By: Craig A. Ford, Jr.
In the last few days, Br. Dan Horan, O.F.M, author of the blog Dating God has advanced significant points of critique, not only for any individual who attended the March for Life in Washington D.C., but also for any person who espouses an anti-abortion position more generally. His first post, “Why I Do Not Support the (so-called) March for Life” was a three-fold criticism of both the ideology behind the movement and the people who normally participate in it. He called attention to the fact that the “March for Life” has a willed myopia about its mission when the movement refers only to the plight of pre-born children at the expense of other causes within the pro-life ethic, including, but not limited to, issues of poverty, war, economic injustice, and educational injustice—the joint presence of which in our society should also be the concern of anyone who claims to be pro-life. The reason why this myopia is especially troubling is because all of these other issues are very much related to abortion, in that these issues often stand at the root of why mothers and fathers of pre-born children seek abortions. To the extent that we are worried only about the abortion clinic, it is to that extent that we blind ourselves to where our energies should also be directed—namely, to the classroom and the housing projects where people living in poverty feel that abortion is their only option. Br. Dan’s most recent post has more of an “examination of conscience” feel once he gets into it, and he invites his readers to consider how circumstances such as race and socioeconomic class can also provide an avenue of critique for the pro-life movement. The main question that Br. Dan brings to our minds is one that asks for a moral analysis of a political cause when non-White Americans and poor-Americans are not present for such a political cause. Indeed, all Br. Dan saw when he looked at a picture of the march on Monday was “young and old white people.”
The attitude to which I come to this post is not as much from a posture of defense as much as it is from a posture of challenge that acknowledges that the sword that I am using here is two-edged. As a pro-life, Catholic, black male of upper-middle class background this means that I will be exerting pressure in two directions: at one time, on the pro-life movement, and, at another time, on the concerns that Br. Dan raised as critiques of the pro-life movement in his two very-appreciated posts. Read the rest of this page »