We have approached a point in US History and even in other parts of the world where Church politics, civil politics, and voting are coming down to two choices, Abortion-on-Demand and benefitting the Common Good of Society on the Democratic side or Authoritarianism and Fascism on the Republican side. Please note than not all people who are either Democrat or Republican hold to everything their party supports. Most Americans fall within the middle of the political spectrum. For someone who served shortly in a progressive pro-life movement, I realized that it was impossible to deny this reality. Reality is what we have to face, not the ideal. The ideal would be a VIABLE political party which honors all life from conception to natural death. This viable party does not exist, so as Catholics, we must use our conscience to choose what is more moral and less evil. My husband is a moderate Republican while I identify as a liberal Democrat but not a leftist.
A leader of a progressive pro-life/anti-abortion third political party asked me why I won’t stand behind it right now. It’s simple. The immediate threat of fascism is too great. There is no way to justify pending fascism over abortion-on-demand. I am going to quote some from one of my previous articles from Faith-on-View.
If it’s possible to end abortion without resorting to the actions of Jan. 6 – in other words, without backing Trump. We can achieve that same outcome without destroying the lives of the mothers in poverty who carry the unborn babies; without destroying lives at the border and ripping children away from their parents; and without withholding health care for decades from vulnerable people. We don’t have to withhold maternity and family medical leave, flippantly handle COVID in a way that results in a million American deaths or spread deadly conspiracy theories and misinformation through right-winged media. We can see the end of abortion without destroying the environment; without increasing gun violence by dissolving reasonable gun restrictions; without harming our education system resulting in harming children; and without deliberately fighting against scientific and historical facts resulting in harm and death.
Being pro-life does not require withholding a living wage, elevating racism to dangerous levels, increasing the death penalty, or destroying the lives of the disabled, LBGTQ people, and their families. It doesn’t necessitate – in fact, it cries against — deliberately trying to euthanize transgender/gender dysphoric children. Ending abortion does not mean wreaking the witness of the Church via Trumpism, without destroying our democracy, or demonizing anyone who is unlike most Americans and most Christians/Catholics in the country. If being pro-life – as the GOP has defined it – didn’t mean abusing people into voting for all of these evils collectively in place of fruitlessly ending abortion, then I might listen.
But the truth is, the abortion rate increased from 2018 to 2021. See, the hard-political white right married to parts of the American white Church has proven over 50 years of power that they cannot abolish abortion without destroying and dehumanizing everyone else but their kind. And in addition, the hard-right calls the basic Common Good of society socialism and communism. This is why I’m a Democrat now, why I attend a Hispanic Catholic Church which is more Democrat than Republican, and why I am holistically pro-life, not just pro-birth.
The collective of all of these evils is in no way shape or form less evil than abortion on-demand or unrestricted abortion. Ideally, I believe in reasonable abortion restrictions, like what our country had under Bill Clinton. Today, this is not reality. With a true threat of loosing our democracy and pending authoritarianism and fascism, we must do everything we can without harming others to stop the threat in the immediate.
If the Religious Right/Catholic Right had only two choices, to vote for unrestricted abortion and the Common Good of Society on one side or Hitler, fascism, and euthanasia of all who are not white, straight, Republican, “Christian”, and neurotypical (“the other”) on the other side, the Religious Right / Catholic Right would vote for Hitler, fascism, and euthanizing “the other.”