The Abortion Regime Will End Without the Help of the Catholic Political Left

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No one knows if the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade. 

No one knows if they are going to roll it back even a smidge. Not Leonard Leo. Not Robby George. Not even Clarence Thomas knows. 

Personally, I don’t really trust most of the Justices. I certainly don’t trust the Chief Justice. 

But I do know that if Roe is overturned, if abortion is sent back to the states where it belongs, sour grapes are on the way, heaping helpings of sour grapes when the Supreme Court overturns the abortion regime at the federal level. 

People jumped for joy at the Supreme Court a few weeks ago at the prospect that Roe will go. Largely absent from the festivities were the sourpusses of the Catholic political Left. I couldn’t stop thinking about the Catholic Left who exited the pro-life ranks and how sad it will be for them that they’ll be absent if this great victory comes. 

Over the years, they’ve left in a huff because the pro-life movement recognized political and judicial reality and made common cause with, gasp, Republicans! The Democrats made it clear years ago that they want more and more dead babies and anyone who wants fewer dead babies isn’t welcome in their ranks. And the Republicans, as imperfect as they are, welcomed pro-lifers and the pro-life issue into their ranks. It didn’t have to be this way, but that’s the way it is. 

The Catholic political Left says we cannot work with Republicans because two terrorists were waterboarded a few times back in the Bush Administration. They say pro-lifers cannot work with Republicans because of the guns, the minimum wage, Head Start, illegal immigration, the whole raft of Democrat policy desires. Basically, pro-lifers cannot work with Republicans because they are not Democrats.  

There was a modicum of fanfare a few years ago when two political Lefties—Matthew Tyson and Rebecca Bratten Weiss—started what they called The New Pro-Life Movement. The name itself shows how bereft they were for ideas. A few days before Trump was elected in 2016, podcaster Timothy Putnam had them on his show. Putnam said overturning Roe would be “nothing more than a symbolic victory.” It is disheartening to note that Putnam had headed the pro-life office in his Oklahoma diocese. It is as if he had no understanding of the dynamics around the issue of abortion. 

Tyson explained, “We do not exist to create a special pro-life movement for the left. We exist because over the last few decades, the mainstream, traditional pro-life movement has been reduced to little more than a campaign strategy for the American right-wing with a vision so narrow and exclusive that it’s amazing any of its followers can see anything at all. It is, at best, a pro-birth movement more concerned with putting Republicans in office than actually addressing the reasons a woman might feel compelled to seek an abortion in the first place.”

Tyson ignores the great strides that pro-lifers have made over these past 49 years since abortion was imposed by the Supreme Court. Chief among these victories is keeping the issue on the boil. In Europe, the issue is largely dead. Pro-lifers there have not been able to keep it salient. Here in America, there is no issue more controversial than abortion. That alone is a great victory. This has not happened by accident. It has happened because of the pro-life movement. 

In these 49 years, hundreds of pro-life laws have been passed in the states that have resulted in hundreds of abortion clinics closing. This has resulted in saving nearly one million lives every year. The Catholic political Left cannot consider this “narrow and exclusive” and only about electing Republicans. 

Fifty percent of Americans now self-proclaim that they are pro-life rather than pro-choice. Most Americans now say most abortions should be illegal. This did not happen in a vacuum. It happened because of pro-lifers and sadly without the assistance of the Catholic political Left. All of this has prepared the ground for Roe to be overturned. 

And when Roe is overturned—it may be this time or another—we must feel sorry for these spoilsports that they could not be with us when so much changes. I hesitate to say “everything changes” because we know everything will not change. Abortions will still be carried out in some states and the battle will shift to the 50 states. And the pro-life movement will be there as we have been these past 49+ years. 

I have an image of my daughters Lucy (16) and Gigi (13) jumping for joy in front of the Supreme Court a few weeks ago. I will remember it always. And even if Roe is upheld, their joy is not wasted because they were jumping with joy over the defense of unborn babies and in solidarity with millions of others who believe the same way. And we know one day that life will win. 

I feel sorry that the Catholic political Left could not have been jumping for joy that day instead of grumbling that nothing will change no matter what. We have come this far without them. And we will take it the rest of the way.

[Image Credit: Unsplash]

By

Austin Ruse is a contributing editor to Crisis Magazine. His latest book, Under Siege: No Finer Time to be a Faithful Catholic, is now available from Crisis Publications.

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