By Dave Andrusko
I’ll bet many of our readers will be familiar with Kathryn Jean Lopez. For those who aren’t, she is terrific writer and pro-life through and through. She is the former editor and current editor-at-large of National Review Online. Kathryn is also a nationally syndicated columnist.
I was reading a batch of her always provocative columns this morning, which included assisted suicide, adoption, and a fascinating movie review. As you tell, the range of her writing is expansive.
Whenever I read something as stimulating as Santiago: The Camino Within (the movie review), it sends me in search of previous writings. In this case, I landed on “Does America Prefer Abortion?” [This was written prior to Dobbs, which overturned Roe v. Wade.]
Lopez began with pro-abortion Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who, as she often says when queried about abortion, that she is the mother of five and grandmother of nine—and a “Catholic.” Her own archbishop recently took the extraordinary step of barring Pelosi from receiving Communion over her support for abortion.
Kathryn then holds up the Catholic Church as a model for compassionate care for women. “The fact of the matter is that the Catholic Church throughout the country has the utmost compassion for women — some dioceses run pregnancy-care centers, while others offer a whole host of resources for not only pregnant women but also women and children and families beyond birth,” Lopez writes.
“To be a very Catholic person is not to be defensive and insist on expanding abortion but to be beacons of the words of Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae (The gospel of life). He wrote directly to women who have had abortions:
The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly, what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope.
Pope John Paul II “encourages women who have had abortions to encounter God’s mercy,” Lopez writes.
Indeed, the pro-life movement “is not about judgment,” she writes. “We are about help and hope. To target pro-life centers by law and arson, activists — and terrorists — are making it more difficult for a mother to choose life for her baby. Nancy Pelosi and others say they are “about choice.” What about the choice to be a mother? What about the other heroic choice, adoption? This should be celebrated.”
To be sure the choice for life “takes tremendous courage and should be universally supported, whatever one’s view of Roe is. If you are pro-choice, please stand in condemnation of violence and disruptions at pregnancy centers and churches. If you are pro-choice, please consider supporting places where life is embraced and abortion isn’t the predominant option.”
Please consider that far from persecuting Pregnancy Help Centers, the preferential option ought to be —even for pro-choicers—helping them help women to choose life.