I have become convinced that the central threat to the Pro-Life movement is none other than Protestantism itself. This is because what Protestantism considers “Pro-Life” is not what the term actually means. So when Protestants and Catholics “join forces” for Pro-Life causes, the Pro-Life cause is undermined from the very start. Let me explain.
As everyone knows, within Protestantism there is no official position on abortion. Indeed, there’s no way for them to even say whether it’s an essential or non-essential Christian doctrine, much less what the parameters are. A large percentage of major Protestant denominations allow divorce. While it is true that these pro-abortion Protestants don’t engage in Pro-Life causes, the mere fact they operate under a “Christian” banner is a huge blow to the Pro-Life cause. But that’s only half the picture.
The other half of the picture consists of the anti-abortion (Conservative) Protestant denominations who allow “exceptions” to the rule. For example, allowing abortion in the case of rape, incest, health of the mother, and birth defects. The great majority of Conservative Protestants embrace some form of the “except for” clause, and these are the ones often joining forces with Catholicism. But if murder is allowed for certain “exceptions,” then one is not really opposing murder (itself) at all, but rather something else. At that point, it’s virtually impossible to push for a coherent anti-abortion legislation, since it would amount to saying it is permissible to kill innocent life in one case but not another.
So why do Conservative Protestants allow for “exceptions”? The reason is because Conservative Protestants are more focused on “taking responsibility” rather than a firmly established notion of “sanctity of life.” They view the abortion problem as anyone who engages in sexual relations should “know the risks” and “take responsibility” if new life is conceived. On the other hand, this means that if a woman is raped or has mental/physical health risks she should “not have to take responsibility.” This is why they use language in their statements such as forbidding abortion for matters of “personal convenience.” That said, I don’t believe this is due to any malice on the part of Conservative Protestants, but rather I believe it is because they lack the intellectual abilities that Catholicism is granted by the Holy Spirit in virtue of being the one true Church. That’s not a boast, it’s a humble statement of reality: such confusion on what it means to be Pro-Life is impossible when the Holy Spirit is guiding.
While there are Conservative Protestant denominations that don’t allow “exceptions” at all, they are an extreme minority and are totally drowned out by the super-majority of pro-abortion and “except for” denominations. They are generally too small and disorganized to have any significant impact.
If that was not bad enough, virtually all of Protestantism is even more guilty for the failure of the Pro-Life movement on two other counts: divorce and contraception. As virtually every Protestant denomination allows these two things, it can be properly said that Protestantism as a whole is the biggest problem.
There is no need to go into all the details of the damage that divorce causes, so it’s enough to say that divorce devastates families and destabilizes children. With half of all marriages ending in divorce, a huge percentage of young adults fear marriage commitment, and prefer the easier path of cohabitation and “shacking up.” The result is a lot more young adult women who find themselves pregnant and not in a position to care for the child, so they figure abortion is the easiest way to deal with the dilemma. And I believe it can rightly be said that when a husband and wife wont stay together for the sake of their children, that in an equivalent sense is a form of aborting them, for they are just as unwanted. Protestants have led the charge in tearing down the family, particularly in the case of divorce. In fact it was iconic Conservatives like Ronald Reagan who proudly passed the nation’s first no-fault divorce law.
The second point, contraception, is the most controversial of all, but it’s also the root cause of abortion. No Pro-Life system can be built on a firm foundation if contraception is not addressed and firmly rejected. While Protestants see no connection between abortion and contraception, the Holy Spirit has made the connection abundantly clear to the Catholic Church. The basic logic is as follows: contraception has driven a permanent wedge between sexual relations and procreation; they are no longer united. This means that a child is strictly a choice independent of sexual relations, since contraception lets the couple choose when and if they want a child. The problem is, when contraception fails (as it often does) and pregnancy results, then what is conceived is an unwanted child, by definition. And once Plan-A (contraception) to avoid having a child fails, then this requires a Plan-B (abortion) to deal with the new “problem.” But don’t take my word for it, look at what the Supreme Court said in 1992 in a case against Planned Parenthood:
[QUOTE]“Abortion is customarily chosen as an unplanned response to the consequence of unplanned activity or to the failure of conventional birth control, and except on the assumption that no intercourse would have occurred but for Roe’s holding, such behavior may appear to justify no reliance claim. … To eliminate the issue of reliance [on abortion] that easily, however, one would need to limit cognizable reliance to specific instances of sexual activity. But to do this [limit abortion by banning Roe v Wade] would be simply to refuse to face the fact that, for two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.
This is what the Catholic Church has been saying the whole time. Even these secular political minds see the link. Sadly, Protestantism still does not. From this it is clear that it doesn’t matter how Pro-Life someone claims to be, if they don’t address and oppose the issue of contraception then they are attacking the symptom and not the cause. One final point to make is to note that the Supreme Court was making a Conservative argument, appealing to tradition as the reason to keep the status quo. This exposes the fundamental problem with Conservatism, which is that of conserving traditions without any regard for the content of what is being conserved. This is why Conservatives today are perfectly accepting of divorce, contraception, exceptions for abortion, and similar moral errors. [/QUOTE]