Sister Joan said,
"I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."
The author of the article then adds to Sister Joan’s comments with words like “anti-choice extremist” and referring to “misogynist laws.” No bias in this article, right? Sister Joan is lauded near the end of the article highlighting her accomplishments. She is the author of 50 books, holds a Ph.D., and has appeared on many major television shows. Sister Joan certainly has an impressive resume and is well-known for her stance on women’s issues. One thing the article didn’t point out is that Sister Joan also writes for the National Catholic Reporter. This is a publication which many have asked to please drop the word Catholic from its title because it frequently promotes agenda items clearly in defiance of Church teaching. Knowing this bit of information may assist in putting Sister Joan’s comments in larger context.
The paragraph-long quote from Sister Joan assumes many things and makes some generalizations that are simply not the reality of my own lived experience. My work and cooperation with pregnancy care centers has shown me that many people are striving to feed children, house them, and provide other material necessities to support parents in need of assistance. To make the assertion that these people in the pro-life movement have a “morality that is deeply lacking” is quite judgmental and inaccurate. The hours of volunteer work provided by well-formed Christians not lacking in sound moral judgment is phenomenal. Their direct financial support of these institutions reaching out to women in difficult pregnancies is also amazing.
How did Sister Joan reach her conclusion about people being pro-birth and not pro-life? Simply stated, “Because you don’t want any tax money to go there.” I have one question for Sister Joan. Why is the government viewed as the answer? We have all witnessed government waste and the ineffectiveness of government bureaucracy. Over a half billion dollars a year going to Planned Parenthood is not exactly providing the kind of help that feeds a child, houses a child, and educates a child. Why would Sister Joan believe that the only logical response to caring for children and families is through the institution of the government with direct handouts to anti-life organizations like Planned Parenthood? Where is the morality in that?