What order would you give the allied commander of the Pro Life Forces?
I asked this question in a post I wrote for the National Catholic Register. The replies have been more than interesting.
Here’s some of what I said:
The pro-life movement has been wandering in the political battlefields, winning tactical points and losing tactical points with each election. It has placed its entire operation in the hands of one political party, and has, by doing this, put the “issue” of abortion — and the lives that are lost by abortion — at the service of partisan electioneering.
Not once in all these years of culture warfare has the pro-life movement attempted to develop an overall objective. That might seem like picayune nit-picking to some pro-life people. But I assure you it is not.
The number one reason that the pro-life movement wanders and ends up getting used politically, is that it does not have a clear-cut objective. We have been laboring all these years toward a strategic goal which, in itself, would not mean the end of legal abortion. Worse, even this strategic goal has proven itself impossible to achieve. Indeed, all our efforts in that regard have resulted in unintended consequences which have actually hurt rather than helped the overall cause we believe in.
I am referring to the strategic goal of packing the Supreme Court with pro-life justices who will return the question of abortion to the states. All our striving toward that goal has resulted in a bitter cultural divide and a nutty Supreme Court. Instead of returning abortion to the states, we have gotten ourselves a Court that legalized gay marriage.
Even if we had succeeded in getting a pro-life Court — and I don’t think there is a consensus on what a “pro-life Court” is in the specific and real-life sense — all we would have accomplished is returning the question of legal abortion to the states. Do you understand what that would mean?
It would mean that we would be setting ourselves up for unending back-and-forth and electioneering on the state level that would go on for decades into the future. We would not save lives. We would instead guarantee more of the same tawdry and destructive politicking we’ve seen so far.
Our problem goes back to what we don’t have. We don’t have an objective. Because we don’t have an objective, we cannot formulate strategies to achieve it. Because we don’t have strategies, we cannot formulate tactics that get us any nearer to the end of the fight.