Remaining Faithful to the Cause

A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: The Kansas results are a wake-up call to the pro-life movement that the forces of evil are not backing down, neither must we in the defense of life.

Catholic deacon John Stanley and his wife Connie Stanley pray and wave at cars while holding signs in support of the Vote Yes to a Constitutional Amendment on Abortion along 135th Street on August 01, 2022 in Olathe, Kansas.
Catholic deacon John Stanley and his wife Connie Stanley pray and wave at cars while holding signs in support of the Vote Yes to a Constitutional Amendment on Abortion along 135th Street on August 01, 2022 in Olathe, Kansas. (photo: Kyle Rivas / Getty)

The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in June reinvigorated the pro-life movement. But it has also proven to be a shot in the arm for the abortion industry and its relentless advocates. The Aug. 2 primary vote in Kansas has shown just how difficult the fight for life at the ballot box is likely to be across the country in the post-Roe era. 

Sadly, the majority of Kansans voted “No” on an amendment to the Kansas Constitution that would have reversed a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court ruling that invented a “right” to abortion in the state. Had the “Value Them Both” Amendment passed, it would have allowed the state Legislature to pass reasonable protections for women and unborn babies from the injustice of abortion. As it stands, the amendment’s failure means the state will continue to allow abortion up to 22 weeks of pregnancy, and any restrictions to abortion will be subject to legal challenges and court rulings. 

The Kansas results are indeed a wake-up call to the pro-life movement, signaling that the forces of evil are not backing down in their support for unlimited abortion everywhere.

Pro-abortion advocates repeatedly misrepresented the Kansas amendment as a total abortion ban, a characterization proven false by the text of the amendment itself. After the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision, dishonest narratives, including false claims that banning abortion would kill women or deny them proper health care, permeated virtually every mainstream news publication, no doubt leading some women to vote “No” out of fear. The pro-abortion messaging worked in the Sunflower State, winning over a significant portion of unaffiliated voters who turned out in much higher numbers than expected. 

Meanwhile, the Kansas abortion industry outspent pro-life organizations on media campaigns. Out-of-state organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the Sixteen Thirty Fund also raised more in grassroots donations than the pro-life movement, especially in the days following the release of the Dobbs decision. 

Although this defeat marks a challenging moment in the fight to protect the unborn, we have overcome difficult odds before. 

The pro-life movement has a record of being both creative and resilient. The recent Dobbs decision that overturned Roe is proof of how the movement has learned from experience and always has kept the cause for life moving forward. 

For five decades, pro-life communities have engaged in a legal battle to remove the issue of abortion from the courts and put it in the hands of the people. 

Now, it’s time to redouble our efforts to make a persuasive case for protecting the unborn and women in the cultural, political and legislative arena. 

Recognizing past victories can help us craft winning strategies for life. And two areas where we’ve seen the most success are in debates surrounding efforts to accompany mothers in unexpected pregnancies and persuade the public that unborn human life is indeed life — and, thus, worthy of legislative protection.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, in his message in support of the Kansas amendment, emphasized the Catholic Church’s long-standing commitment to caring for both the woman and the child. 

He explained that the goal is “not just to protect women and children from the tragedy of abortion, but to provide them the support they need so that mother and child do not just survive, but so that both thrive.” 

And he is right. Now is the time for Catholics and the pro-life movement at large to uphold our deeply held belief that life is unique, precious and worthy of protection both before and after birth.

Building a pro-life America is a daunting mission to undertake. We can’t expect an easy victory. But we can expect that God — the Author of all human life — is with us along the way. 

St. Teresa of Calcutta said it well: “We are not called to be successful, but faithful.” 

We will not always be successful in this great movement, but we can be “faithful” in our defense of the defenseless. 

God bless you!