Wishful Thinking

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director of Priests for Life
January 31, 2000

If you want some good examples of wishful thinking, ask abortion-rights advocates what they think chemical abortion methods like RU-486 will do to the abortion debate. They will use such expressions as "the triumph of medicine over politics" and "the removal of the abortion issue from public demonstrations." They go so far as to claim that the consequent privatization of the procedure will mean that the pro-life movement will not be able to oppose it.

My response to them is "Dream on…"

First of all, chemical abortion can never fully or even mostly replace surgical abortion. Chemical abortion kills babies only in the earliest weeks of pregnancy, and the very ambivalence that surrounds pregnancy and abortion in the minds and emotions of so many girls accounts for the delay that leads to abortions later in pregnancy.

Another factor, reflected in statistics from countries that have offered RU-486 for years, is that most who have abortions prefer surgical methods because they do not want powerful synthetic steroids, with their largely unknown long-term effects, messing up their bodies.

The provision of the chemical technique, furthermore, with its multiple visits to abortion centers, hardly privatizes it.

But let's get more to the heart of the matter. Even if abortion were totally privatized by chemical methods, the mission -- and opportunity -- of the pro-life movement would not change in the least. If those who are pregnant can find out who administers chemical abortions, then so can the pro-life movement, and the pro-life movement will be there to protest the providers and provide alternatives for the mothers. Just as doctors who destroy babies and their mothers by surgical methods are increasingly brought to court to account for their malpractice, so will doctors who destroy babies and their mothers by chemical methods.

Why does the abortion-rights movement think that by changing their methods of injustice, we will stop crying out for justice? What makes them imagine that by coming up with new ways to kill children, they can make us stop loving those children and working to save them?

No matter the method of abortion, fundamental questions will still cry out for answers: Who are the unborn? Are they equal in dignity to the born? Who is responsible for them? Will they be protected and welcomed in a land which declares that all are created equal? Why should the rightful advancement of women -- which we support -- depend on providing them with license to kill their children?

Instead of devising new ways to kill, why don't those who support abortion join hands with those who oppose abortion in order to devise new ways to provide for mothers, fathers, and children, especially in difficult circumstances?

To those, then, who prematurely claim victory as they herald chemical abortion methods, you are dreaming. And to those who work to advance the right to life, stay the course, and carry on with joy your mission, which can never grow old!

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 • Email: mail@priestsforlife.org