As the natural successor to the classic civil rights movement, the pro-life cause ought to have been a bipartisan cause; it should certainly have been the cause of Catholic progressives. Yet as early as 1967, Richard John Neuhaus, then a Lutheran pastor and a civil rights veteran, warned his fellow-liberals in a Commonweal article that they were betraying the civil rights cause by flirting with “liberalized “ abortion laws. Neuhaus’s article won a prize from the Catholic Press Association; but that was then, and this is now. And as the Democratic Party has become ever more intransigent on the abortion question—with rare exceptions like Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Illinois), a true pro-life hero—the pro-life cause has been abandoned by the old pro-civil rights coalition, even as African-American communities are decimated by the abortion license.
In any case, the pro-life stakes in 2012 could not be greater. Men and women of conscience will form their judgments accordingly.