Abortion Beyond Poli-Tricks

Just over a month ago, I gave a lecture at Franciscan University of Steubenville, sponsored by Students for a Fair Society, based on the work I’ve been doing for a short, forthcoming book on abortion, to be published by Patheos Press in 2014.

Soon thereafter, Tristyn Bloom, a junior fellow at First Things, gave an excellent talk at Yale University, printed at The Federalist. The particulars of her talk are different — and more diplomatic towards pro-lifers — but the general trajectory is, on my reading, the same.

Most recently, Marc Barnes has a similarly toned post at Bad Catholic today.

I am cautiously optimistic that there is a soft, but energetic breeze blowing, brushing aside the ideological stalemate and tired slogans, with the capacity to revitalize and reimagine the now predictable and battle-scarred discourse on abortion, life, and death in the United States.

Here is my talk, via Soundcloud:

  • peter

    Can we hear a talk about why men abort their unborn children?

    • SamRocha

      Are you implying a talk about pregnant men? Or a more serious question about men pressuring women to get abortions? Sorry, but I am unable to parse your meaning.

  • Jasper0123

    I didn’t listen to your speech although I did read the Matt Barnes article. I thought it was a terrible, sanctimonious piece of garbage. I have never trusted arm-chair pro-lifers, they’d have the on-the-ground, working pro-lifers pack their bags and go home. We don’t need any advice from the professional Catholic crowd, who write their pieces and books for one another, then go around patting each other on the back.

  • Jasper0123

    btw: This ‘students for a fair society’ sounds like just another left wing, socialist V2 group supported by the USCCB. This is the kind of thing we are trying to get away from, the seamless garment lie. I’m surprise the good university let this group form at all. I hope Stubinville is not taking a steps backwards.

    • Almario Javier

      You repudiate a valid ecumenical council? You claim to know better than several Popes, including someone soon to be canonized?

      Furthermore, while abortion is much more heinous than some of the other social justice problems in our society, those other problems exacerbate the abortion crisis. Furthermore, how do you know that the people in SFS do not also volunteer ar CPCs? I would further remind you that the Church’s doctrines are neither consistently with the political left or the political right. Thank God, but the Church is not, nor will ever be, a bunch of court preachers for one party or another.

      • Jasper0123

        the result of V2 was a disaster.

        ” those other problems exacerbate the abortion crisis.”

        No they don’t, that’s a big lie.

        The church has been in bed with your Democrat party for years. Disgraceful.

        • Almario Javier

          First, I’m not a Democrat. If anything, I’m a Republican by registration.

          Second of all, once again, do you believe yourself better than not one, not two, but five Popes, one of whom is to be raised to the altars? Do you deny the validity of an ecumenical council?

          Third of all, why are the bishops in bed with the Democrats? Is it because they do not endorse everything on the Republican platform?

          Finally, let me put it this way – a woman who has alternatives, real alternatives to abortion, especially aid provided to allow her to raise her child if she decides not to give the baby for adoption, whether provided by church or state, is less likely to so much as darken the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic than one who does not. We should do all in our means to make these opportunities more viable and more available. If that makes me a liberal, so be it. But my primary allegiance is to the Church, not to a political party or movement.

          Me, I stand with Holy Mother Church, in communion with my bishop and the Holy Father, and embrace all her teachings, not just those convenient to one party or another. The question is with whom you stand.

          • Jasper0123

            Conservative pro-lifers run practically all of the CPC’s around the country which help pregnant women. Most are Republicans no doubt. Study after study has proven that Republicans are more generous with their money, unlike Democrats who are generous with other peoples money. If you don’t understand the disaster after V2, see the Prophet Michael Voris.

          • Almario Javier

            1. Prove it. Even if it is true, that does not mean that non-conservatives and non-Republicans do not take part.
            1a. Because most pro-lifers are conservative Republicans. Doesn’t mean there aren’t Democrats and liberals, who, being faithful to Holy Mother Church, aren’t in the trenches.
            2. You know, the Popes don’t oppose judicious influence of the state in social programs, only seeking prudence in such decisions.
            3. So Michael Voris is a prophet, now? I mean, I know that many agree with him, and often he has a point, but really? A prophet? And even Voris would admit the validity of all our ecumenical councils, even where he disagrees with implementation.

            Holy Mother Church, thank God, is neither beholden to the left or the right, but truth. Perhaps we American Catholics should get that into our heads, instead of shoehorning Her into our secular ideologies.

          • Jasper0123

            I didn’t say V2 was invalid. I’m saying the fallout was pretty bad.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker


    Something this long I’d like to listen to on my iPod, so I’d like to download the MP3. I couldn’t see how to do that from the Soundcloud page. Let me know if this is possible.

    • SamRocha

      Send me an e-mail and I’ll share the file with you.

      • rockactiv

        Me too please. I work for a diocesan newspaper in Australia. Would love to run an edited version of this and then follow up when book comes out. Glad someone is saying this. Are you a Radical Orthodoxy enthusiast?

        • SamRocha

          I’m happy to share the file with you, too. Click on the contact link above for my e-mail and we’ll be in touch. Cheers!

          ps: About Radical Orthodoxy, I’ve only been exposed to it in some limited readings of the work John Milbank and, also, more idiosyncratically, Slavoj Zizek, but I do find it very salutary because of its ideas that don’t seem infected by ideological purity. But I’m not expert in it…