just the right amount of death

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Sep 06, 2006

The U.S. Catholic posts one of those exasperating "seeking common ground" articles on abortion. We've all read enough of them to sketch the outline: Our country is stalemated on the issue. Both sides have entrenched positions. The way forward is compromise. Compromise means pro-lifers' conceding legal abortion and pro-choicers' agreeing to adoption and counseling. Given free diapers and day care, girls at Sarah Lawrence will feel no need to abort and, with unfortunate but tolerable exceptions, abortion will become a thing of the past. Check out the (implicit) bad guys and good guys in the paragraphs below:

Politicians and fringe groups can try to change laws and make noise, but if Americans are going to seriously work to end abortion, it will be through the efforts of people like [Sister Adrienne] Kaufmann, who are both prolife and practical. More and more Catholics share her views.

Among them is Heidi Russell, who directs adult faith formation at St. Monica Parish in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. Though she is disappointed with the Democrats' refusal to budge on issues like parental notification and waiting periods, she votes Democratic because she sees the party as being overall more prolife. Reducing poverty and increasing education, not overturning Supreme Court decisions, are the keys to ending abortion, she believes.

Phil Lawler tells me a rule-of-thumb in politics is to find out what your opponents don't want you to do, and then to do as much of it as possible. Now, if you were NARAL or PFAW or FMF or NAF, which route would you love to see pro-lifers take? Exactly. In Western Europe, after all, the social benefits Heidi Russell is calling for are all in place, yet the lack of aggressive pro-life organizations means near-total victory for the abortion providers. In practical terms there is no public debate on abortion, even in France, Italy, or Spain. Conversely, European Catholics who travel in the U.S. can see who's succeeded in rattling cages.

While the folks the U.S. Catholic wants us to see as the good guys are clearly uneasy about abortion, one suspects what they most want is for pro-lifers to keep quiet. The fact is that we're an embarrassment to the social justice community. Julie Loesch Wiley once made a striking comment about the cultural aversion her fellow peace activists felt toward pro-lifers, something to this effect: "My movement friends were unbleached cotton people. Pro-lifers were polyester people." Even though their own principles of social justice demanded protection of innocent human life, Left-liberal revulsion at the prospect of making common cause with uncouth Catholics and evangelicals overmastered their concern for the defenseless. It still does.

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