Alright, I am finally coming out with my stance on abortion since I have been asked, “Julie, what is your stance on abortion now? I mean, you are Catholic. ” The answer is, “I am neither an anti-abortion extremist or a pro-choice extremist now. I believe in reasonable restrictions which do not endanger the life, health, and/or human dignity of the mother. Here is why. I was once the director of a progressive pro-life movement. When Roe was overturned, which I never supported for different reasons which I will explain below, I read of and knew of too many first-hand cases where the mother’s life, health, and/or human dignity were in critical danger after draconian anti-abortion extremist laws took effect. In Texas specifically, anti-abortion extremist actions included various attempts to criminalize abortion although not all criminalization attempts passed; some did. There is disagreement as to which motions were made and passed, so I will keep my first-hand observations to myself about this. Just know that attempts to pass criminal charges against women seeking abortions and/or someone helping the women seek abortions were made in various ways. As a pro-life Catholic, I could not support cruel punishment through criminalization for the difficult decision of the mother terminating her own pregnancy, whatever that reason may be. I only support policies which bring life and health to the BOTH the baby and mother, not just one OR the other. Therefore, I support expanding access to healthcare and social services which has been historically proven to reduce the abortion rate, not restriction only.
Pro-lifers historically had the right to allow a pro-choice decision when the life of the mother was in danger or in the cases of rape and incest. This now doesn’t appear to be the case in states who “seek to end abortion by force AND at all costs.” When the disease of right-winged Trumpism took full-hold, if I supported a ten-year-old’s parents and the ten-year-old’s right to make their own decision in the case of rape on behalf of the human dignity of the child and her family, “I was called a pro-abortion extremist and not a “real” Christian/Catholic.” Sorry, but this is not true. This places the ten-year-old’s right-to-life, health, and human dignity in grave jeopardy. Forcing a fourth grader to give birth against her will in the case of rape is extremely dangerous and anti-life.
So how does this tie into my faith? It ties into the first to tenets of Catholic Social Teaching involving the Sanctity of Life AND the Dignity of the Human Person which would involve the health and well-being of the mother. Essentially, I support the reduction of an injustice only when it doesn’t endanger the lives, health, and/or human dignity of another marginalized group, like minority mothers living in poverty. God first asked Mary if she would carry the Christ child. The Lord gave her the human dignity to say “Yes” or “No” on such a huge decision which involved her own body, life, health, and future. Our Lord followed Catholic Social Teaching in this instance before Mary conceived.
My publication about my political shift is here.
Op-ed: Catholic Republican to Catholic Democrat, which is more pro-life? – Faith on View