I know that some of my fellow contributors and some of our regular readers are dismayed with the passage of “Obamacare”, or if you like, health care reform, by the House of Representatives. Personally, I think the bill could have been better in a number of ways, but I don’t want to get into all of that now.
The good news is, whether one supports or opposes the House bill, the Stupak amendment preventing federal funding of abortion passed. Already some are predicting its demise as as the bill moves to the Senate, but again, this is besides the point I want to make.
The main reason this is good news in my view is that it demonstrates the seriousness with which the pro-life movement must be taken by the political leaders of our nation. Pro-abortion activists are outraged with the passage of the Stupak amendment, citing it as a “step backwards.” I wholeheartedly agree: it is a major step backwards for the Culture of Death, and a significant advance for the Culture of Life.
Most Americans who are pro-life do not experience it from the left side of the political spectrum. Without a doubt, it is terribly difficult to be pro-life on the political left. The current political landscape in America presents a dire problem for “pro-life progressives,”even more so if they’re Catholic and observe the Church’s teachings. Pro-life progressivism is a growing, still voiceless, movement in the Democratic Party. There is a sense of alienation from pro-choice Democrats in regard to “women’s issues” (abortion) and “life-saving scientific research” (embryonic stem cell research) as well a sense of being out of place amongst conservative Republicans whom we might agree with on a few issues, but disagree with on a host of others and perhaps fundamentally on political philosophy. This movement (I think) is really reflective of many Americans, who not only oppose abortion and euthanasia, but would like to see “life issues” extend to the 30,000 children who die globally each day from poverty and preventable disease, issues of genocide in places like Darfur, human trafficking, health care, foreign policy issues of war and peace, and even to environmental stewardship. Many Catholic Democrats see this as what the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin coined as the “consistent life ethic.”