How Should the Pro-life Movement Respond to White Supremacist Groups at Pro-Life Events?

Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

Kevin Clarke writes:

Brian Paulson, S.J., the president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, called the presence of Patriot Front—a breakaway group that emerged out of a national neo-Nazi organization, Vanguard America—at the march “deeply offensive” in a statement on Jan. 24. Father Paulson delivered the homily at the Ignatian Family Mass for Life at St. Aloysius Church in Washington on Jan. 21.

“As Catholics,” Father Paulson said, “our belief in each person’s God-given dignity requires us to work for the legal protection of unborn children and for public policies that support every expectant parent, especially those who fear they will not be able to provide for their child. This commitment to upholding human dignity also leads us to stand up against racism in our hearts and in our structures.”…

“It is encouraging to see that Jeanne Mancini strongly denounced the Patriot Front and that some protesters on the ground shouted at them to leave; this response should be universal any time they show up at a pro-life event,” Robert Christian, the co-host of the Whole Life Rising podcast and editor of Millennial, said in a direct message.

But, he warned, “it is clear that some in the pro-life movement are comfortable with—or even promoting—anti-democratic efforts out of partisan allegiance or a recent affinity for populist nationalism.”

Condemning neo-Nazis and outright fascists is comparably easy for the pro-life movement, he argued, “but opposing voter suppression and threats to the integrity of our elections should likewise be seen as necessary and linked to protecting life.”