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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Nora Bolcon
2 months 1 week ago

G

J Brookbank
2 months 1 week ago

Agreed. 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
2 months ago

Whatever man is whipped by the screaming hordes to the point he can't defend our innocent children is a coward....a weakling beyond words.

Bev Ceccanti
2 months ago

Incorrect.....The 5th commandment was not written by Catholic men.......and how do you substantiate the rest of your statement?

Bev Ceccanti
2 months ago

Incorrect.....The 5th commandment was not written by Catholic men.......and how do you substantiate the rest of your statement?

Robin Warfield
2 months 1 week ago

This has been a most interesting series of comments. Thank you to everyone who has written and responded. These comments have been more reasonable, to my mind, than the article which is not signed by an author. I believe we have come a long ways since the 60s and 70s in finding some common ground in our dialogue. There is certainly a lot of realistic and respectful support here for the feminine in our daily lives and worship.

Hilary Sterne
2 months 1 week ago

"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." Shame on you, America Magazine. I'm not surprised you support the pro-life movement, but resorting to lies to defend your argument? Pro-lifers value the fetus over the woman and, indeed, would let a woman die in order to see a fetus live. At least be honest about it. It all fits in neatly with the church's subjugation of women for centuries, turning them into mere birthing machines. I will continue to support a woman's right to choose because I truly honor and care for women. Unlike you, I don't pretend to do so while in truth doing nothing of the kind.

Michael Bindner
2 months 1 week ago

No federal district court will let any state dilute abortion rights. Eight justices consider Roe settled law, and all believe in federal supremacy that Scalia fought for. Any change can only come from Congress and it would ratify status quo and ruin partisan fundraising on both sides

The only way to really deal with most abortions is to increase the child tax credit from $1000 per year to $1000 per month refundable, distributed with pay and with a high enough minimum wage so that workers are working for more than their child credit. Propose this to most pro-lifers and they will respond that they refuse to subsidize people's sex lives (even though the Magesterium agrees such payments must be made if employers won't pay it - and they can't). GOP pro-lifers therefore show that it is all about sex and keeping women in their place.

Todd Witherell
2 months 1 week ago

Trump is against abortion because he fears and hates women, not because he loves children. I take this editorial to be persuasively arguing that we should love both.

JOHN SALVATI
2 months 1 week ago

Some simple suggestions, when you are talking about abortion, you are talking about at least two lives, and probably more, involved in the details of each case. Don’t dare attempt to sweep that under the rug with moralistic babble. That is reality and reality always trumps concepts.

Second, I’ve been in class with several Jesuits over the years, any one of whom could have come up with a less biased and insulting word than “tendentious,” and I am one who bows to no one in my sorrow for what the “Grey Lady” has become.

Third, if those of us who describe ourselves as pro-life, I guess everyone else being anti-life, had the courage of their convictions, then let us all put our money where our mouths are, and support increased taxes for multiple programs in every state and territory of the US that are at least similar to St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children in Dorchester MA. If we had a sufficient number of these then a woman facing, only God knows what multiple situations, would at least be able to be presented with a real option to have her child.

Fourth, you will never eliminate abortion, lest anyone forget abortion was a pre Roe phenomenon, nor will you likely ever be able to convince a woman overwhelmed by the realities of her life to give birth unless she is convinced that someone has an functional alternative for her life, not someone else’s imposed imagined life of some imagined woman who is not her.

Fifth, pause a moment and think of the collateral damage that has occurred because of the church’s alignment with one political party, and then consider, Bishops, could the 3 billion spent on settlements, cover ups, lies, distortions, etc. been better spent? Maybe see point three.

I find it hard to understand this issue in any other way than people simply don’t care. We are all content to pontificate and blather meaningless moral nonsense, rather than cut into our own lives to save the life of another.

Convince me otherwise, because your editorial certainly did not.

Jim Lein
2 months 1 week ago

Amen. Well said indeed.

Kristeen Bruun
2 months 1 week ago

Thanks to all who commented. I am so grateful to you. For decades I have felt so puzzled at the "pro-fetus" movement's inability to understand what REALLY lowers the abortion rate. If all the money that has been shoveled down the rat hole of criminalization had instead been placed at the service of women with problem pregnancies, we could not only have lowered the abortion rate in the U.S., but we would be known far and wide as the REAL pro-life people. Instead, the label or meaningless claim "pro-life" has bought hundreds of anti-life politicians church support. We should be so ashamed of this.

