What Do We Prefer?
Do we prefer abortion? That’s the question we should be asking right now as Americans.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recoils when asked about her position on abortion. If the reporter who asks her is a man, she tends to try to put him in his place by pointing out that she is a mother and a grandmother. Recently, she insisted that she is “a very Catholic person” and believes in “a woman’s right to choose.” First of all, her bishop has had something to say of late about that “very Catholic” description. And the Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear on the evil of abortion. So is Pope Francis. It’s like hiring a hitman to take out your child, as he memorably put it.
Supporting the Miracle of Life
The fact of the matter is, the Catholic Church throughout the country has the utmost compassion for women — some dioceses run pregnancy care centers, while others offer a whole host of resources for not only pregnant women but women, children, and entire families. To be a very Catholic person is to not be defensive and insistent on expanding abortion, but to promote and support the miracle of life in all its forms.
As Pope John Paul II wrote to women who’d had abortions in “The Gospel of Life”:
The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly, what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope.
A National Mess
Let’s consider what the use of abortion as a form of backup birth control has done to our country. We are violent; we do not look at human beings as unique creations made with purpose and plan.
Our current national mess has to do with abortion, and until we confront that, I fear there will be more violence and more rage no matter how many bills are passed. In New York state, some bills are even actively making things worse, targeting pro-life pregnancy support centers.
The pro-life movement is not about judgment. We are about help and hope. To target pro-life centers by law and arson, activists — and terrorists — are making it more difficult for a mother to choose life for her baby. Nancy Pelosi and others say they are about choice. What about the choice to be a mother? What about the other heroic choice of choosing adoption over abortion?
These choices for life take tremendous courage and should be universally supported, whatever one’s view of Roe. If you are pro-choice, please stand in condemnation of violence and disruptions at pregnancy centers and churches. If you are pro-choice, please consider supporting places where life is embraced and abortion isn’t the predominant option.
Planned Parenthood isn’t going away anytime soon. In many ways, I wish pro-life pregnancy centers were about to put it out of business. I’ve been to many pro-life women’s care centers in the United States, and they tend to be filled with love and care for mothers and their children. If you ever get the chance to know the Sisters of Life, a religious order dedicated to promoting motherhood and families, you will see what I’m talking about. Surely there is room in America for that approach.
A declaration of independence from Roe will make way for a new freedom for life in a country where there are all too many pressures and excuses for death — unless we prefer abortion.
Kathryn Jean Lopez is senior fellow at the National Review Institute, editor-at-large of National Review magazine and author of the new book A Year With the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living. She is also chair of Cardinal Dolan’s pro-life commission in New York. She can be contacted at [email protected].