Being pro-life never used to mean being Republican


Washington D.C., Apr 12, 2016 / 03:28 am (CNA).- “(W)hen it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty, and acid, I’m about as liberal as your grandmother. I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far.”

So said then-Senator Joe Biden in 1974, a Democrat whose shifting position on abortion is a microcosm of what happened to the pro-life views of the Democratic party as a whole. When Roe v. Wade was first decided, Biden was among the legislators in attendance at the first Marches for Life in Washington, D.C., not a few of whom were Democrats.

Even today, Vice President Biden, a Catholic, admits to personally holding the views of the Church that life begins at conception, while being unable to reconcile them with his party’s political position.


I think it is very easy to allow one’s political viewpoint, either Democrat or Republican, to color what one believes about God rather than the other way around (I know I’ve certainly done it from time to time). Politics become an alternative religion that prevents Christians from expressing certain truths about their faith because their party disagrees with those truths. Ultimately, though, it remains a false idol that does not fulfill our desires and almost invariably ends up granting the Christian neither what he wants nor what God desires. It is so sad. :frowning:


Seeing early quotes like that from Biden and Kennedy and other Democrats is really pretty sad. It makes me wonder what happened. Abortion needn’t be a partisan issue. I’m not sure why it became one.


It still doesn’t unless you describe “pro life” as merely being against any right at all to a legal and safe abortion for a woman. Which I know many in the so called “pro life” movement do.


It’s not merely that, but it is that. It’s hard to be pro-life and in favor of abortion.


Abortion became associated with the Feminist movement and then both worked their way into the Democratic Party Platform, which became ever more pro-abortion with each new election cycle. I remember when the late Governor Casey wished to give a pro-life speech at the Democratic convention and was denied.


There can be no right to murder your child. No matter what fancy language or logical gymnastics you use, you cannot change the reality that you are halting the development of a distinct human person. Science and basic reason bear this out.


It really used to be possible to be a prolife Democrat. I was one myself for many years. Ultimately, though, the party changed, and now it stands for almost nothing but abortion on demand. I realized one could not be simultaneously faithful to the Catholic Church and to the Dem Party. I guess I would be an Independent now, but I’m not even sure of that. I never became a Repub.

But it’s true that the only party with anything remotely resembling a prolife position is the Repub party. If you look at the congress persons listed favorably by NARAL and National Right to Life, you will see that almost no Democrats are prolife and almost no Republicans are pro-abortion, at least as regarded by those organizations.

And if anyone would know, it would be those organizations.


$$$$$ Organizations like Planned Parenthood, NOW and NARL started putting big money into politics and unfettered abortion access became a concrete plank in the Democratic platform.

There are a very few pro-life Democrats in office but they mostly have to go it alone without party support.


It doesn’t now. The Democratic Party platform, as I understand it, says that abortion is a matter for a woman to make her own personal decision about. It is important that Democrats who want to change this be involved in the party, particularly in opportunities to draft your state party platform. Usually, the opportunities are available if you look for them. Most people shy away from the work involved in presenting platform resolutions at precinct caucuses or party conventions. At my precinct caucus, most people didn’t even stay for the platform resolutions.


This is the platform as of 2015. It’s more than just “right to make personal decisions”; it included opposition to any restrictions whatsoever. It could change this year at Convention, of course, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

The party’s steadfast opposition to any restrictions on abortion is enshrined in its official platform, adopted in 2012: The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.


It’s not at all clear why the “right” to abortion is seen as so pro-woman. Half of those aborted are female; where are their rights?


More than half because sex selection abortions are more common than most want to admit. Aslo a third are African American. But remember the Democrat Party “cares” about women and minorities


Yeah. In the same way I “care” about a mosquito biting my arm…


Abortion became politically polarized because of a Republican-evangelical coalition. The only real opposition to abortion being legalized came from Catholics, who also largely voted Democrat. Nixon had success with Catholics by pushing abortion as an issue, mostly because he also didn’t push to dismantle social safety programs, but a lot still voted Democrat. Reagan, working with Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, realized that abortion could be packaged with other “culture wars” issues to form a cohesive voting bloc of Southern, white evangelicals, who up to that point had no real opposition to abortion. Through most of Reagan’s first term Republican voters were still more likely to support abortion rights than Democrats, but by pushing abortion and other social issues on evangelicals voters separated themselves and that’s how we got to today, where Republicans can rely on the evangelical vote.


Pro - Life ought to be the view of everyone who is has life.


Catholics who adhere to their faith had no choice but leave the democrat party. it has nothing to do with Nixon or Evangelicals-the democrats placed themselves in direct opposition to core moral teachings of the Catholic Church


How awful. This aspect of American politics sounds very distressing, surely it should be a matter of conscience no matter which party you represent. :frowning:


The Church views it differently. One must form their conscience in accordance with the teachings of the Church


Conscious is not a catch-all for “whatever I think is right.” Without proper formation a conscience can be horrifically mistaken. If the malformation is the result of deliberate choices (such as a refusal to examine if your notions are actually true or not), then a person can be held accountable for it.


I see what you meant, that every person’s conscience would drive them to denounce abortion. While that should be the case if people bothered to form their consciences, sadly this is not so. Many people have convinced themselves that there’s nothing wrong with abortion, just as they’ve convinced themselves that there’s nothing wrong with pornography, fornication, etc… It’s a sad reality we live in.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit