Forty-nine years and sixty million preborn lives later, the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade should be recognized for the moral and legal calamity that it was. But there remains another, less commonly discussed dimension to this decision, namely, the catastrophic moral and spiritual failure of men—especially Christian men—who have stood on the sidelines for so long.
Legalized abortion, we know, rests on an intricate web of lies that disfigure our vision of the human person and distort the relationship between the sexes. Instead of helpmates united in the service of one another and of society, women and men are now viewed as competitors freed from key obligations and responsibilities. In the name of choice, we consent to a line of thinking that turns mothers and fathers into moral monsters, violently destroying the one relationship—the relationship between a parent and their vulnerable child—that ought to be most sacred. Our offspring must die, we tell ourselves, so that we can truly live.
This state of affairs is quite amenable to the selfish men who dominate our present society. Predictably, it was an all-male Court which gave us Roe, and it is primarily men who have perpetrated the culture of death in this nation, whether it be through the courts, the White House, Hollywood, the media, or the porn industry. Why? Because in our biological constitution, we men realize that a path of radical irresponsibility lies constantly open before us. In our fallen nature, we find ourselves to be capable of profound self-centeredness, and in this context, abortion appears as the guarantor of our freedom to enjoy relationships without commitment and sex without consequences.
Perhaps because of the widespread failures of men, the tired and misandrist tropes of the abortion lobby have become commonplace. “No uterus, no opinion,” they condescendingly inform us, all the while apparently oblivious to the fact that it is their perverse worldview which gave rise to the society of weak men which they so despise. Out of a fear of “toxic masculinity,” they perpetuate a system in which something far more insidious begins to ferment.
In reality, what the abortion lobby and their allies seek is innocuous masculinity. A masculinity that fails to assert itself and tacitly despises itself. A masculinity that extols its own self-indulgence, fears its own fertility, and perpetuates a pathetic, pornified culture solely concerned with empowering selfish adults to pursue whatever pleasures they like without risk of consequences. It is a hideous inversion of humanity, one which could only have sprung from a diabolical mind. Yet it is an inversion that has been heralded as the dawn of a new era by the Plutocratic political and cultural elites who wrongly believe they own this nation.
Despite immense social pressures, however, man realizes in his heart of hearts that his fulfillment can only be found in cleaving himself to the service of another person (see Matthew 19:5). In the final analysis, we seek something more than the shallow picture of masculinity that our culture offers us. This may frighten our technocratic elites, and so it should, but none so much as the monster of masculinity that they have created. In the words of Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, “If you think tough men are dangerous, wait until you see what weak men are capable of.”
Prefiguring this sentiment, Pope Pius X sensed, in 1908, something of the spiritual battle that would characterize our present age. “In our days more than ever,” he noted on the occasion of the Beatification of St. Joan of Arc, “the main strength of evil men is the cowardice and weakness of those who are good, and all the backbone of the kingdom of Satan lies in the weakness of Christians.”
Just as Adam failed to protect his spouse from the snares of the serpent, so in our day men have failed in their moral duties. The result is a civilization brought to its knees, leaving tens-of-millions of broken homes and bodies in its wake. Whether he knows it or not, however, man longs for responsibility, commitment, self-sacrifice. Abortion stands as the beating heart, the arch-sacrament of a post-Christian worldview that seeks to deny him this dignity and reduce him to a mere beast.
Abortion is, moreover, uniquely situated among social issues to leave men feeling emasculated and powerless. We see this bloody behemoth, we see how terrible it is, and yet we sense that we can’t do anything about it. All of our masculine instincts tell us to fight, but passively holding a sign outside a clinic feels feminine and insufficient. We wish we could do something more, but we sense that we can’t, and so we retreat into ourselves. This, of course, is what the Evil One desires most, for he well knows (and fears) the spiritual power that men possess when they work together for the Good.
This brings us to our central point: Men cannot afford to remain spiritually idle in the Supreme Court’s ongoing deliberations in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. Of the roughly 65 million pro-life male adults in America, only a tiny fraction is actively involved in the pro-life effort. We must step up our game as men, and we should cheerfully ignore the petty abuse and insults that will come our way as a result.
For the first time in decades, the real prospect exists of Roe being overturned. We cannot be complacent in this process, knowing as we do that the spiritual assaults against the six conservative Justices will be constant and intense. A situation that looks promising on the human level may easily be undone through the malign influence of the principalities and the powers which still rule this world. The reasons for Roe to stay are legion, and we should have little doubt that all the battalions of Hell will be unleashed in one final bid to retain the status quo.
We live in a perverse generation, one guilty of betraying its women, castrating its men, and devising ever more ingenious and “safe” ways to kill its offspring. We must resist this evil. In the six months between now and the Court’s determination, it is incumbent on all of us—men no less than women—to play our part in the spiritual battle engulfing this nation. For the next six months, we must pray daily and fast often with the explicit intention that the Supreme Court justices be given the courage they need to face the spiritual onslaught that awaits them.
Together, by the grace of God, we will prevent Roe from reaching its fiftieth anniversary.
[Photo Credit: Olivia Harris/Reuters]