Jim Lein
2 months 1 week ago

Pro-life is a very clever label. But those who call themselves this are favoring legal pressure rather than relying more on Jesus' way of loving help with an often impossible decision. Instead it favors the state forcing women to decide in a certain manner even though they do not know her life, her concerns, her fears, her feelings of abandonment, the pressure she may be feeling from those who want her to abort, including in too many cases from the man responsible for the pregnancy. No, pro-life doesn't focus on her emotional distress, and doesn't offer her non-judgmental support as in some countries where there is considerable support for those facing such a difficult decision--and where abortion is legal. In these countries the abortion rate is lower than here. Jesus' way works better than Caesar's way, the way of the state. The church took a wrong turn, IMHO, in going so strong for man's law and not enough for the law of love.

Bev Ceccanti
2 months ago

By that same token, I would conclude there should be no law against murder, either.....

Nora Bolcon
2 months ago

The point is Bev, if making something illegal increases it happening then another non-legal remedy should be considered instead a legal one.

For the record, Jesus never told his followers to make laws in any country about anything, including abortion and murder. He actually told his followers to not judge and not condemn others. Society makes laws to keep the peace and hopefully at least try to keep a sense of balance and justice for all of its citizens.

Rape and murder are proven to be decreased in countries that enforce laws against both of these sins.

Adultery and abortion are not proven to be decreased in any way by making them crimes.

Abortion has been proven to increase where laws are enforced to try and stop abortion. This means a legal remedy should be no longer sought but other remedies ought to be looked at instead.

Todd Witherell
2 months 1 week ago

I agree with Ms. Fitzgerald. Though your argument is reasonable, it is not truly believable until women can lead in the Church. Women priests. Women bishops. Women Popes. Then the argument will be persuasive indeed.

Christopher McNally
2 months 1 week ago

America writes, "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." I agree that the leaders of the pro-life movement have prioritized appointment of justices who will reverse Roe. They have been rather opaque in explaining to their voters what that means. In fact, as America's editorial reports, it means only that states will be able to legalize abortion, as Ronald Reagan and the California legislature did in June 1967. Single-issue pro-life voters are likely to be shocked to discover that personhood for the unborn child under the 14th Amendment will continue to be denied by the Supreme Court majority they created. It is personhood, from conception to natural death, that is the "soul" of the pro-life movement, or at least the Catholic wing of pro-life. Attainment of that soul will continue to elude the movement even with Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh. The Koch Brothers and others who share their dark vision will not be disappointed. What does this mean in terms of "faithful citizenship"? Those who have advocated election of candidates who support the prioritization of Supreme Court justices who will reverse Roe (and more often and more vocally advocated opposition to candidates who did not prioritize this goal) have willingly accepted a deal that they will get only reversal of Roe and will not get personhood. In exchange for this compromised constitutional law the pro-life movement has accepted a Supreme Court majority that has incrementally rolled back constitutional and legal protection of human rights and social justice across the board and effectively begun the restoration of the jurisprudence of Lochner v New York, i.e., that the 14th Amendment enacts Social Darwinism, or as Justice Holmes put it, "Mr. Herbert Spencer's Social Statics." It will be a tragic irony to witness the Constitution twisted to protect what is fundamentally an atheistic doctrine of survival of the fittest and to know that its supporters could only accomplish their goal with the active support of Americans who were motivated by a religious belief in the God-given dignity of each person. Robert Bolt had Thomas More say to the Attorney General of Wales, "It profiteth a man nothing if he gain the world and lose his soul. But for Wales?" The leaders of the pro-life movement certainly lost the movement's soul, and they didn't even get Wales.

Vincent Gaglione
2 months 1 week ago

“Imagine a future….” the editors conclude.

Indeed, the operative word here is “imagine” because pro-lifers have yet to witness any concerted vocal, visible, and political efforts to support legislation that provide for the needs of women in difficult economic, social, and emotional circumstances or for their children. Pro-life Catholics are being seen as “one issue” voters. I have worked with and know too many women, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who consider the USA Catholic position on abortion law to be an attempt at religious hegemony rather than sincere concern for women, their children or the unborn. And recent comments now arise from cynical Catholics that the issue was created and is used to distract attention from internal child sexual abuse problems.

