By Sophie Trist
In a recent article in the National Catholic Reporter, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) expressed her support for reproductive justice not in spite of, but because of, her Catholic faith, urging other Catholics to do the same. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s take on reproductive justice weaves reproductive issues with social justice and consists of four core principles: the right to have a child, the right not to have a child, the right to nurture children in a safe and healthy environment, and the right to bodily autonomy and gender expression. Ocasio-Cortez then contends that her version of reproductive justice overlaps with Catholic social teaching’s stress on a preferential option for the poor and marginalized, access to education and healthcare, and the right to human dignity and a life free from violence. Front and center in Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s ideas is the right to terminate pregnancies. Because abortion is an essential part of reproductive justice, it can never be squared with Catholic social teaching. In fact, by supporting the violence of abortion and urging other Catholics to do likewise, Ocasio-Cortez is encouraging her fellow Catholics to commit a grave moral sin and leading others to scandal.
The right not to have a child is absent in Scripture. No Catholic text even hints at such a right. There is, of course, the choice not to have children by abstaining from sexual intercourse or using natural family planning methods to eliminate or reduce the chances of getting pregnant, but pregnancy is a natural potential consequence of sexual activity.
by Diane R. Pagen
Democrats For Life of America has invited me to explain how I came to know of Democrats for Life and why I will go to the conference in Denver in 2018. I don’t write to evoke sadness, but to motivate you to act. I want you to attend the Democrats for Life conference in Denver. This is really a matter of life and death; despite the importance of creating a more compassionate and just system, Americans all over are losing their will to fight, for one, and I think coming together with people who are still willing to talk is vital now. Despair isn’t going to get us anywhere. While we despair, the Democratic Party is teaching young people that the death penalty is always wrong but that abortion is always right. Single parents are told that someone will fight for them to have “better paying jobs” while we know that in the current economy, wages that sustain life are less and less possible. No matter your religion, political party, or background, there is no way to justify the termination of a million pregnancies a year in the modern United States. The Democratic Party justifies abortion while it actively ignores the poverty that leads to many abortions. The Party no longer shapes its agenda through logic, humanity and justice.
The Democratic Party Platform is an agenda of economic exploitation of the poor, regression in matters of children’s rights and racial discrimination. If they read this, they will claim I am a radical, a wacko; they will act offended by my comments and restate that they are the Party that cares about children, especially poor children and children of color. Don’t believe it. I have been an Independent, a Democrat, and a Republican all, trying to find the party that best represents my views. My only non-negotiables in choosing a Party, whether it be a party with a little “p” or a big “p” is that nobody gets hurt. I officially changed my party to Republican last year, when I was horrified that the DNC was aiding one candidate, Clinton, over Sanders. At the time, it had not been proven, but there were a lot of clues. Now it has been confirmed, and my disgust with the elite Democrats has been cemented, aided by the fact that neither Ms. Wasserman Schultz, nor Ms. Clinton, nor Ms. Brazile have atoned. In fact, Ms. Brazile opted for saving her own skin, and throwing Wasserman Shultz and Secretary Clinton under the bus. The only reason I am changing my party back to the Democratic Party is because of Democrats for Life. Continue reading
****The author is a sixteen-year-old sophomore who attends Bishop O’Connell High School in Falls Church, Virginia
The March for Life was an amazing experience, just as it was last year. It really builds up one’s confidence to be part of something so big and inspirational. My day began at 6 a.m. when I woke up to get ready. I left at 7 with my mom to meet up with my junior friend at O’Connell High School, where we also saw some others walking inside to meet everyone going on the bus – for example, my freshman friend Sarah. My friend Erin had gotten dropped off, and we left for D.C.
We went to Old Ebbitt Grill, where breakfast was served in a private room. Tammy Ruiz gave a presentation about perinatal hospice. Perinatal hospice is a preparation of parents who choose life for their babies with life-threatening conditions that give them less than a day or an hour to live. It made me feel even more supportive of the Pro-life Movement to find out that such a thing existed.
by Lois Kerschen
One thing we hear fairly often from pro-life Democrats is that they are sympathetic to the work of our organization, but they do not want to go public with their pro-life beliefs because of possible repercussions (I’m not talking about politicians here – that’s a whole ‘nother discussion).
