Ladies for Life

‘Liberals’ then and now

Posted on: May 8, 2009

Not that long ago a number of highly-placed liberals were outspokenly against abortion. Robert P. George, in an article about the life and times of Richard John Neuhaus, notes:

At the same time, more than a few notable liberals were outspokenly pro-life. In the early 1970s, Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, for example, replied to constituents’ inquiries about his position on abortion by saying that it was a form of “violence” incompatible with his vision of an America generous enough to care for and protect all its children, born and unborn. Some of the most eloquent and passionate pro-life speeches of the time were given by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. In condemning abortion, Jackson never failed to note that he himself was born to an unwed mother who would likely have been tempted to abort him had abortion been legal and easily available at the time.

The liberal argument against abortion was straightforward and powerful. “We liberals believe in the inherent and equal dignity of every member of the human family. We believe that the role of government is to protect all members of the community against brutality and oppression, especially the weakest and most vulnerable. We do not believe in solving personal or social problems by means of violence. We seek a fairer, nobler, more humane way. The personal and social problems created by unwanted pregnancy should not be solved by offering women the ‘choice’ of destroying their children in utero; rather, as a society we should reach out in love and compassion to mother and child alike.”

So it was that Pastor Neuhaus and many like him saw no contradiction between their commitment to liberalism and their devotion to the pro-life cause. On the contrary, they understood their pro-life convictions to be part and parcel of what it meant to be a liberal. They were “for the little guy”—and the unborn child was “the littlest guy of all.”

Read the whole article at First Things.

Semi-related: Lars Walker used to be a liberal, and he has a few things to say about what liberalism used to be about. Back before it went off the tracks.

The hijacking of the Left/Liberals by the abortion lobby is one of the saddest events of modern times. I wish the true liberals out there would recapture the name, and re-institute the worthy principles for which they used to stand. (I think we can agree, can we not, that much of what ‘liberals’ stand for today is unworthy?)

For that matter, even feminism used to be solidly anti-abortion. (Back when feminism stood for demanding to be treated like a responsible adult.)

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Welcome. This is just another place for pro-life ladies to meet and share and offer support to one another.
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