If you’ve ever written to a pro-abortion politician about the right to life, you’ve probably received a form letter that utilizes one of several worn-out arguments. Let’s review how we answer them.
• “I respect your views, but I have to represent all the people.”
Our response: That's what we're trying to say to you. If you neglect the unborn, you are not representing all the people. Roe vs. Wade excludes them from protection; we demand that they be included. A public servant should not ignore an entire segment of the public that is being destroyed.
• “I'm personally opposed to abortion, but can't impose my views on others.”
Our response: This is not a matter of views, but of violence. The law is supposed to protect human life despite the views of those who would destroy it.
• “The government should not be involved in such a personal decision as abortion.”
Our response: The government got “too involved” in abortion when it decided that it had the authority to deprive some human beings of their right to life. It is not up to government to grant this right. It's there already. Government exists to secure it. Moreover, when somebody's “choice” destroys somebody else's life, that choice is no longer merely a personal, private matter.
Our response: When victims are oppressed, we don't sit back and “agree to disagree” with the oppressor. Rather, we intervene to save the victim. Abortion is not about beliefs, but about bloodshed. It's not about concepts, it's about protecting real people.
• “Abortion is the law of the land.”
Our response: The “law of the land” can be changed, just as it was changed regarding slavery and segregation. Leadership means seeing the injustices that others miss, and inspiring people to utilize the methods the law permits to make necessary changes.
• “I support women's rights and health.”
Our response: That is precisely why you should examine the evidence, which is more plentiful than ever, that abortion is destructive of women's health, and listen to the growing voices of those who have been harmed by abortion. That is also why you should examine how the abortion industry through unregulated and dangerous clinics continues to deceive and exploit women.
• “Abortion is just one of many issues; I embrace a consistent ethic of life.”
Our response: The foundation of a house is only one of many parts of the house, but it is essential in order to build the other parts. That is why the Catholic bishops have repeatedly asserted that among the many interrelated issues within a consistent ethic, abortion deserves “urgent attention and priority ” (Pastoral Plan, 2001).
• “My office does not involve any decision-making about abortion.”
Our response: Your position on abortion says a lot about your character and worldview. If you cannot stand up for the smallest of children, how will you stand up for the rest of us?
Finally, always use the best response to all the arguments: I vote!
Fr. Pavone is the Founding Director of Priests for Life. You may contact Priests for Life at PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314; Tel: 888-PFL-3448 or 718-980-4400; Fax: 718-980-6515; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.priestsforlife.org.