As I was driving our kiddo recently, I came across one particularly captivating episode of Conversations with Cardinal Dolan on satellite radio.
By the way, how fitting to have this post come out on the two-week anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision :)?
(In case you’re new here, you should know that The Catholic Channel, where most of my favorite radio talk shows are found, is perhaps the most listened to preset in our car and at home on the SXM app. If you don’t have satellite radio, you must preview it by listening to the free Catholic Guy Show podcast and to excerpts of Busted Halo.)
Cardinal Timothy Dolan is the Archbishop of New York. His show with Fr. Dave Dwyer is engaging and I enjoy it when I tune to it, but this particular segment made my ears perk up more than usual.
So much so, that I decided to transcribe it and make it part of a larger discussion here on the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. If you’re a Catholic or a pro-lifer in general, you need his talking points in your arguments with pro-choicers because our “fight” has just begun.
I pray this discussion is helpful!
By the way, check out my previous post on Roe v. Wade where I celebrate the decision and debunk many abortion myths.
Fr. Dave Dwyer: [Shares context on the ruling] … There’s been a lot of backlash and violence, and it’s so sad to see that the division continues.
Cardinal Dolan: It’s very sad and there’s a lot of vitriol, and a lot of anger expressed at the Church, too.
As a patriotic American citizen, I am thrilled with this because our country is returning to its original intent—the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; the fundamental human rights upon which this great nation was founded—a respect for life and the dignity of the human person.
So as an American, I would rejoice!
On The Church’s Impact
And then this whole blather about, “Oh, this is the Church forcing its viewpoint!”
Are you nuts? I mean, although Catholic justices did happen to vote for it… they didn’t vote against Roe v. Wade ’cause they were Catholic; they voted because they… believe in the natural law that we’re always on the side of life, the defense of life.
Their faith, I hope, supported that… but this is not a religious issue, and I can’t really fathom the overreaction! …
If I understand the court decision properly, they said, … “We can’t find a constitutional right to an abortion, so therefore the federal government cannot mandate it or support it.” So that’s a matter up to the states.
Now, if the other side is so convinced that the vast majority of people in the United States [is] for Roe v. Wade, with the unfettered right to abortion, they shouldn’t be afraid! They’ll say, “That’s OK; the people are just going to vote it back.”
But we don’t think they are, so their fear is well-grounded because the basic sense of the American people is that there IS an intrinsic right to life, and that this IS a civil rights issue, that there’s EQUAL protection under the law.
On RestrictionsOn The Violence Against Pro-Lifers After Roe v. Wade Click To Tweet
I have to admit that a good number of our fellow citizens believe that abortion should be legal.
We wouldn’t agree with them there, but we would say, “OK, but it needs to be restricted:
- Our tax money should not pay for it;
- it should not be up to the very moment of birth;
- doctors and nurses should not be forced to do it against their conscience;
- and it should be in the earlier months of pregnancy.”
… Now our opponents [haven’t] been against any of that compromise for half a century!
In a way, I could sympathize with them, Father Dave, ’cause we been feeling as they [have been] for half a century. We’ve been we’ve been lobbying; we’ve been urging; we’ve been advocating; we’ve been walking for the right of the baby and the mom.
On The Other Side Taking Their Own Advice
We’re used to being kind of frozen out on the other side of the decision, right?
For 50 years they’ve told us [to] grow up, [that] we got to listen to the Supreme Court, and [that] the Supreme Court has decided this, “so just shut up and accept abortion, and help us further it and pay for it; force people to do it.”
Well, now, take your own advice!
The Supreme Court has now said, “Ah, that was a flawed decision,” which even people who are ardently in defense of Roe v. Wade have [agreed with].
Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg [admitted] that [although] she rejoiced in Roe v. Wade, she said [that] it was a sloppy decision. It shouldn’t have been decided in that manner; that’s not the best way to have accomplished this.
[All] the Supreme Court said is, “Yeah, this was a sloppy decision and we need to rectify this.”
If this country wants abortion on demand, well, go ahead and vote it in!
