Abortion and Social Justice: How Pro-Life Advocates are Meeting the Needs of Women Facing Crisis Pregnancies


Friday, January 24, 2014
January 23, 2014|10:37 am

Kathryn Lopez, Editor-At-Large of National Review Online, Cathy Ruse, senior fellow at the Family Research Council, and Joseph Koterski, philosophy professor at Fordham University, address the 2500 pro-life students at the Students for Life National Convention at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

UPPER MARLBORO, Maryland — Pro-Life activists argued that loneliness drives women to abortion, so addressing abortion as a social justice issue involves befriending women and helping them during and after a crisis pregnancy. A panel at the 2014 National Students for Life Convention introduced this idea, and two groups at the event prioritized it in their work.

"Abortion is a reflection that we've failed to meet the needs of women", said Cathy Ruse, senior fellow for legal studies at the Family Research Council.

Ruse cited the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, saying that 92 percent of women who have abortions choose abortion for two overarching reasons – a lack of practical or emotional support. "They need help and they need friends," Ruse suggested. "They don't have them, so they turn to abortion." She challenged the 2,500 pro-life activists at the 2014 National Students for Life Convention to develop "a radical solidarity with women in need."

In discussing the term social justice in a panel at the conference, Ruse explained that "social" has to do with relationship, and "the most basic human need for relationship." She quoted Mother Theresa who said "being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."

"Love means being willing to give even when it hurts," explained the moderator, Kathryn Lopez, editor-at-large of National Review Online. She argued that abortion takes away both the mother and the father's chance to learn what love truly is.

Joseph Koterski, associate professor of philosophy at Fordham University, urged the pro-life audience to "go out in evangelization, go out in charity, go out to those really and truly in need, and you will speak values." Only by reaching out in love will their arguments actually convince other people.