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As some know, October was Respect Life Month within the Catholic Church. During that month, anti-abortion activists spread awareness about abortion and the problems it creates in societies by praying outside abortion clinics and performing other public demonstrations against abortion. Due to actions such as that, many consider the pro-life movement to be solely focused on abortion – and for the most part, the movement is.
However, in the last decade, there has been a subtle and gradual push to broaden the pro-life platform into new territory in which the movement begins embracing more diverse positions. This political drift can be almost exclusively traced back to the Catholic Church, which is undoubtedly the backbone of this social and political movement through its universal position on abortion and its commitment to providing other options to it and protesting its existence. It is no secret that Pope Francis I is at the very least drawn to left wing ideology if he does not agree (with) it. His positions on healthcare and immigration are indicators of his political leanings.
On the topic of healthcare, Pope Francis has called it (a) “universal right,” and not a “consumer good.” When it comes to immigration, the Pope has commented that Catholics cannot both be anti-abortion and refuse unvetted migrants, essentially claiming that it is inconsistent to hold both of those positions. He has also added that the repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive action which would give citizenship to illegal immigrants who arrived as children, was not “pro-life.”
This sort of ideological absorption that is currently taking place will be impacting the movement as a whole sooner rather than later. Already we are seeing community leaders, such as priests, announce that healthcare for all is a pro-life issue. Platform’s adoptions such as these are almost guaranteed to cause fractures within the movement if the people within it continue to adopt these broader positions. The pro-life movement needs to stick to its uniting cause: abortion. The other ideas and policies, such as more lax borders and universal healthcare, should come later.
The purpose for holding that position is straightforward. Abortion, as defined by those on the pro-life side of the spectrum, is murder. Murder is not a partisan issue. Everybody agrees it is a horrible thing. The pro-life movement’s strength lies within that unity. As it stands, it is a movement that no matter what side of the aisle a person falls on, they can support this cause. If more partisan issues such as nationalized healthcare and other policy decisions, which are not universally agreed upon as moral, become incorporated, the movement will fracture as the partisan politics that the pro-life movement internally avoids would be thrust into the forefront.