Why the focus on abortion?

As a lifelong Catholic, I have many causes that I’m passionate about. And although I’m pro-life, I’m not an activist, and I don’t feel particularly strongly about abortion. I mean, it’s bad (obviously), but it doesn’t keep me up at night.

I don’t know if I just never noticed it growing up in a Catholic home in the 1970s/80s, but it seems to me like there is a strong component within the Catholic community that is 24-7 focused on abortion. As much as it’s a terrible thing, I don’t see the same obsession over genocide, children starving and needy in our communities, or a million other ways that human beings are killed every day.

So—why the almost fanatical obsession in our faith community? Maybe I’m just imagining it? Are there any other topics that Catholics should maybe focus on? Why the constant coverage of it on Catholic radio (preaching to the choir!) and not a host of other worthwhile topics? I just don’t get the preoccupation with abortion. There’s a part of me that wonders what the pro-life activists would do with themselves if abortion were wiped off the face of the earth? I almost feel like they’d just keep talking about it…




Characterising opposition to abortion as a fanatical obsession and a pre-occupation is a baffling stance for a pro-life Catholic.

Does intellect & imagination not provide clarity as to why the state sanctioned murder of society’s most defenceless is so abhorrent?


Abortion is a form of legalized homicide in our own supposedly civilized nations. Genocide is not happening in our own neighborhoods. Nobody really starved to death in places like the US unless they are anorexic or a dependent that is being neglected by caretakers. But everyone has encountered someone who has had an abortion. And a lot more people have been affected in some way by an abortion, either their own or someone else’s than say someone starving to death.

I’m not saying that there aren’t other issues that we could be talking about. But this one is particularly urgent in both gravity and how common it is.

EDIT: I forgot to point out, that the default position of society is that abortion is okay and is even celebrated. Anybody advocating genocide is universally condemned.


I don’t see any groups saying genocide or starving children are OK and pushing to make them legal.


If I were to judge only by CAF (which I don’t do), I would say there is another topic that is obsessive for many, and that is homosexuality. So I don’t think abortion is the only one. But you want the reason for so much coverage on abortion by Catholics? The unborn baby is regarded as the most innocent and vulnerable of all humans and has no voice or choice of their own; therefore it is the obligation of others to protect them. Further, no other issue is thought worth discussing as much, because if life is deprived from the unborn, there is no future to discuss. I think this is why many (practicing) Catholics are drawn to talking about the issue.


Because every year, worldwide, 40 to 50 million children are killed by abortion. In the USA, in the region of 3,000 children are killed every day by abortion. The numbers are horrendous, and these are the most innocent and vulnerable of people who are being killed.



Because we don’t really see genocide in front of our eyes (although one could make a case for abortion being a type of genocide).
But we all know somebody who has had an abortion.


Abortion is legalized murder. By contrast, nobody is claiming that genocide, children starving, or needy in our communities is a good thing and that women have a right to commit genocide or starve children. Everybody realizes that these things are wrong. Thus, you see more urgency and outrage about abortion, because the state and society have decided that this murder of children is actually permissible, appropriate, even a right, and often a good thing to do.

I am anti-abortion and will go on an occasional march, etc but I have not adopted it as my main cause or devoted a huge amount of time to it. I understand and accept that some other people have and that they feel extremely strongly about it, to the point where they will actually tear up talking about abortion clinics and so forth. In some cases they have personal experiences with abortion or with the death of babies/ young children, so the horror of this really hits home for them. We all have a cause or two that we feel very, very strongly about, so it’s fine with me that they feel this way.

Most of the anti-abortion activists I know are also doing things to help babies that have been born, such as contributing to organizations that provide help to impoverished baby moms.

My question for you is, why do you seem to have a concern with other people’s interest in this topic? There are plenty of other Catholic faith community topics that I could describe as an “almost fanatical obsession.” I prefer to just call it a strong interest. Some people have a strong interest in praying for the conversion of Communist countries. Some people have a strong interest in Latin Mass. Some people have a strong interest in rooting out clergy who committed or covered up sexual abuse. Some people have a strong interest in ending abortion. Some people have a strong interest in helping the poor. Et cetera.


In my experience this is obsessive only among the subgroup that posts on CAF and similar forums.

You can, however, find groups of people that are strongly against abortion in just about every Catholic parish, in person.


Thank you for your thoughtful and honest responses. Although it may seem a natural interest for many, I don’t have that zeal, so it helps to hear from those that are committed to the cause.

(In response to the claim that everyone knows someone who has had an abortion—I don’t know anyone who has had an abortion—that I know of)


That’s the key.


Ok so swap abortion with something like ‘genocide’. Would you be this confused if everyone constantly talked about genocide that’s happening in their own societies?

Seriously reflect on this. Because your post suggest that you don’t view abortion as gravely as other forms of murder. I don’t blame you, since abortion doesn’t have that emotional appeal as other forms of murder for most people (eg a dead 2 week unborn child compared to a dead 10 year old). However that doesn’t make it less immoral or evil.

If you view abortion the same as any murder of an innocent life, I think you would understand why pro life movements are pretty loud.

Of course, it would be great if people had the same fire for all sorts of injustices. But as you see from other posters, the other forms of murders are deemed immoral by almost everyone, and they aren’t pretending as if the murders are “empowering” or necessary for our “freedom”


Find me a group of people trying to make it legal the world over to commit genocide or starve children, and demonizes anyone who opposes it.


I read your hidden post. Absolutely stunning how wrong your conclusion is about the Church that you are a part.


The abortion industry and much of the Left is far more “obsessed” with abortion than we are.


In 2017 there were 879,000 innocent human lives were taken in the US by abortion. If that does not prick anyone’s conscience then there is a problem. Such despicable legalised murder of innocents in my opinion should not only be the number one talking point but it should get constant coverage and remain the number one talking point.


Psalm 19:14

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and redeemer.”




While we might disagree on the substance of each other’s arguments, I too, feel like the flagging of honest comments (provided made in charity) is a bit too frequent.

  1. Proportionally speaking, no other pro-life issue has the impact on life that abortion does. Approximately 40-50 million abortions worldwide per year. No other issue you mention kills that many people: genocide, starving children, etc. Thus, abortion is at the top of the list, and thus deserves attention

  2. No other issue has a group of people trying to argue that it is morally acceptable. Nobody argues that slavery, letting people starve, genocide, etc., is morally acceptable. However, there are a lot of people who will not only tell you its morally fine to have abortions, but its also praiseworthy.

  3. Just because abortion is at the top of the list, does not let Catholics off the hook on those other issues. We are morally required to “multi-task.” However, when it comes to voting and people have a binary decision to make (candidate A or B), then we go back to the numbers…how can we prevent the death of the greatest number of people. This is were the focus on abortion is.

Might I suggest reading the attached from our bishop, written back in 2008:

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