Voices For Life

Voices for Life is an e-publication dedicated to informing and educating the public on pro-life and pro-family issues. We cover issues from conception until natural death, as well as all family life issues.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

An Insightful New History of the Pro-Life Movement

by Monica Migliorino Miller 
Crisis Magazine 

In recent years several books have been published that chronicle—either as history or memoir— the efforts of those committed to ending legalized abortion. One of the first was my own Abandoned: the Untold Story of the Abortion Wars, followed by the late Dr. and Mrs. John C. Willke’s Abortion and the Pro-Life Movement: An Inside View,and a lesser-known work by James Trott, Was that Thunder? A Memoir of Pro-Life Rescue, 1988-1997. 

A history of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision is offered in Clarke Forsythe’s 2013 Abuse of Discretion. Soon to be published is Joe Scheidler’s much anticipated Racketeer for Life: A Memoir of a Career Pro-Lifer. A few histories of the activist-end of the pro-life movement came out in the 1990s and early 2000s such asWrath of Angels: The American Abortion War with its false interpretation of the rescue movement as precursor to clinic bombings and killing of abortionists, and the pro-abortion sarcastic diatribe Targets of Hatred: Anti-Abortion Terrorism. Add to this Cynthia Gorney’s even-handed Articles of Faith: A Frontline History of the Abortion Wars, published in 2000.

This year sees a unique treatment of the pro-life effort in Daniel K. Williams’ Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-life Movement Before Roe v. Wade. This is a balanced, impeccably researched examination of the development of a social movement and, while told in a factual, straight-forward style, nevertheless brings to life the personalities of those first alarmed by the push to legalize abortion and their early strategies. This is an important work—first, because it is absolutely unique. It is the first history of the right-to-life movement exclusively concerned with its pre-Roe response to abortion.

Secondly, Defenders of the Unborn reveals that for decades the pro-life effort was dominated by progressives allied with Democratic Party social welfare principles—demonstrating that the philosophical roots of the pro-life movement are based in a classically liberal idea of human rights and social justice—and thus cannot be dismissed as an off-shoot of neo-conservative Republicanism. The book seeks to demonstrate that historians “mischaracterized both the chronology of the pro-life movement and its ideological origins” and thus are unable to “explain why it remains a potent political force today.” The book iconoclastically reveals that indeed, many who advocated legalized abortion in the pre-Roe days were mainstream Republicans. Read the book to find out who! And lastly, Defenders is important for providing a perceptive explanation of the social, moral, and cultural forces that eventually led to the Democratic Party embracing abortion-on-demand thus forcing the pro-life movement to politically shift its allegiance to the Republican Party.

continue reading at http://www.crisismagazine.com

Monica Migliorino Miller is the Director of Citizens for a Pro-life Society and Associate Professor of Theology at Madonna University in Michigan. She holds a degree in Theatre Arts from Southern Illinois University and graduate degrees in Theology from Loyola University and Marquette University. She is the author of several books including The Theology of the Passion of the Christ (Alba House) and, most recently, The Authority of Women in the Catholic Church (Emmaus Road).

Voices for the Unborn is an e-publication dedicated to informing and educating the public on pro-life and pro-family issues. To read our Mission Statement, use this link.  You can also follow us on FacebookGoogle, and Pinterest.  Help spread the word by sharing our articles on your favorite social networks.

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