The Problem with Pro-life Politics

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could somehow elect a pro-life president, and then obtain enough votes on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade? What would happen if we could elect enough pro-life congressmen to outlaw abortion? I tell you, that is not a viable solution. You can’t solve the problem of grave unrepentant sin with politics.

Now certainly every nation should have just laws, including strong laws against abortion. But if the people are unjust, the nations is unjust, regardless of the laws. And if the people are filled with unrepentant grave sexual sins, the nation will have the sins of contraception, abortifacient contraception, and abortion, even if these things are illegal.

Recall that when the U.S. outlawed alcohol, during Prohibition, the nation continued to produce, distribute, and consume alcohol illegally. There was massive support for drinking alcohol in the culture, despite the majority vote for the Constitutional Amendment against alcohol.

And at this point in our cultural decline, if abortion were outlawed, the same thing would happen. There would be massive support in the culture for a rejection of such a law or amendment — so it would not pass in the first place. But supposing it did pass, somehow, the culture would still reject it. And then abortion would occur illegally, and in massive numbers still. Hospitals would perform abortions, with the claim that it was really some other procedure that was done. Doctors would prescribe abortifacients, with the false claim that it was to treat some disorder in a woman who wasn’t pregnant. Clinics would swear that they were only providing non-abortion related healthcare, while secretly performing abortions. And the mass media would continue to rant against the law or amendment, until it was overturned.

There is no solution to the abortion problem in pro-life politics. We should still strive to elect pro-life politicians, to prepare for the eventual rejection of abortion by the culture. But the pro-life battle is absolutely not a political fight. It is a battle for the hearts and minds of the people. And of necessity, for success in pro-life politics, we must change the culture itself, as well as hearts and minds. For if we convince a majority of voters to vote against abortion, to vote for pro-life politicians, laws, and amendments, we will still lose unless the culture is conquered too.

Modern culture is a strange and powerful force. It has vast influence, especially over persons who have little or no faith, and who rarely if ever pray. The culture can prevent laws from passing and candidates from being elected, even if, at the outset, a majority of voters support the law or candidate. Why does this happen? Unrepentant grave sin.

Unless the people change, and repent from their grave sexual sins, there will be no end to abortion, or abortifacient contraception, or mere contraception. Abortion and contraception exist to support a narcissistic culture that promotes sex without ethics, that is to say, sex without any responsibility. Procreation interferes with this attitude of sex only for enjoyment, and so our hedonistic culture strongly supports abortion and contraception.

If you wish to fight against abortion, you should learn, promote, and teach sexual ethics; you should fight the culture of sexual sins and self-centered hedonism. The pure unadulterated teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on morality, especially as it applies to sexuality, is the sole effective remedy for the grave sins of abortion and contraception.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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1 Response to The Problem with Pro-life Politics

  1. John Platts says:

    Some of the women who are seeking abortions in the United States are only willing to have an abortion if it is legal and easily available, and some of the women who have had abortions in the United States have openly admitted that they would not have sought an abortion if it was not legal. While I do agree that illegal abortions might be performed if abortion is outlawed in the United States, I believe that outlawing abortion will reduce the overall demand for abortion since some of the women who are willing to seek a legal abortion are unwilling to seek an illegal abortion.

    Even though the majority of abortions involve pregnancies that are the result of grave sexual sins, there are also cases where pregnancies that are the result of morally licit natural marital relations are ended through direct abortion. Reasons why married women would want to end a pregnancy arising from morally licit sexual relations through direct abortion include a danger to the life or health of the mother, severe fetal abnormalities, changes in financial circumstances, and failing marriages. These reasons can never justify direct abortion, even when the pregnancy is not the result of a morally illicit sexual act, because direct abortion is always intrinsically evil.

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