Pro-life and pro-family movements: coming up short

Pro-life and pro-family movements: coming up short June 20, 2018
The pro-life movement in a nutshell

“Thanks for contacting Human Life International,” spokeswoman Deborah M. Piroch replied when I contacted HLI to ask if the pro-life organization had an official position on the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. “We really focus on our five mission areas, those being abortion, contraception, marriage and family, artificial reproduction and euthanasia/assisted suicide.”

When I asked whether separating children from their parents falls under marriage and family, Ms. Piroch said:

In a sense it does. However, we focus on the religious aspects. So, the sanctity of marriage, between one man and one woman, openness to life as dictated by the Papal encyclical Humanae Vitae, the evil of graphic sex ed. for children etc. We are not interested in endorsing candidates or politics the way [Susan B. Anthony List] is, e.g. But many in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are against the policy, and the Pope is of course pro-migrant.

It’s a good thing she mentioned Susan B. Anthony List, because I emailed them too. If the HLI response can charitably be described as tepid, the response from SBAL – a link to their response to an op ed by Charles Camosy in the New York Times was downright icy:

We refrain from public comment on immigration and many other topics, including other policies that impact families. It is not in our purview to speak on behalf of our members on other issues.

This, from an outfit that endorsed Donald Trump for president, and that invited Mr. Trump to give the keynote address at its annual gala in May.

The Trump administration’s policy – and yes, contrary to the lies of Mr. Trump and others in his administration, it’s a policy, not a law – has resulted in more than 2,300 children being taken from their parents between May 5 and June 9, including a baby ripped from her mother’s breast.

And as Mr. Trump himself Tweeted, the children are being taken and basically held for ransom: If you pay for my border wall, my zero tolerance policy ends, and you’ll get your children back.

I contacted seven major non-profit outfits that bill themselves as pro-life or pro-marriage regarding the Trump administration’s cruel and sadistic policy of stealing children from their immigrant parents who are seeking asylum in the United States. What, I wondered, do these organizations have to say about this? Of the seven, only two, HLI and SBAL, replied.*

The others are the National Right to Life Committee, Priests for Life, the American Life League, Rachel’s Vineyard, and the National Organization for Marriage. But reply or not, their official positions, judging by their websites, is silence. Crickets.

On the National Right to Life Committee webpage, nothing at all about the border crisis. But they’ve partnered with to have .5 percent of your purchases donated to the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund. Plus, near the top, a big “Donate” button.

Priests for Life: Nothing. But note the prominent “Donate” button.

American Life League: Nothing. Nice, big “Donate” button though.

Rachel’s Vineyard: Once again, nothing. But they craftily hide the “Donations” button in a “Support our Work” drop-down menu.

Finally, the National Organization for Marriage: again, nothing. But note the not one but two prominent “Donate” buttons on the webpage.

Here’s what I think: don’t donate to these people, do not support them in any way. The hypocrisy of ostensibly pro-life or pro-family organizations that – far worse than actually supporting the Trump administration – utter not a word in support or opposition is too awful to contemplate. And for SBAL to sanctimoniously claim it refrains “from public comment on immigration” after its slavish devotion to Mr. Trump is nothing short of a lie.

Avoiding this issue is bad enough for the first six outfits, but, being focused primarily on abortion, they at least can give their hypocrisy a moral fig leaf or, as Ms. Piroch does with HLI, hide behind the USCCB and Pope Francis.

But NOM, which bills itself as a premier non-profit that fights for marriage, is another matter. “The Pope said that married couples are ‘in the best position’ to introduce Jesus Christ to others,” NOM gushed on September 14, 2015.

A month later, they went even further, with an article that begins, “Throughout history it’s been obvious to any observer that children in intact families with a married mother and father do much better than children from broken homes or those living in alternative family structures.”

By “alternative family structures,” NOM means of course same-sex couples. NOM links to a National Review article about studies that:

confirm many of the outcome problems that children who lack a married mother and father in the home experience, especially boys lacking the presence of their father at home. Wilcox says these children ‘are floundering in school and society’ and details findings including problems in the areas of truancy and educational attainment, increased behavioral problems, higher cognitive disability, perform worse on standardized school tests and are less likely to graduate from high school.

I do not know what to say about an organization that is so concerned about “outcome problems” for children yet cannot muster even one word about the crimes of the Trump administration against immigrant families. It claims that the biggest threat to families is gay marriage; it says every child needs a mother and a father. But in the face of an actual threat to real families at the U.S.-Mexico border – not from gay people, but from heterosexuals – NOM has nothing to say.

NOM literally marches for marriage every spring. But there currently is no bigger threat to marriage and families than what Mr. Trump is doing to immigrant families right now. Maybe for NOM, it’s always really been about lobbying against homosexuals and gay marriage, and not actually for anything. We have families that need actual help right now, and NOM looks the other way.

Wondering why, I took a look around the NOM webpage and found this, in an article about the rumored retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy: “We’ve enjoyed a close relationship with the Trump administration and have had considerable success in pushing our issues with them.”

Way to be a lapdog, NOM.

As the border crises spins out of control and the big pro-life, pro-family non-profits sink further into moral corruption and hypocrisy, know this: you can help. Just don’t go to these groups.

Instead go to Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, a non-profit ministry of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso in partnership with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Services provided by the DMRS include free legal services, services for detainees, resettlement services, and even English language and civics classes.

And look, it too has a big “Donate” button at the top of the page. But in this case, your money will be put to good use, helping people. And they could really use your help.


*If I receive responses from the other five, I’ll add them, here or in a new post. –SPD

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  • mhardin

    Wow…Imagine that! Another hatchet job for any good Catholic organizations that don’t fall in line and parrot the standard line from Pope Francis. There is nothing good about separating children from their parents whether they are legally or illegally immigrating. To use that position to try and turn people away from supporting these fine organizations by pillorying their approach to immigration is just more defamation by those with a political torch to burn. For example, Americans are turning away from abortion and gay marriage…so let’s publish hit pieces on all the good organizations trying to save the lives of unborn babies whose mothers are considering aborting them. Once again,Patheos seems to bear the torch for those who attack the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

  • Reader Yesterday

    Excellent! Thanks for doing the heavy lifting on this. It is such a danger to adopt blinders and over-focus on one cause to the exclusion of all others, but so many organizations seem to do this.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    You are correct, mhardin, regarding the decline in the number of abortions. Do you know why this is true? It is due to the use of contraception by couples both Catholic and Non-Catholic. How many families who profess to be Catholic have more than two or three children? Not too many.
    As for same gender marriage, remember dear friends, Love is Love.

  • Yes, mhardin, another hatchet job for sure–filled with hypocrisy and hidden agendas.

  • Elzbieta Kraszewski

    So true. Due to policies implemented by Obama, abortion and teen pregnancy rates fell to their lowest levels since the passing of Roe vs. Wade. If this decline were due to conservative policies, there would be dancing in the streets and parades in his name. But since it was done using reason and evidence-based policies, we must pretend it didn’t exist and Daddy Trump needs to rescue us. Pathetic.
    If the Pope (any pope, but this one in particular) were serious about helping women and the poor, he would declare the use of actual birth control to be legitimate within marriage. Until he does, all this “pro-woman” talk is cheap.

  • Nordog6561

    Love is love, but anal sex is sodomy.

    I love grandma, doesn’t mean I should be buggering her.