Extreme Compromise

Newly-elected abortion advocates often try to paint their support for Roe vs. Wade and its companion case Doe vs. Bolton as mainstream. Some even think that the decisions constitute a “compromise” position on the divisive issue of abortion. After all, they say, our current national policy on abortion allows a woman to have a child if she wants, and to abort the child if she wants.

But Roe and Doe are about as far away from a “compromise” as you can find. The decisions allow for abortion throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy, and do not recognize any right of the unborn child to be spared death by abortion. With a nation divided about abortion, one might think that under a “compromise” solution one could find some reason to protect at least some unborn children. But in Roe and Doe, one searches in vain for any situation in which an unborn child is protected. As the University of Detroit Law Review pointed out, “The Supreme Court’s decisions…allowed abortion on demand throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy” (Paul B. Linton, Enforcement of State Abortion Statutes after Roe: A State-by-State Analysis, Vol. 67, Issue 2, Winter 1990).

In this framework, every unborn baby is disposable. Every. That’s hardly a “compromise” position.

“Leave it up to the woman to decide” sounds to many like a fair compromise. But this position completely destroys equality before the law, because it constitutes a complete removal of protection from the child. The lives of unborn children who are wanted and carried to term do not have any more protection from the law than the lives of unborn children who are unwanted and carried to the abortionist. The lives of the wanted are protected only by their “wantedness,” which, of course, can be subject to change at any time. As far as the law is concerned, they are all non-persons, regardless of circumstance. That’s hardly a “compromise.”

A “compromise” usually, and by definition, allows some accommodation to both sides in the dispute. But current abortion policy allows no accommodation to the claims that innocent human life makes upon us.

The more you know about the Roe and Doe decisions, the clearer this becomes. In fact, the Gallup polling company, in an extensive analysis of the opinions of Americans on abortion, admits that the level of support in surveys for Roe vs. Wade is lower if more information about the decision itself is offered in the question, and higher if less information is offered.

These are important points to bring up in communicating with pro-abortion elected officials.

In Judgment at Nuremberg, one of those responsible for the Holocaust says that he “never thought it would go that far,” and was told that it “went that far” as soon as a single innocent life was taken. There is no room for “compromising” about human life. Permitting one life to be destroyed is already extreme. Unless we’re all protected, we’re all in danger.

Fr. Frank Pavone


Father Frank A. Pavone is an American Roman Catholic priest and pro-life activist. He is the National Director of Priests for Life and serves as the Chairman and Pastoral Director of Rachel's Vineyard.

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  • noelfitz

    The US Church, as seen in CE, and the Universal Church seem to have different approaches with regards to the current US administration.

    Recently the Pope received in audience House Speaker,Nancy Pelosi, who is a practicing Catholic, and indicated that he wants to keep open communications with the US government.

    The Pope took the opportunity to tell Ms Pelosi that lawmakers have a responsibility to protect human life.

    God bless,


    In necessariis, unitas; in dubiis, libertas; in omnibus, caritas.

  • Warren Jewell

    And, NoelFitz, from Pelosi’s own comments on the meeting, you’d never guess what the Pope said . . .

    The ‘camels’ noses under the tent’ proliferate. ‘Balanced’ is ‘she can bear or she can abort’ – which hints at possible ‘unbalancing’ later by Chinese forced-abortion standards.

    And, physician-assisted suicide just may be similar as a ‘balanced’ starting point – how long before government-required terminatioon of those expensive useless-eater elderly?

  • noelfitz


    It is always great to hear from you.

    I hope you and your family are in good health.

    I miss your sound contributions in the forum “Faith and Life”.

    I do appreciate your prayers for me and my family.

    I agree with so much of what you say, and admire the way you express yourself.

    God bless,


    In necessariis, unitas; in dubiis, libertas; in omnibus, caritas.

  • Samwise

    As long as our Bishops allow such radically pro abortionists as Nancy Pelosi to receive Holy Communion, they will not change their position because if it were such a grave evil, they could think, why are they permitted to receive the Eucharist? If, as Cardinal Egan has suggested, abortion can be likened to the Holocaust, one must ask if our Bishops would have allowed all those Nazis who willingly collaborated with the extermination of the Jews and others to continue to receive the Eucharist as if nothing really evil were occurring…Nancy Pelosi and other politicians not only ‘accept’ abortion but actively promote and foster abortion…which is the extermination of human babies…the greatest crime against humanity our world has ever known…and the consequences will be dire…Mother Teresa said that a nation that kills its young cannot survive…are we surviving? I wonder….