an increase in abortion?

Bev Ceccanti
4 months 1 week ago

Nora : I'm an educated woman and I'm smart enough not to fool myself. The ignorance that promulgates these pages is breathtaking and I'm being generous.
Abortifacients abort .... and these are not included in abortion statistics.. Aboritifacients kill millions of human beings. When I checked into it I learned pharmacists were often forced to participate in these 'private' killings because women could demand the drug be 'prescribed' by the RPH without seeing their doctor... There was a lawsuit about this in my own state.....Millions of human beings are being systematically destroyed as a matter of course and Satan is screeching among those who celebrate this holocaust. The sound is deafening at the feminist rallys .
..By the way , I learned from an Italian Consulate a while back that abortions were legal in Italy, but no person, regardless of their employment as doctor, nurse,etc could be forced to participate. The woman had to locate her own 'willing' professional. (I guess it was considered a 'private' act.)

Nora Bolcon
4 months 1 week ago

Again Bev - What are you talking about? No one is forcing any doctors or nurses to perform abortions unless the mother will die without one. In these cases the doctor does not just get to kill the mother to save the unborn - she rightly gets to choose if she wants to die for her unborn child or not.

As for abortifacients, most women do not use these for birth control and no women have to unless they have a medical condition that keeps them from using non-aborticacients, and I don't know if any women actually fit this description given the large variety of non-abortifacients avalible. So I don't know why you are bringing this issue up. However, for those whose only choice would be abortifacients, because they are again in a oral form - most of these medications, they could be easily bought and used illegally (no drug outlawed by the U.S. has ever managed to be controlled very well in the U.S.). So making more laws or making stricter laws will not help lower abortion of any variety but will only likely increase it.

Women in the U.S. also have to locate their own willing professional or Dr. for abortion. That is why most abortions take place in clinics. However, where abortion is legal, federally, if states make it impossible by pushing out of business all clinics, this could constitute the need for our government to have to mandate federally, court ordered places be constructed in all states, for willing doctors to perform abortions, in order to protect women's federally protected right to choose. We ran into this issue with busing and the fight against segregation. If states attempt to avoid the federal rights of citizen's liberty by creating state laws that intentionally interfere with access to those federal rights and liberties, the federal government can be demanded to act to secure those rights in all states. Fed over-rules state law.

Daria Fitzgerald
4 months 2 weeks ago

Well said editors - As a pro life advocate and a feminist , I support your position that the pro- life movement is absolutely pro-women. However, when women are excluded from leadership roles in the Church, whether it be proclaiming the Gospel on Sundays or assuming roles of true authority, one can understand why the pro life movement is perceived as conservative and anti- femininist. The Church needs to be CONSISTENT in its treatment of women in all areas of life.

J Jones
4 months 2 weeks ago

Well done, Daria

Bev Ceccanti
4 months 1 week ago

The Church has no authority to ordain women. Ordination is one of 7 sacraments established by Christ. I'm glad you're pro life.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 1 week ago

More nonsense from Bev.

No one was ever ordained a priest by Christ or any of the 12 apostles. There is no mention of the word "ordination" or its equivalent in the entire New Testament. Period. If I am wrong Bev - feel free to quote that New Testament Verse. It does not exist. Ordination came hundreds of years later and both men and women did the work of presbyters in the early church. The only priesthood ever stated to exist according to St. Peter within Christianity is the Royal Priesthood which he stated all baptized Christians belong to equally, male and female.

The 12 were called to be judges not priests and they were all Jewish Men called by Christ because only men could physically inherit according to Jewish laws all property in Israel and no gentile was afforded any rights in Judaism. God designed the law this way because God wanted the property of the twelve tribes to remain evenly divided among the twelve tribes not because God didn't want women in control. By dividing by blood lineage, one tribe could not get large portions of another tribe's inheritance thru marrying women from that tribe. Also, since when God states that a man and a woman become one in marriage, God actually means what he says, unlike us (and sadly often some Jewish Sects which taught sexism is acceptable.), we have the results that whatever a man owns is equally owned and can be used by the wife (it just could not be sold by her or inherited or passed down by her. Single women could own property but had to release ownership upon death or marriage back to a tribe relative of her father's tribe). In other words, all discussion about property should always be discussed between man and wife, and husbands were not meant to restrict use of any properties from their wives. Since man and wife are one being in God's description, sexism within marriage would be the same thing as saying my right hand does not own what my left hand owns or my left eye is not allowed to see what my right eye is allowed to see. That would be ridiculous. This ironically would even likely be true of women married to Levites. No where does it state outright in Leviticus that a wife of a Levite could not perform as a priest (but this gets into a much deeper discussion).

