Challenges for the Pro-Life Movement

There are few things among Catholic social circles that causes as much discussion as the issue of abortion.  Last year, President Obama’s acceptance to be the commencement speaker of the graduation ceremony of Notre Dame re-flamed the fires of the issue.  So, at the risk of being controversial, I decided it was time for a little perspective.

At the time, I was reading the February 2009 issue of “America” Magazine which focused on the development of the pro-life movement.  I should be clear on the outset that it does not question the Church’s teaching on the matter; rather, it looks at the development of the movement and its argument.  It asks questions like, “How do we help society deal with abortion in a moral way?”  “Does the ’seamless garment’ of a consistent ethic of life ‘water down’ the pro-life message?”  “How has the pro-life movement tied itself to political parties and agendas – if it has at all?”  And “what strategies should be used concerns Obama’s stance on abortion?”

Linked is a more in depth discussion with James Kelly, professor emeritus of sociology at Fordham University in New York and a member of the University Faculty for Life as heard on the Podcast of America Magazine.

To summarize, I should state that Mr. Kelly does not speak of the issue of abortion nearly as much as he does the movement that advances the issue.  In a nutshell, he suggests that the movement must return to its roots if it is ever to sustain itself.  It means that it must ask itself, “what kind of a movement is it?”  Is it more like the movement for civil rights or that of non-violence?  As for the rest, I will leave it to you to listen in.

Download:  “The Radical Roots of the Pro-Life Movement” (32 minutes)

Credits:  “The Radical Roots of the Pro-Life Movement”.  America Magazine Podcast.  February 16, 2009.


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