Are child welfare, protection of women, and the provision of care to the disabled, sick and the poor pro-life issues? If so, the pro-lifers for abortion law need to rethink their strategies, which in the short term might provide success, but in the long term will fall victim to inevitable reversal. Imagine indeed, how about making this January’s march for life a dual protest that includes condemnation of the administration’s policy of separating children from parents who enter the USA seeking asylum or agitate against proposed cutbacks and restrictions to SNAP?

Linda Gatter
2 months 1 week ago

Thanks, Vincent. I was composing my contribution while yours was being posted, so have only just seen your contribution. I think we're basically saying the same thing.

Vincent Gaglione
2 months 1 week ago

You’re welcome and thanks for your comments which better add to my points. Your rosaries-outside-of-clinics comment is well-phrased and on point. The accusatory and condemnatory attitudes and remarks of protesters outside abortion clinics towards clients is one of the most cruel aspects of pro-life activism. The arrogance of it reminds me often of the statement in the Gospels that Joseph did not want to submit Mary to public shame when she conceived Christ. We would best learn from Joseph, it seems to me.

JOHN SALVATI
2 months 1 week ago

Amen Vincent!

Linda Gatter
2 months 1 week ago

Like all ethical questions, especially those that involve politics, we will not get anywhere as long as each 'side' is too afraid to see any benefit or truth in the other's positions in case it leads everyone down a slippery slope. As someone who is not in favour of abortion except in very limited circumstances, I'll speak to my friends on the pro-life side: As long as pro-life is tied (actually or at least in people's minds) with also being opposed to sex education and contraception, no one (except those in your own 'choir') are going to listen to you -- so unfortunately you are letting down the very women and babies you could potentially help.

Please don't try to hold me, or anyone else, to a one-sided view. Please listen as well as speak and do so respectfully and sympathetically. And for God's sake, don't stand outside abortion clinics with rosaries! That's a 'red flag to a bull'! Do we really want to help or just feel justified?

I understand that when one feels an abortion is a murder one can't just stand by. But,
please don't campaign for and vote in politicians who are clearly not pro-life in the broad sense just because they will vote the way you want on abortion. My dear friends, that's why the other 'side' won't listen to you and will try to shut you down.

Erin B
2 months 1 week ago

I truly appreciate these comments. I am pleased to see that people are recognizing the pro-life movement as more of a pro-birth movement. People who are truly pro-life care about life from conception to death. You want to be pro-life? Support universal healthcare, welfare programs, education, and access to birth control. You want to eliminate abortion? Start there. It's been proven that abortion rates decline when women have access to healthcare, birth control, and social programs that help single mothers raise their children. Until then, you are not pro-life, you are pro-birth. The pro-life movement does not support women.

To clarify, I am absolutely anti-abortion, but I also believe my religion does not belong in the laws of this nation, as we have a wonderful amendment that allows Freedom of Religion. My religion is not everyone's religion, and forcing everyone to conform to its principles is unconstitutional.

Judith Jordan
1 month 3 weeks ago

Erin B---Your comments are well thought out.

Sister Joan Chittister, Order of St. Benedict, best describes my position.

"I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."

http://gbom.org/quotes/232-sister-joan-chittister-on-abortion

jerry lawler
2 months 1 week ago

I think there are two issues here being discussed as one.

The first is the need to promote social programs and policies to minimize abortion in the future. Everyone, both pro-life and pro-choice would agree with such a noble effort. In our parish we align with Gabriel network to try to provide all the supports that women in crisis pregnancies do not get and which tilt them toward deciding to end their pregnancies.

But no matter how many supports are provided, some women will still chose to end their pregnancies and this is the second issue. Does society have an interest in that case in protecting the unborn.

A parallel would be societies stance toward child abuse. Everyone would agree that we should use public monies to provide whatever social programs are needed to minimize child abuse: parenting classes, anger management, drug programs etc. The tragedy would be that even in such a world, parents will still do it. The question then is, does society have an interest in protecting the vulnerable children who will be abused in spite of the supports. In our society the answer of course is a resounding yes. The result has to be legislation that criminalizes the commission of the practice and even the failure to report it.

It is worth repeating that in the case of a pregnant woman, there are two entities involved, one living, one soon to be living (barring spontaneous abortion). The core question becomes does society have an interest in protecting the soon-to-be-living entity. This is the question that has defied any consensus for half a century.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 1 week ago

Here is where you err.