So the above describes why Jesus picked only Israelite males to be apostles, and judges (literally in two gospels Jesus states he picks them to be judges for the 12 tribes of Israel, not judges for the church even, as Jesus is the judge over the church. Also, never did Jesus state he called the 12 to be priests outside of the rest of the royal priesthood nor did he ever claim to ordain them in any way.) The purpose of the 12 was to have them literally inherit the church as part of the body of Christ, thru Holy Spirit, and part of the body of Abraham, thru blood lineage, as God had originally promised Abraham when he told him his descendants would be beyond the ability to count and would inhabit every part of the world. Since the 12 apostles fulfilled this requirement, now anyone is equally saved and can be equally called to perform any ministry, and hold any position, in the church, thru their Holy Spirit Baptism. There is no longer need for a leader or member of the body of Christ to be male or of non-gentile ancestry after the apostles fulfilled this need.

I do believe in ordination of priests as I have felt called to that priesthood in our church. However, I believe this is the equivalent of God calling some to lead churches and preside over the current priestly duties we all agree priests should do. But if we are to support ordination as a sacrament for the purposes of sacramental leadership, as we do now, then we must change our laws and cast out of our laws and traditions all sexism and bias against women, and immediately ordain women without restriction as to what they can become compared to men ordained to priesthood in our church. Jesus Christ condemns treating one person differently than another when he commands us to treat all others as we would like to be treated. Restricting one group of people from rights, benefits, opportunities, etc. based on their flesh is sin and constitutes hatred of that group, as long as they are physically able to perform the acts they are being restricted from performing. There is no act that is required in priesthood that women are not as able as men to perform. Keeping the ordination of priests as it is now, while it supports sin and the hatred of women and attacks their human dignity by unnecessary exclusion, is the equivalent of using a sacrament as a weapon to demean women as human beings. This must stop now! We must repent of our centuries long hatred and distrust of women immediately as our church is self-destructing under the weight of this heinous sin. This abuse of a sacrament is more insulting even to Christ than it is to women as he never would have supported it.

Crystal Watson
4 months 2 weeks ago

This is propaganda.. You misrepresent those who are pro-choice. The idea that the pro-life movement is led by women and cares about women is ludicrous. You guys have allied yourselves to the Trump Republican party - one that does *not* respect women, that wants to take away benefits from the poor and elderly, that locks migrant children up in cages - this is who you are. You should be ashamed.

Hannah Murphy
4 months 2 weeks ago

Geez my beloved America Mag, I’m disappointed in this article; there is so much lacking here, but I’ll try to keep it brief.

As a feminist opposed to all forms of violence, I identify as anti-abortion; and not as pro-life because it’s a vague and tired identifier (but that isn’t for here). For the sake of responding, I’ll include myself in the pro-life movement because I’ve worked within it since I can remember.

1. We have not done nearly enough to support women. If we spent as much time actually supporting them as we do showing how we support them, we’d be taking a solid step forward. Standing with rosaries outside of clinics and praying for people isn’t supporting; neither is electing officials who are politically prolife but secretly prochoice when it comes to women they impregnate. Furthermore, we would not be anti-contraceptives if we were truly supporting women.

2. The prochoice folks, you say, “Carefully choosing the most extreme examples”...so do the prolifers, so let us hold ourselves to the same critique.

3. The movement is led by women? Hmm. Last time I checked, the speakers at the March for Life are overwhelmingly white males. And even so, being a woman doesn’t automatically mean you support women. Women elected Trump...clearly those women do not support women. Many female prolife activists have left the movement because we have realized (or finally come to admit what we feared) that the movement places the woman after the unborn child, and this just cannot be so.

