Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Friday, January 22, 2016

March for Life and Evangelical Christians

On this anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, pro-life advocates are not to be deterred by the prediction of two feet of snow this weekend. This interesting piece in today's Washington Post discusses a new addition to the annual March for Life: pro-life evangelicals. The article provides a history of the division between pro-life Catholics and evangelicals rooted in anti-Catholicism and a resistance to expanding the pro-life message to include other social justice issues. The author describes the division as "theological, cultural, and political." The article posits that evangelicals have changed course - joining in the march - due to the striking public indifference to the Planned Parenthood videos. Here is an excerpt:

"The evangelical community needs to recognize what the Catholic community has been doing for four decades. . . . It's critical for evangelicals to wake up to that commitment," [Focus on the Family President Jim] Daly said…. "It's unfortunate it's taken 40 years for us to do that."

Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore — who also co-sponsored the new effort — said the reaction to the videos was "a sobering moment" for the antiabortion movement.

For myself, I have often thought that the true pro-life position is not limited to the abortion question, but properly fits within the idea of dignity from conception to natural death – necessarily calling on us to care about these lives after birth as well as before. As the USCCB puts it, "The life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition." While connecting a pro-life stance to a greater cause of social justice may in one sense expand the reaches of the pro-life movement, this piece suggests it may contract it. In any event, the piece is worth a read.


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