On What This All Means Going ForwardOn The Violence Against Pro-Lifers After Roe v. Wade Click To Tweet
Our work our work is still cut out for us, isn’t it?
Not only do we continue to advocate for the rights of the baby, the unborn, innocent fragile baby in the sanctuary of the womb….
But now at local levels we’re going to have to stay geared up now!
… Our politicians [say that NYC] needs to become the abortion capital of the world and actually want to budget tax money from New York citizens to pay for women to come here from states that have outlawed it.
That’s how radical it is here; it couldn’t get much worse!
And secondly, Father Dave, we got our work cut out for us in tending to women… because our opponents do have a point in that there are women who are deeply troubled about their pregnancy, who really wonder if they can follow through with this, and who very much need help and support and encouragement to have their baby.
And darn it, we have to come through so that we are Pro-Baby if the baby’s in the womb, if the baby’s in the delivery room, and if the baby’s back at home! We wanna help them!
And we’re Pro-Woman carrying a baby, giving birth to a baby, and caring for a baby.
So we gotta work hard for that because we agree with our enemies…. We love to see like people like politicians here in New York say, “Let’s help women in need, women in other states where they can’t get help to have their baby.”
What Pro-CHOICE Should Mean
[They’re] telling you to come to have an abortion:
Couldn’t [they instead], if [they] are pro-choice, want you to come if you choose to have your baby, we’ll help you—even if your own state won’t?
Wouldn’t that be a more tender, effective way to respond to this?
I’ve noticed a somewhat metered response on the part of the Church and many pro-lifers because it’s not the time to celebrate or run a victory lap; we’re not popping the champagne… because we still got a lot of work to do….
[We] have fought for five decades with people of other faiths or no faith… so we know this is not a Catholic issue. [They’re] actually flattering us to say this is a Catholic blah blah blah, well, thank you for the compliment that we may have had something to do with it, but we’re not taking credit for it.
We’re grateful that we had the chance to weigh in and advocate and work hard for this, but we’ve walked shoulder-to-shoulder with other people who did not share our faith! …
We believe that’s a human life, and [if this continues,] we’re no better than slave owners who looked at their slaves as human property which they could dispose of.…
I’ve appreciated those voices that have said, “Let’s be careful that this is a legal victory and not a cultural victory: We still need conversion of heart, so we need to win over hearts…. It’s a matter of conscience.
It’s a both-and issue, isn’t it? It’s mom and baby: both-and—not either. [All you hear from the other side] is “Women’s Rights!” [but] you hear nothing about the baby.
Sometimes we would give the impression we’re just about the baby and care less about the woman.
We gotta be for both-and, particularly for those that are such advocates of people being able to make an informed choice.
“Well, if the best choice for somebody is not to have an abortion, why wouldn’t we offer that choice as well?“
So to see the violence against these crisis pregnancy centers that offer women [another] genuine choice? …
But we feel the same way; this is somebody allowing women to exercise the CHOICE which you say is valid!
Now to say we move from pro-choice to pro-abortion? It used to be the common consensus [that] nobody likes abortion [and] we should do everything we can to make sure that a woman is not pressed in that desperate situation, but we don’t like it, and it’s immoral, and it should be illegal, and we don’t need it as society.
Now it’s “abortion is virtuous!” People brag about their abortions, denigrate pregnant women, babies, [and] these beautiful pregnancy resource centers that will help troubled women have their baby.
It’s not just pro-choice anymore!
_ _ _
So thorough, wasn’t it? The things that stuck out to me how pro-choicers need to follow their own advice as they told us to do for almost 50 years, and how someone respecting a pregnant woman’s actual CHOICE needs to also respect her choosing life, in addition to her involvement with pregnancy resource centers that help her and the baby.
I hope you learned some useful talking points in your future discussions with those around you, whether they be fellow pro-lifers (so you help them further their own arguments) or pro-choicers.
Feel free to share your comments or questions. (If it’s troll-like or not respectful, it’ll get automatically deleted before I ever see it because I don’t like wasting time.)