4. We might make some real change if we started doing what Jesus asked of us- to take care of one another. Not just those in utero, but those who are born. Which means working to educate on sex and being realistic about the truth that people are going to have sex and need contraceptives; supporting families by engaging our money in programs like WIC; and electing officials who are as consistent life as possible (dare I say, many prochoice officials are more consistent life than the prolife officials we elect).

5. We have caricatured ourselves.

Linda Gatter
4 months 2 weeks ago

Well said! Thank you, Hannah.

Alexandra Schmid
4 months 2 weeks ago

Thank you Hannah! I completely agree!!

Tina Beattie
4 months 2 weeks ago

Thank you. I admit to being shocked by the unsubstantiated claims and disregard for facts in this editorial. Is this really what the Jesuits have come to? I expect better of them.

Bev Ceccanti
4 months 1 week ago

The Jesuits are Catholic. The Catholic position is represented in this article.

Adrienne Keller
4 months 2 weeks ago

AMEN!

J Jones
4 months 2 weeks ago

well said, Hannah

Nora Bolcon
4 months 1 week ago

Thank you!

Bev Ceccanti
4 months 1 week ago

Not sure what you said......who is pro choice that is really more pro-life? .. So would you have voted pro Nazi in Hitlsr's Germany if they had a compassionate social program for some?

Bev Ceccanti
4 months 1 week ago

To pretend a sin is not a sin because most engage in it so it must be impossible to avoid sounds pretty close to Despair.

Phillip Stone
4 months 2 weeks ago

The Lancet tells us that in 2016 there were 56 million abortions annually, a bit less than half being done outside of medical circles. Other sources reveal that in mainland China and the Indian subcontinent there is a large imbalance in the sex of the baby killed, many more female babies.

I only know about a Pope first condemning abortion as murder in the sixteenth century despite Hippocrates, an ancient pre-Christian Greek, included it as forbidden in his oath.

Some say it was tolerated by many in Christendom because of the mistaken belief that the resident in the womb only became a person at the "quickening".
Modern medical science has definitively established that the body of the woman and the body of the baby and most of its placenta in that womb are totally different bodies. So it is established that it is not the woman's body which is being killed when the child is aborted.

So, abortion at the level of society is in the same category as the death penalty and slavery, perennially controversial.

Both Hippocrates and Pope Sixtus V were men. Anyone know if a famous woman was publicly pro-life before them?

Rhett Segall
4 months 2 weeks ago

What must happen to a woman in her heart and soul when she chooses to destroy the unborn human life that she in body, heart, and soul is called to nurture and love?

Peter Schwimer
4 months 2 weeks ago

It would help if men would stop proclaiming their anti abortion positions. The problem the Church has is its inability to influence it's own members, perhaps because its positions are written entirely by men.

Jim Lein
4 months 2 weeks ago

And there is the uncomfortable fact that all unwanted or problem pregnancies are caused by men, who in some cases are among those pressuring the woman to abort. Us guys are a major part of the problem. In theory we could solve the problem of unwanted pregnancies and of abortion--by behaving more responsibly. This should at least give us some pause when it comes to pronouncing what is best for pregnant women.

Phillip Stone
4 months 2 weeks ago

You are factually incorrect. The evidence in the first world countries and the previous eastern bloc is that abortion is being used simply as a way of not having that particular baby in those jurisdictions where abortion is legal and sometimes when it is not.

When a woman doesn't like condoms, believes or experiences the OC pill causes side-effects, and has no intention of denying herself sexual pleasure and satisfaction with her long-term partner or husband, or her latest pick-up from the local bar, she just has an abortion.

Another huge number of abortions are done as sex selection, amniotic fluid is sampled and it the cells of the baby are not the desired sex, abortion. Big offenders are people in mainland China and Indian subcontinent.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 1 week ago

Well in the U.S. and Western Europe abortion providers state that over sixty percent of their patients seek abortions due to failed contraception. Usually failed or ripped condoms or due to less than perfect use of oral contraception.

The rest of the abortions were due much to poorer women not being able to consistently afford contraception. Then there are those who were sexally assaulted and those who just screwed up the timing.

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