First of all it is moronic to make a law to punish people who do a particular immoral act if it has already been evidenced everywhere around the world that such laws on this issue always increase the occurence of that act rather than lessen it's happening. This has already been proven with abortion. See my earlier comment which included world health orgs. Research.

Secondly, anyone can abuse children so the law applies the same for all adult citizens. To make a law punishing women who abort, then we are creating a law that is automatically biased as only child bearing women can be jailed for breaking the law.

Lastly, many fetus miscarry and are still born naturally so how can you murder someone who may never have made it to birth for certain to begin with.

Also how do we justify the extreme intrusion that would have to be undergone even by women totally feeling crushed and empty from a real miscarriage that would be necessary procedures to attempt to prove a women aborted instead of miscarried? Such a violation of a woman is traumatic and often permanently so. I can't imagine anything in our laws that comes close to demanding a remotely similar trauma or intimate intrusion on our male citizenry.

So all of the above and many other reasons are why your argument fails to be just. One person's possible sin should not void the privacy protections of innocent women who suffer the traumatic loss of a miscarriage. The court will demand proof of abortion to convict any woman. It is almost impossible to prove a miscarriage was not an abortion and vice versa.

Mike Macrie
2 months 1 week ago

The Pew Research Center came up with the following in a survey on
Catholic Women on Birth Control:
Most American Catholics, including those who go to church on a regular basis, have no moral problem with contraception, the survey found.

Just 8 percent said contraception is morally wrong, with 89 percent saying it was either morally acceptable or not a moral issue at all.

The Catholic Church teaches that artificial contraception, such as condoms and birth control pills, is morally unacceptable.
The Pro Life Movement sides steps this issue. If you have means to pay for Contraception or your Employer provides it, it’s easy to be a Pro Lifer. The people who are going to be effected without financial access to Contraception are the poor and the uneducated minorities. The Catholic Pro Lifers are in a box, sure they have access to Contraception and don’t think it’s morally wrong as per survey. But what about the Poor who the Catholic Pro Lifers can’t help because of Catholic Teaching ? They are left out to dry with unwanted pregnancies and condemned to the cycle of poverty.
Right now Conservative Politicians preach Pro Life to capture the Vote. But wait when the time comes when the Poor and the Uneducated Minorities Birth Rate rises and Taxes the Welfare System how their tune will change.
Abortion is Wrong but Pro Lifers out on the marching lines better add a line with Family Health Support.

Crystal Watson
2 months 1 week ago

The most efficient way to lower the abortion rate is to make reliable contraception cheap and available. The church is against contraception and even though almost 100% of Catholics use it, the church lobbies the government to make contraception more difficult to obtain for every woman in the country, regardless of her religion. I don't believe the church actually cares about "the unborn", I think it cares about trying to control women's choices.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 1 week ago

My Dad, a professor at a Jesuit college, before he retired, told me once that one of the Jesuit priests told him that there exist an old adage said among the hierarchy: Keep the female laity barefoot and pregnant by their husbands and they will be too tired and poor to fight the church leadership on any issue. That was about thirty five years ago. Hmmm

Bev Ceccanti
2 months 1 week ago

I'm gratified to begin to see Jesuits give voice to those who speak up for our unborn children. The screaming hordes of pro-abortion women persistently seek to muzzle the Truth, modify our language, and present false dichotomies for that deliberate purpose. Too many men, half our population, are effectively emasculated to the point they can't speak and/or they actively promote the sacrifice of even their own children on the altar of the abortion industry. One doesn't have to be without sin to acknowledge the Holy Spirit. To deliberately deny the Holy Spirit in the face of obvious Truth is to flirt with, if not commit, the unforgivable Deadliest Sin, The Jesuits are Catholic and most, I hope, believe in Hell.

Bev Ceccanti
2 months 1 week ago

Satan is the father of confusion.

Nora Bolcon
2 months 1 week ago

Then Bev,
You should be worried because you are clearly confused.

None of your comment made sense or was based on any facts or even any reasonable argument. I can't tell if you are happy with the Jesuits or mad at them.

Bev Ceccanti
2 months ago

Can you be more specific please?

Nora Bolcon
2 months ago

No one is pro abortion. There are no screaming hoards saying they love abortion. No one is pro abortion - they are pro-choice and believe that women need to have the right to abortion remain legal.