An aunt of mine once recommended that I remove my pro-life Democrat bumper sticker from my car because “People might not invite you to lunch.” So, if you don’t want to miss lunch with your friends and colleagues who might consider you to be some kind of religious fanatic if you express pro-life views, there are other ways you can achieve the goals of DFLA and of your own convictions without looking radical but instead like a really caring, innovative person who knows how to solve problems in a way that is acceptable to all.
by Diane R. Pagen, LMSW
Do you think that abortion is a joyful and liberating experience, akin to a yoga retreat? This is what abortion rights activists often sound like they are telling us to think. Must you think so, in order to preserve the right to have one? This is the impression I get from celebrities who fancy themselves women’s rights activists. Celebrities, though their opinions are no more informed (and maybe even less informed) than the average person, get media coverage for every statement that they make about any controversial public issue, including one as important and contentious as abortion.
Sometimes those statements are reckless. An example is the writer/actress Lena Dunham, who earlier this year got a few days of media coverage by stating that she wished she had had an abortion already because to have had one would make her a better advocate for women’s abortion rights. The fact that she thinks she knows exactly the effect that terminating a pregnancy would have on her is naïve beyond belief, yet women like Dunham tell the rest of America that women’s empowerment starts by taking lightly a matter so personally and socially difficult as abortion. Damn, she makes having an abortion sound like a virtual rite of passage for people who care about women’s rights.
by Lisa Stiller
On Saturday, Jan 21 I will join over a million of people taking part in one of over 600 women marches being held throughout the nation, organized as a protest of the “Trump Agenda”. I am walking as a pro-life feminist.
Depending on the city, the marches have different organizers. But most of the marches have at least one prominent organizer at the forefront that is affiliated with a pro-abortion organization (Planned Parenthood, NARAL, etc). The rallying cry for most includes wording clearly referencing “protecting women’s health”, “protecting reproductive choice”, “marching against the war on women,” all code for protecting abortion “rights”.
Because of the endorsement of abortion, at first, I was hesitant to join. But because abortion does not define a women’s agenda, I decided that as a pro-life feminist, I had so many reasons to stand up to everything Trump and his administration stand for. In fact, the Women’s March website lists “reproductive freedom” as one of 12 huge injustices they are standing up against.
By Matt Tuman
Lost in the presidential race this year was what happened this summer in the Illinois state legislator. Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Senate Bill 1564, which made abortion the preference for unintended pregnancies in Illinois. The bill stipulates that all doctors, hospitals and pregnancy centers not only provide information on abortion and where it is available, but also discuss the ‘benefits’ of abortion. If the doctor or center is morally or religiously opposed to abortion, they still must either refer the patient to another provider, transfer them to another provider or provide them with information on locations that will offer abortion.
This law amounts to total hypocrisy on the pro-choice community. Their major argument is that the government should not be involved in women’s health decisions and that those decisions should be left between the woman and her doctor. However, with the passage of this law they take that decision making process away by forcing what the doctor has to say even if he has moral or religious objections to it.
by Julie Locascio
Bitter political and social conflicts may not be new, but we may be seeing unprecedented levels of vitriol because of the ability of anonymous angry people to take their attitudes to extreme positions online. Even people posting in their own name find new courage to level cruel broadsides because they can find an enthusiastic echo chamber to “like” and pass along everything they say. So where do people of modest temperament find space to reflect on and calmly discuss public policy? For many of us, it is not in our preferred political party.
In a world of “competing” hashtags saying #blacklivesmatter, #bluelivesmatter, #migrantlivesmatter, #womenslivesmatter, #babieslivesmatter, etc., some of us keep wondering why any of these things need to be said. The answer, sadly, is that political parties in our country do not embrace a consistent ethic of life where #alllivesmatter. And the reason for that is that candidates who embrace a consistent ethic of life are attacked so viciously in the primaries that they rarely get a chance to present their platforms in a general election.
DFLA’s Charles Camosy writes:
Family leave programs and child-care support are energetically backed by liberals. Hillary Clinton just wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post pledging to provide incentives to improve the situation. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has introduced federal legislation mandating paid family leave. If conservatives are wise, they will join in the effort. This is especially true for those who are antiabortion: They should want mothers to have the resources to help them keep their babies….
Democrats who want to see such bills pass need to come up with a carrot to get moderate Republicans on board. A nearly perfect one exists: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which was passed by the House last year but filibustered by Senate Democrats.
The bill would ban elective abortions past the 20th week of pregnancy. The United States is extreme in allowing such abortions in the first place; it is one of only seven countries in the world that permit abortions beyond 20 weeks. Though there is legitimate debate among biologists about when a fetus can feel pain, the Pain-Capable Act’s 20-week ban is common-sense legislation that would catch up our abortion policy with France, Britain, Germany and most of the rest of the civilized world.