Can Catholics Support Black Lives Matter? Part Nine: Does BLM Support Abortion?

Can Catholics Support Black Lives Matter? Part Nine: Does BLM Support Abortion? September 10, 2020

Parts One through Eight in this series: Intro to BLM, Marxism, Is BLM Marxist?, Violence, Reporting on Violence, Is BLM Violent?, Is BLM Anti-Family?, and Does BLM Support the Gay Agenda?

Last, but not least. If a group supports abortion, we as Catholics should consider that when deciding whether to support them. Most of the time, it should be a deal-breaker.1 I’ve seen several Catholics saying that they cannot support the organization, or even use the slogan, on the grounds that BLM is pro-choice.

It isn’t. BLM says nothing about abortion on its website, pro or con. They aren’t funded by Planned Parenthood or NARAL or whoever. I suppose the leadership may personally be pro-choice, but that doesn’t make the organization pro-choice. An organization doesn’t support abortion unless it, you know, supports abortion.

As far as I can tell, the claim that BLM supports abortion is an outright lie. But there’s another version of the argument: if BLM really care about Black lives, they should be outspoken pro-life advocates, because so many Black children are victims of abortion. I don’t have much patience with this line of thought. It suggests that focusing on anything but abortion is hypocrisy, and that’s just not true. Justice isn’t a zero-sum game. People concentrate on different causes; there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s good, or a lot of important stuff would get no attention. You can—and should—think more than one thing matters. Saying “the police shouldn’t kill Black people over trivialities” isn’t a sneaky way to distract people from abortion. It’s an obvious truth everybody should be on board with. Hemming and hawing about it makes you and the pro-life movement look bad, not BLM.

Also, it can be kind of insulting to tell people how to care about their own community. Now, if it’s Black people criticizing BLM, that’s one thing. But almost every person I’ve seen accuse BLM of being pro-choice, or of distracting people from “the real problem,” has been white. Like—do you really think you know that better than they do? There can be room to disagree, sure, especially about strategy. But if you aren’t part of that community, at least have some humility, and manners, and listen to them first. You might learn something.

Part Ten: So What?

EDIT: My research on this post was clearly inadequate. A friend of mine helpfully pointed me to some articles in which leaders of BLM have discuss abortion and partner with pro-choice groups publicly. Some quotes and other details can be found here. I’m not clear whether donating to BLM would therefore be material cooperation with abortion.

1There are circumstances where involvement with a pro-choice group can be acceptable. For example, there’s not necessarily anything wrong with going to a college whose employee health insurance covers abortion. Even in politics, supporting pro-choice groups or candidates can be tolerated for certain reasons. Pope Benedict (then Cardinal Ratzinger) wrote on the topic in a 2004 letter: “When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion … but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.” Some pro-lifers argue that no reason could be proportionate. I feel like His Holiness’ letter obviously implies the opposite; why else mention proportionate reasons? But we can’t stop for this now. (A decent if slightly technical explanation of remote material cooperation can be found here.)

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