Some are pro-choice because they believe forcing a woman to use her organs to gestate a fetus for 9 months against her will is unjust since we do not require men to do anything like this with their organs to save other people's lives - such mandatory organ donation of kidneys, or mandated bone marrow transplants, etc. Many are pro-choice because making abortion a crime increases it everywhere in the world. So no hoards of women pushing for abortion out of the sheer love of the act, who love or are pro-abortion as you state.

Women are not cutting off male organs so they are not emasculating them. Women demand justice by demanding same treatment for women as men and Jesus actually mandates this same treatment for all people as a commandment and he is and was male and masculine. You are clearly hung up by sexual stereotypes the validity of which have long ago been disqualified by science.

Then you attack/support the Jesuits?- I really can't tell which one you are trying to do more in your comment.

Erin B
2 months 1 week ago

Men are emasculated in this? They emasculate themselves when they walk away from their responsibilities when they get a woman pregnant. If they would man up and face the consequences of their actions, many women wouldn't feel the need to turn to abortion. I have no sympathy for the men in this debate, since they tend to remove themselves from all responsibility.

Judith Jordan
1 month 3 weeks ago

Bev Ceccanti---It is astounding, frustrating, and, at some minimal level, amusing, that whenever people talk about equality for women, someone always speaks up for men and claims men are being emasculated.

It is only my personal experience, but I find men who support women’s equality, very comfortable and confident about their masculinity. Whereas, the men who oppose equality appear to be rigid, frighten, and scared. They emasculate themselves.

Tina Beattie
2 months 1 week ago

It is encouraging to read Nora Bolcon calling into question some of the claims in this article with arguments rooted in empirical research. The research carried out by the Guttmacher Institute shows that, if people have a genuine concern in reducing the number of abortions rather than simply victimising and blaming women, the answer is in giving women greater moral responsibility for their own reproductive decisions, including access to contraception and legal early abortion. It is in countries where these are denied that abortion rates are highest.

I would also like to know more about those young women in the photograph accompanying this article. I was interested to learn from some of the American exchange students in my university classes in London that their Catholic high schools used to bus them to anti-abortion demos, but never to any other public demonstrations on issues of social justice. The high school girls in that photo look too young to have been confronted with the complex issues that arise in abortion decisions, and I wonder about using their photo to support this misleading article.

American conservative Catholics have enormous wealth and resources to promote their views around the world, fuelling homophobia and promoting the criminalisation of abortion at every opportunity. I think that gives the rest of us some right to enter the debate, and that is why I'm commenting here.

When so-called pro-lifers helped to elect the most dysfunctional president in American history because he cynically appropriated their cause, the American pro-life movement was exposed for what it is - part of the apparatus of a corrupted political and religious culture exercising power by the control of female reproductive bodies. Nowhere in all the vitriol that abounds around abortion in Catholic social media, much of it generated by American men, do I find even a murmur of recognition of the dignity and rights of women, of the effects of poverty and the deprivation of affordable health care on maternal and infant life, nor of the responsibilities of men in relation to unwanted pregnancies. Many of these comments sit alongside comments supporting Trump, the NRA and American militarism. There is a very, very long way to go before the American Catholic Church can persuade the rest of the world that it is in any meaningful sense pro-life or pro-women. Maybe the authors of this article need to be a little more searching and honest in their analysis.

Adrienne Keller
2 months 1 week ago

This article makes it very clear that the misnamed "pro life" movement is simply the anti Roe v. Wade movement. To be pro life - and pro woman - requires a huge paradigm shift from the content of this article.

J Brookbank
2 months 1 week 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.

Susan Arata
2 months 1 week ago

No, no and no. It's been about 65 years since my devout Catholic mom chose Jewish hospitals for labor & delivery (with all 6 children) because she is RH negative and, in the clinch, their docs would preserve her life over that of her newborn. To me, her attitude was and is the "pro-woman" one, because she perceived herself to be valuable, especially to the children she already had at home. Mom did not regard her birthing infant's life as LESS valuable than her own, but she certainly perceived her life AS valuable AS her newborn's, b/c of the impact that the loss of her fully-embodied life would have on her husband and other children.

I have heard my mom's attitude described as "selfish" in many grandiloquent sermons and tracts and readings, all delivered by men. If my mom's attitude is "selfish", then you believe that masochistic, willing victimhood is somehow essentially "womanly."

