Abortion/Right-to-Life: NOT a women’s rights issue

For years I have been saying that abortion/right-to-life is the social justice issue of our day, the civil-rights issue, the human rights issue.

Liberals shove the unborn to the back of the bus while nattering about all manner of other “social justice” issues.  The create a fog of other admittedly pressing concerns which obfuscates the root cause.

The great lie successfully foisted on us over the last few decades is that abortion and “choice”, etc., are women’s rights issues rather than human rights issues.

The right to be born is the justice issue.  If this one isn’t in order, then the other social justice causes will be disordered.

Over at Catholic Vote I saw a good piece by Tom Hoopes, called “We Are the Civil Rights Movement Now”.  He starts with “Consider the last full week in January as a week-long statement on civil rights in America.”  Then, I think, he buries the lead.  But he get back to it at the end:

Today, those of us who believe in the promissory note of the Declaration of Independence are still waiting. We are waiting for the self-proclaimed champions of civil rights to admit that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life.”

Those words don’t exclude anybody — not Native American Indians, not Mexicans, not African-Americans … and not the brothers and sisters, sons and daughters,  we see only through ultrasound windows.

The pro-lifers who flood Washington on the Friday will see the inauguration in the right perspective — one step forward and two steps back in a civil rights battle that is far, far from over.

And we are humbled and a little frightened to see that we who refuse to ignore the right to life are the real civil rights movement now.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. dominic1955 says:

    Well, I reckon we need to tell that to all the folks who think the special “rights” of folks with a predilection for deviant sex acts is the “civil rights movement” par excellence. We might also want to call to task those sectarians (like some of the women who wear clerical attire of The Episcopal Organization) who promote activities in their buildings in which two men or two women put rings on their left hands and think of abortion as some sort of pseudo-sacramental thing for a woman to go through.

  2. wmeyer says:

    Peter Kreeft has ably made a purely logical case for the default position on abortion. Being a logic guy, I like the presentation. Given two variables, each with two states, there are four logical possibilities. Let the two variables be a) whether the baby is human, and b) whether you know it. Then the cases are these:
    – not human, and you know it — abortion OK
    – not human, and you do not know — abortion is criminal negligence
    – human and you know it — abortion is murder
    – human, and you do not know it — abortion is manslaughter
    So for those with no faith, three of the four cases are opposed to the act of abortion. Only the fourth case would permit it.

    However, I wonder how many of the pro-abortion crowd would be persuaded by the logic. And how many may already be in denial.

  3. pmullane says:

    Prediction: when the abortion issue is settled in favour of the unborn, and all reasonable people agree that murdering a baby in the womb is abhorrant, progressivist ‘liberals’ will claim that they stood for the ‘civil rights’ of the ‘little guy’ all along, and were raged against by ‘conservatives’. Abortion will join slavery and segregation as things that liberals will claim conservatives want to return to.

  4. catholicmidwest says:

    Women are not just “short men” either. They’ve been encouraged to mimic men in this culture, but they’re not men and never will be. On the other hand, men are not women either. People confuse ability with gender all the time. There are things that women can do by virtue of their intelligence and talent that are as good as a man can do, and vice versa. BUT there are also things that women can do that men cannot by virtue of their gender, [… by virtue of their sex, not gender…] and vice versa.

  5. mschu528 says:

    Remember that in the pagan Roman Empire, child sacrifice was fairly common. It was the Christians who finally put an end to the wicked practice. As Tertullian wrote in his Apologeticus:

    Children were openly sacrificed in Africa to Saturn as lately as the proconsulship of Tiberius…. It is not only Christians, you see, who despise you; for all that you do there is neither any crime thoroughly and abidingly eradicated, nor does any of your gods reform his ways. When Saturn did not spare his own children, he was not likely to spare the children of others; whom indeed the very parents themselves were in the habit of offering, gladly responding to the call which was made on them…. Why, even in that most religious city of the pious descendants of Æneas, there is a certain Jupiter whom in their games they lave with human blood…. How many, think you, of those crowding around and gaping for Christian blood,— how many even of your rulers, notable for their justice to you and for their severe measures against us, may I charge in their own consciences with the sin of putting their offspring to death? …. In our case, murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fœtus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to the birth. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in its seed.

    Obama will be crowned Caesar. Children are already being sacrificed to idols. The USA is going on the same path as the Roman Republic. As Edmund Burke warned, “Those who do not know history are destined to repeat it.”

  6. Legisperitus says:

    pmullane: I believe you are right.

    mschu528: If we must repeat history, let us hope American civilization will likewise save itself someday by becoming Catholic.

  7. wmeyer says:

    As Edmund Burke warned, “Those who do not know history are destined to repeat it.”

    I have previously understood that to be Santayana’s comment; I see now that he and Burke are quoted saying much the same. Edmund Burke’s worthy comment also applies: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

  8. The Masked Chicken says:

    I have the perfect slogan:

    No Civil Rights for a Civil Wrong.


    Abortion: Civil Right the Civil Wrong.

    The Chicken

  9. mschu528 says:


    Yes, the atheist Santayana stole the quote from Burke. Mr Burke also wrote: “Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference.” He was a very wise man.


    Yes, hopefully. The immediate question though is: Do we have the fortitude to remain faithful until that time comes, even if that means tremendous suffering? Rome was not converted by well-wishing; it was converted by the courageous witness of countless martyrs who refused to contradict the True Faith. We must pray for the grace to imitate them.

  10. The Masked Chicken says:

    “He was a very wise man.” Someone is gonna hit me, but it has to be said: if he were a truly wise man, he would have converted to Catholicism :)

    The Chicken

  11. anilwang says:

    Pro-abortionists don’t actually believe the claim that the fetus is actually just a bunch of tissues that totally depend on the mother like an appendix. If they did, then they’d pass legislation that would prevent abortions passed the point of viability and ask for laws that allowed for birth to be induced at the point of viability. But pro-abortionists won’t won’t allow even an inch to be lost in the abortion fight.

    Case in point, a photographer caught a picture of a 21 month old baby grabbing the finger of the doctor performing the prenatal surgery:
    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Armas
    * http://www.snopes.com/photos/medical/thehand.asp

    It was an innocent enough photo, but there was a media uproar, the doctor denied it happened, the photographer lost his job, and Life magazine wanted to purchase the picture to kill it. The photographer refused and instead chose to release the photo widely. Life posted a faked photo afterwords that makes it look like the doctor positioned the child’s hands “for fun”. The heavy handed approach from the media was uncalled for. Any honest person would have no problems believing the photos are legitimate since 21 weeks is close to the time some premature babies, which anyone can see, in their local hospital are born and survive. But even an obvious truth must not be made common knowledge since it pushes back the pro-abortionist agenda.

    BTW FETUS actually means “child” in Latin, and it is called such because the pre-born child actually looks like a child and has all the organs a child does (albeit less developed). So hiding behind a medical term actually works against pro-abortionists they they are admitting that pre-born humans are actually children.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    Everyone is getting civil rights except our children. Abortion, child abuse, lowering the age of consent are all connected.

    As to America becoming Catholic, Legisperitus, even our Pope in his famous German interview said the future of the Church was small isolated communities in a sea of unbelief. The Roman Empire fell and then Christianity grew, slowly, but surely

  13. Legisperitus says:

    Supertradmum: Exactly. I’d never see it happening this century.

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