Witness the actual abortion extremists

Once again, a prominent political leader has maligned those of us who work hard to defend the most basic civil right — to life itself — of the preborn baby as “extremists.”

Sadly, this is nothing new. We’ve been labeled as “right wingers,” “retrogrades,” “Neanderthals,” and “deplorables;” we’ve been told we are not real New Yorkers, that the Empire State was no place for the likes of us and that we should move away. All this for asking simply that the rights of the tiny, fragile baby in the womb be given as much consideration as the rights of the mother.

It’s a good time to ask just who the “extremists” really are.

The pro-abortion industry absolutely resists any attempts at reasoned compromises to the unfettered abortion license. Remember when we were told that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare,” that every abortion is a tragedy, and we need to find common ground to help mothers in need and thereby lower the number of abortions? Forget it! Those days are long gone.

Now, abortion supporters insist upon the unquestioned right to an abortion at any time, from conception to the very process of birth, for any reason or none-at-all; this ending of the baby’s life to be paid for by the all of us through our taxes; doctors, nurses, and hospitals coerced into performing these grisly procedures, even if it tramples upon their consciences.

Agencies which exist to help women consider the alternative “choice” through care, counseling, accompaniment, and assistance during and after the birth of the infant are harassed and threatened with closure.

Reasoned compromise with the limitation of abortion to earlier months of pregnancy, common in European countries, is scorned, resented, and fought; mention of the rights of the biological dad and parents of minors is snickered at; more benevolent access to adoption of babies is ignored; even peaceful protesters at abortion mills are arrested and imprisoned.

These days, an abortion is not considered a tragedy. Rather, it is something to be celebrated! Women are encouraged to publicly and proudly proclaim that they have had an abortion, in an effort to make it something chic and trendy. Singers, actresses, and other popular icons brag about their abortions, claiming that they wouldn’t have achieved stardom, success, and material wealth if they had carried a child at an “inconvenient” time.

They fail to even see that such proclamations, far from being statements of empowerment, are rather an indictment on our society, which has given them the message that a child is an obstacle to success, rather than a critical key to happiness and fulfillment.

Meet the real “extremists.”

Are there some pro-life “extremists?” Sadly, yes. But they are a few, misguided, unhelpful, miniscule number.

However, within the pro-abortion industry, I fear the extremists are the majority, well-funded, backed by Hollywood, slick marketing, and the media. They have completely taken over one of our great political parties — ask loyal Democrat, Congressman Dan Lipinski of Chicago, tossed aside because he dared stand up for the baby — and have intimidated the other. Calm, sane reasoning and consideration of lifesaving alternatives are forbidden and maligned.

Right here in New York, I’ve spoken with Democratic politicians who tell me directly that they have left elected office because they felt they had become pariahs in their own party — politically homeless because they veer from party orthodoxy on a single issue — abortion on demand.

Such litmus testing — on either side — is tragic. Is it not better to listen to temperate voices expressing both views?

Demonization and name-calling by politicians — or anyone — is never productive. Debate by insult is de rigueur in American politics, and neither party has cornered the market on this trend. Call me a naïve optimist but I believe we can do better. I believe we can discuss difficult issues, such as when human life begins and whether or not all human life is worthy of the state’s protection, without resorting to tropes and generalizations that put all of our opponents in the same box.

The problem is, it’s a lot easier to resort to name calling when you are trying to defend a procedure that by definition always results in the death of an innocent human life.

We long for political leaders who try to protect the rights of all, who speak eloquently of the health of both the baby and the mom. Could not common ground be that we are all pro-baby, pro-mom, pro-life?

Dolan is archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York.

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