By Judie Brown
The voices are rising every day. They say that President Trump is the most pro-life president our nation has ever had. They say that Joe Biden is, by contrast, the most pro-abortion. The hype is amazing on both sides.
We know that many Catholic bishops, including Bishop Donald Hying of Madison, Wisconsin, have given Catholics excellent guidelines on how to vote in this election cycle. But Hying points out a critical truth, writing: “We are Catholic Christians before we are Americans and certainly before we might be part of any political party. . . . Jesus Christ is our Savior; His teachings and the moral truths of the Church guide us in all aspects of our lives, including how we vote.”
And, when it comes to abortion, we need to look no further than St. John Paul II to discover how flawed the politics of abortion have become. In the Gospel of Life, he writes:
The moral gravity of procured abortion is apparent in all its truth if we recognize that we are dealing with murder and, in particular, when we consider the specific elements involved. The one eliminated is a human being at the very beginning of life. No one more absolutely innocent could be imagined. In no way could this human being ever be considered an aggressor, much less an unjust aggressor! He or she is weak, defenseless, even to the point of lacking that minimal form of defense consisting in the poignant power of a newborn baby’s cries and tears.
And therein rests the problem and our challenge. St. John Paul II was referring to “procured abortion,” meaning surgical killing, but in the same encyclical he took note of the other forms of abortion as well.
We know that every abortion—whether clinical, chemical, medical, or surgical—murders a human being. This is not an opinion, it is not a political question, it is simple scientific fact. So, when it comes to the upcoming election, we realize that the competition for our vote is between two men who have diametrically opposing views of surgical abortion. Great!
But our job is to make sure that every abortion is understood to be a deadly event. Somebody dies whether in an in vitro fertilization lab, because of a contraceptive, from a medical abortion drug, or during a surgery. The tools that make this scientific fact clear for us and everyone are available.
It is for this reason that we know that ending every abortion requires much more work because, to this very day, the humanity of the child prior to birth eludes far too many people.
We know that we will not find total victory for the babies in a voting booth. What we will find is the opportunity to choose between two men—one of whom understands that abortion kills people and one of whom supports that killing with abandon.
Having said that, let us be clear that the larger challenge is to teach this simple truth. Our defense of the preborn child begins with our ability to humanize that child whether he is a single cell or in his seventh month of life before birth. At every stage of his life, he never ceases to be a human being—a member of the human family, a person.
Thus, every abortion by any means is an act of killing. In this war on the babies, blood is shed, babies die, and our nation hemorrhages from moral blindness. Until that changes, politicizing babies will continue to be the status quo.
May God help us turn this mentality around, one heart and one mind at a time.