Overcoming the Great Divide


Columbia Right To Life and EXPECT hosted a panel discussion entitled “Transcending Partisan Politics of the Pro-Life Movement”.  Chris White (Associate Director, Catholic Voices USA) moderated the discussion of four panelists:  Professor Charles Camosy (Associate Professor of Theology, Fordham University), Maria Maffucci (Director, Human Life Review), Carol Crossed (Founder, Feminists Choosing Life New York), and Mollie Hemingway (Senior Editor, The Federalist).  The discussion united people of different political persuasions in the common goal of building a more pro-life culture.

The panelists discussed various pro-life issues within the United States political system.  In particular, White asked the panelists to describe the trajectory of the pro-life movement.  The panelists gave a comprehensive analysis based on their areas of expertise.  According to the panelists, issue oriented groups will become the vehicles of political change.  Dr. Camosy outlined the process by which issue oriented groups may eventually overthrow the two party system.  Hemmingway followed up by commenting on the possibility of a pro-life party.  Finally, Crossed demonstrated that issue oriented groups, such as women’s suffrage and abolition, can be successful.  In reference to issue oriented groups, the panelists also critiqued the pro-life movement’s historical association with the Republican party.  In short, they said voters should be willing to transcend party lines in order to promote pro-life issues.

WYA intern Aaron Stolle asked if bipartisan issues should really be the focus, given their failure in the Supreme Court and Planned Parenthood.  Maffucci replied that clearly the movement needs to do more than change people’s minds.  The movement needs to also change people’s hearts.  Crossed responded by addressing the Supreme Court’s recent decision, which undercut women’s health.  She accused the judges of promoting their own agenda over the good of the people and trampling on state rights.  Finally, Hemmingway claimed that the money backing Planned Parenthood’s agenda enables them to break the law without major political repercussions.  This money creates problems for any advancement of the pro-life movement because it enables them to have large Public Relation and Marketing teams. Their answers demonstrate that the movement’s goal cannot be solely to make pro-life issues bipartisan.

WYA would like to take this opportunity to recommit itself to the cause for life, which is fundamental to human dignity.  WYA invites people of all political persuasions to stand in solidarity for the unborn and to promote a culture of life.

Written by Aaron Stolle, a 2016 batch 3 North America intern. Photo by Andrea Arellano, a 2016 batch 3 North America Intern.