I noticed the Republicans pulled their abortion bill during this week’s March For Life activities. I scanned through a few headlines at Pewsitter and the usual red-blood sites.

Republicans Surrender to Infanticide

Not quite. The pro-life politicos do the cause no credit by overstating the case. An infant is a born human. A fetus at twenty weeks’ gestation cannot live outside the womb and is not an infant. “Infant” raises blood pressure–and money–the way “fetus” cannot. Sometimes the politics is less about civil rights for the vulnerable and more about gathering material resources.

Late-term abortions are a fraction of the problem. I can imagine a host of reasons why they happen. Medical complications later in a pregnancy. Coercion from “loved” ones. Denial from the pregnant mom. Deeply conflicted feelings about a pregnancy. I can think of few situations in which people take a casual approach to having an abortion after having carried a child for more than half a pregnancy.

This bill wouldn’t address most abortions: before the fetus has brain activity and long before people notice a pregnancy.

I’m convinced abortions would decrease if the reasons for having them disappeared. That effort is as much a pro-life effort as the well-monied efforts to criminalize what has been legal for two generations. But many people have long surrendered that effort–the one truly worth our focus … and money.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Surrender?

  1. David D. says:

    “I’m convinced abortions would decrease if the reasons for having them disappeared.”

    Hard to argue with that logic but I assume you mean something along the lines of so-called “root causes” rather than a mother’s decision to terminate an unwanted pregnancy which is, at least in this country, the direct cause of substantially all abortions. Good luck with that.

    • Jenny2 says:

      The question is, *why* is the pregnancy unwanted? And that often does spring from root causes, ranging from the USA’s lack of commitment to full and consistent sex education and effective contraception, to a stuttering economy, to the barbaric and superstitious attitudes towards physical or mental difference (and lack of public support for same) still found in even “progressive” countries, to the severe power imbalance between men and women, and many more.

      Of course, correcting that would involve radical change across around 80% of existing economic, employment, cultural and social structures, not to mention a fair amount of public money…. Oh hell. Tell you what, keep on building those abortion clinics. It’s far easier (and the taxpayers will thank you).

  2. Todd says:

    I’ll have better luck than others will with the GOP. Their nominees and their president decided Roe v Wade. And they’ve been raising money on it ever since.

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