The language you use in this essay betrays the same old inability to grant the high regard that your phrase "pro-woman" denotes. It follows upon centuries and centuries of denying co-equal value to the lives of men and women. A newborn life is 100% dependent upon the life that he/she is developing within; that ought to have ALWAYS dictated the order of precedence/ valuation, and would have, had the Roman church regarded females as more valuable than as simple "vessels" for others, (preferably BOYS!)

Until you truly understand womanly value as (at least) equal to that of men, you are talking out of an old, old "superiority" bias that probably took root based on male size & muscular-dominance capacity. It's a bias that certainly did NOT come from G-d, but from men. So many of us are sooooooo tired of forked-tongue, high-toned bloviating in essays like this one.

Phillip Stone
2 months ago

Susan Arata - Let us get the medicine straight - Rh positive babies who are not the first conception in an Rh negative mother are in danger of illness or death from the antibodies that the MOTHER"S body produces AGAINST the blood of her child. SHE is not in danger, the Rh positive baby IS, being prone to anaemia, failure to thrive, jaundice and heart failure. Your mother was acting selfishly whether or not she ignorantly believed that Rh incomparability was a threat to HER if your report of her expressed intention is true.
It is none of your business to proclaim that is was not sinful and neither is it mine to declare the opposite.

Catholics and Jews accept that Eve disobeyed Almighty God first and persuaded Adam to do likewise.
Ever after, it was called ADAM"S sin! I have no argument with this bit of moral theology, do you?

Seems feminism wishes to always put the woman in the diminished responsibility role, do you?
Almighty God imposed a terrible punishment on both woman and man, holding both equally capable of moral responsibility and disallowing passing the blame.

Do no murder!
Man, do no murder; woman do no murder; neither procure an assassin to do murder on your behalf.
That means, do not kill infants - period!
The issue is not sexual or social or political.
Total, absolute equality of moral responsibility in all adult humans.

What could be more respectful, what could be more proof of full equality before the moral law?

Sex is irrelevant - worldwide the slaying of babies while in the womb makes the womb the most dangerous place on earth for a human being, little boys and little girls.
Statistically, there is a large preponderance of killed infant females, many women take that as support for banning all abortions.
Do you have any Jesuitical teaching that it is better to kill an old woman than a younger one, or a young woman than an older one?

And last, the tired old shibboleth about independent existence.
The baby needs the womb and a live mother to keep if functioning.
The woman needs family to nurture, feed, protect and attend her.
The family needs a viable community exercising the variety of skills, gifts and capabilities for food, clothing, shelter and defence.
The community needs the resources and services of governance and defence and all the rest of civilisation.
NOT one of us is independently viable in any genuine sense.

Nora Bolcon
2 months ago

Well Phillip,
First of all this discussion is not about demanding women must use their right to obtain an abortion ever. It is about keeping the right to choose and the responsibility legally in the hands of women which you seem to be for, or not against.

And to be snarky back, When you spearhead and get passed laws demanding that men and women must give up kidneys for matched people who will die without them or mandated bone marrow transplants for those who will die without them, we will give you some support for at least being willing to die for others lives against perhaps your own permission. But until you are supporting the use and risk of your own organs and intimate body parts be mandated by law to save others lives, you are just a guy talking about stuff of which he has no personal clue.

Women can die from RH negative pregnancies - my mother was Rh negative and she could be poisoned by the baby, or the baby, more likely, could be killed or vegetablized from such pregnancies gone bad. Basically, when any pregnancy goes into trauma, the mother is also at risk since some mothers die merely from miscarriages at times.

Judith Jordan
1 month 3 weeks ago

Nora, you have been magnificent in explaining and defending various aspects about women and abortion. I should like to add that when abortion is illegal, women get illegal abortions and many die. These women often have other children at home who have now been left without a mother.

Lisa Fullam
1 month 4 weeks ago

Just to toss some worldwide data into the mix...this from Lancet looks at abortion safety, legality and case fatality rates worldwide. Take a look at the numbers, but overall, where abortion is illegal, it is more likely unsafe; where abortion is unsafe, (this is a correlation,) more women die. Also, the poorest nations have the highest rates of unsafe abortion, (and, again, women die.) This is global data, not US, but instructive for those wondering whether legal bans are, in fact, good for women. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)3179….

Sushil YD
1 month 3 weeks ago

Wish you a very 26 January Happy Republic Day 2019 to all of you. January 26 is our Republic Day. We celebrate this day every year. In 1950, our India became a sovereign democratic republic and it had its own constitution.
https://www.26januaryhappyrepublicday.in/

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