Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
I think I miss the days when we lied to ourselves. There was something innocent about all the self-delusion that surrounded the abortion issue. All that “blob of tissue” talk was believed by so many who preferred not to know otherwise.
Faced with ignorance about what was actually going on in the womb, pro-lifers like me thought that if we could just prove that it’s not just a blob of tissue in the womb then we’d win the day. And that’s been our goal for at least the past decade. We’ve talked about fingernails. We’ve talked about heartbeats. We’ve bought ultrasound machines for crisis pregnancy centers. We’ve shown pictures of babies reaching out of the womb and grabbing doctors fingers. We’ve lectured about DNA.
And we’ve achieved our goal. But we’re still losing the debate about abortion.
I say this because recently, libertarian thinker Charles Murray announced that he thought it best that national Republicans give up on protecting marriage and ending abortion and then they might win elections. My initial snarky reaction was, “You mean they haven’t given up those issues already?”
Look, politically active Christians on the right have been shunned by many in the Republican Party for years so it was hardly shocking that a libertarian advocated turning their backs on the wacko oogedy boogedy Christians again. But Murray did say something that shocked me.
He said of abortion: “It’s a murder—it’s a homicide—but sometimes homicide is justified.”
Wow. The self delusion is gone.
The good news is that means that pro-lifers have attained their goal of convincing people that little human beings exist in the womb.
The bad news is that people don’t care.
Pro-lifers have spent so much time convincing people that life begins at conception that perhaps we’ve lost focus on explaining why that matters. For so long we’ve been trying to convince people that it’s not about religion. But here’s the thing – it is. I am pro-life because I believe life is a gift from God from the womb to our last day on Earth.
I think it’s time we’re done lecturing and start preaching again. We can push pictures of babies in utero but it will not change minds on the issue unless accompanied by an ethic that glorifies life. I think there's been too much politics, and it's time we get back to evangelizing. Nothing can save this country from destroying itself other than a resurgence of belief in the Church. Nothing can cure the casual disregard our culture shows for life at every stage other than the knowledge that God loves us, each of us.
For years, the pro-abortion community obfuscated the issue by making it all about “choice.” They argued for years that nobody was actually pro-abortion but they were only pro-choice. But recently, Planned Parenthood indicated that they’re dropping the term pro-choice. Many thought it was because the right had demonized the term so effectively. But there could be another reason for them dropping the façade. They don’t have to pretend anymore.