One Approach to Abortion


After some nice quiet library time last night and two meals with my family in the past twenty hours, let me see if I can come up with something coherent on the approach to abortion. Tony makes some suggestions on a thread below in response to my suggestion that the conservatives originated abortion and that abortion is, in fact, part of the conservative mainstream of the US.

Modern day progressive Catholics as evidenced by the 55 Democratic congresspeople, are like Charlie Brown.

Not so fast. I don’t think those 55 representatives are all progressives. They are all Democrats. But being a Democrat does not make one a liberal or a progressive by definition, no matter what Rush tells you on the car radio.

Every time a conservative sets the abortion “football” down, many of your compatriots are willing to run up and kick it.

I think it’s also important to remember that US politics, though dominated by two over-sized political parties, is not an either/or proposition. I’ve been involved in Democratic politics as a lark during one election year, otherwise, I’ve been a proud independent. I’d be very cautious in true progressive circles to assume they’re all Dems. My take is that the Dems are too danged conservative for my taste.

Progressives among the feds? Maybe Kucinich before his abortion flip-flop. Maybe Feingold for voting against the Iraq War. But Pelosi? Either Clinton? Give me a break. They’re mostly mainstream politicans positioning themselves to win elections and maintain power. Real progressives wouldn’t give a hoot. But as you might suspect, I don’t think there are any real progressives involved in American politics above the state level–and even there, they’re rare. For the record, they’re all American citizens, so more accurately, even people we disagree with are our “compatriots.”

If you disagree with abortion on demand, step up to the plate, and denounce it loudly. The Holy Father does. If you don’t, you risk getting tarred with the same brush.

Actually, in St Blog’s you’re in danger of getting tarred if you don’t brush your teeth in the Right way. I’ve talked a friend out of an abortion. My wife and I have been supporters of Birthright. We adopted. We pray. We make no bones about our opposition to abortion anywhere or to anyone. But we don’t need to live in an echo chamber to be an “authentic” pro-life witness. And let me point out to my St Blog friends listening in that Mark 9:38-40 is a bona fide part of the Bible.

I have seen “Catholics for a Free Choice” (an oxymoron if I ever heard one), but I have yet to hear about “Democrats for Life” (I’m sure there is such a thing out there, but I’ve never heard of it.)

Well, Feminists for Life have been around for a very long time. I don’t have direct experience with them, but I hear good things. I really don’t care how the Democrats market their squishiness on legal abortion. I vote individuals, not parties.

For the record, I do think that much of the mainstream Right-to-Life movement has dried up. A real lack of creative ideas, especially the bishops. Sitting on one’s hands hoping the prez will March for Life and that changes in law will actually manage to change hearts strikes me as very fatalistic. In a twisted way, the maintenance of legalized abortion maintains a lot of people on both sides of the issue. Somehow, I don’t think South Dakota RTL has suddenly shifted its attention onto human trafficking or the Iraq War.

And at the risk of babbling too much on that point, that’s enough for today.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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