Catholics Working to Make “Pro-Life” Less of an Oxymoron

It’s been a busy seven days in abortion-related news, even in light of the recent 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. A new abortion clinic is preparing to open in the space previously occupied by Dr. George Tiller’s clinic. Arizona state Rep. Cathrynn Brown introduced a bill that would charge pregnant rape survivors that terminated their pregnancies with “tampering with evidence.” Reliably conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat tried to make the case that focusing on pregnant women was “too simplistic” when talking about abortion. And a group of Catholic nuns, priests, and scholars spoke out about the need for Catholics that call themselves “pro-life” to support gun control.

While the Wichita news is encouraging, the Douthat op-ed unsurprising, and the Arizona news infuriating—can someone explain just why politicians in that state hate women so much?—it’s this last item that really jumped out in a crowded week. Frankly, I’m impressed that a number of high-profile Catholics are finally making it plain that if you claim to care about one aspect of life, you should logically care about all aspects.

After all, if you just care about life insofar as it exists in a woman’s uterus, that’s a pretty limited view. And that’s also not really being “pro-life”—it’s more accurately being “pro-fetus,” or “pro-birth.” Which is a very limited viewpoint, as it ignores what happens to people after they are born and able to live independently in the world. [Read more...]