On Being a So-Called “Single-Issue” Pro-Lifer
We must never stop talking about preborn children being slaughtered, day in and day out, in our nation.
I readily agree that abortion shouldn’t be all we ever talk about, and it need not — should not — be injected into every conversation. But on the other hand, we must (as a general proposition) never cease talking about it until the evil is removed from our society.
Pro-lifers are often accused of acting as if abortion is the only evil that exists; as if there are not others of concern. The boilerplate accusation is that we care about preborn children, but not “post-born” children. That’s not true, either. But there is a partial point there that we can grant. We mustn’t have tunnel vision or be blind to the many other social evils and problems.
At the same time, it is unjust to be accused of being concentrated on “one issue” insofar as we talk about it a lot or make it our leading concern. More than 60 million legal murders in America since 1973, with no end in sight, is a pretty important thing. It's completely understandable why someone would focus on the issue. The biblical prophets were one-issue folks: Israel's rebellion against God!
We Catholics (and non-Catholic pro-life and traditional family values allies) would love to talk proportionately more about lots of other stuff, but since so many people don't “get” this rather basic and fundamental thing (the preborn child's right to life), alas, we have to keep talking about it.
In our country’s past, slavery once was the dominant issue. Until we got rid of that scourge we had to keep talking about it. Harriet Beecher Stowe (of Uncle Tom’s Cabin fame) kept talking about it. Frederick Douglass kept talking about it; so did the abolitionist movement that Douglass was part of. Abraham Lincoln kept talking about it.
Feathers were ruffled. It was a key factor in bringing about the Civil War. When we did get rid of it, then we didn’t have to discuss it nearly as much. There was no need to. It was no more.
It was the same with civil rights 50-60 years ago, during the halcyon days of the great Rev. Martin Luther King (whom we recently celebrated). We have taught our children much about that glorious period of positive social change: even visiting Dr. King’s house, his church, the place where he gave his final speech, and the motel where his life was sadly ended by a bullet from one of the haters.
We’ve visited the spot where Rosa Parks took her stand (I met her once) and sat in the seat on the bus where she did it. As a result of these heroes, our country made some changes for the better. The pro-life battle is the same one: equal rights for all.
In the 1930s the Great Depression was the topic on everyone's mind: with many millions suffering. In the 1940s, obviously, World War II dominated the conversation. Evil powers had to be defeated. Western Civilization was at stake. People were dying every day.
The Vietnam War was the topic of a great many discussions in the late 60s and early 70s. I remember well! After 9-11 everyone was talking about terrorism and what to do about it. Today the right to life is of foremost concern, as it should be, until legal childkilling is eradicated, once and for all. Just as African-Americans, or before them, Native Americans had their rights trampled upon or lives snuffed out, today the child in his or her mother’s womb is the helpless victim being led to slaughter.
If we hadn’t kept talking about childkilling these past 45 years, we wouldn’t have seen the small progress that we have made, in abortion restrictions and lowering the number of death clinics, and abortions per year by some 600,000 or more.
We wouldn’t be having the nationwide discussion about the ghastly butchery that takes place every day in Planned Parenthood death clinics, and their selling of body parts and absolute callousness as to the value of the most innocent and defenseless of human beings, if pro-lifers had shut up and had muzzled themselves under the constant wrongheaded accusation of being “one-issue” people.
We must never stop talking about preborn children being slaughtered day in and day out (more every day than were killed on 9-11). We can and should talk about lots of other things, too, but we can never forget these forsaken children. Abortion remains the most important ethical issue of our time: the outrageous, unjust law that must be changed.
We have to fight for that whether we are put in a box of being “single-issue” or not. Let them mock and complain. That was always the lot of any and all forward-looking ethical progressives. Why should we expect any differently now? Jesus said we would be “hated by all” for His name’s sake. This cause will bring about a lot of that hatred. People mock and insult and protest, oftentimes, because they feel guilty for their own sins and their own trampling upon God’s laws.
Many say, “I personally believe abortion is wrong.” Yet they will say they can't “impose” their view on others. But this outlook is rarely applied to other ethical issues. If something is wrong, then we should also consistently oppose it in law. Laws invariably reflect the moral views of the populace. Every law in effect holds that a thing is wrong and if done, will carry a penalty.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was a pretty “one-issue” guy: his issue was equal civil rights for all Americans. One issue: all the time; 24-7. And he was right to do so. Winston Churchill talked about defeating Hitler and about the nation of England and the entire West persevering in the face of his tyranny. Likewise, today, abortion is the overwhelmingly most important issue, though there are many other pressing ones, too.
Just as Rev. King or Winston Churchill are not derisively blasted as “one-issue”, neither should pro-lifers today be treated in that fashion.