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A Different Path

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Paul Beaty

"I don't like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far."

That was Sen. Joe Biden's immediate reaction to Roe v. Wade in 1974. My, how the times have changed.


In many ways, Biden reflects the culture. Back in the day, Biden said that his opposition to Roe made him "about as liberal as your grandmother." Well, now our grandfather president is as radical as they get on abortion.

Earlier this year, a Washington Post profile of Biden's evolution on abortion suggested that "Biden's complex feelings on abortion -- an apparent discomfort, combined with a sense that the procedure should not be banned -- mirror those of many Americans."

But Biden now goes around talking about codifying Roe v. Wade, promoting legislation that would actually go beyond Roe. Even before Roe was struck down, pro-abortion states moved to expand abortion. Instead of helping women find the means to have their babies, such states are bent on encouraging women to kill their unborn children.

In Wisconsin, Wisconsin Right to Life wants to see an increase in support of women. How about promoting federal funding for women to be able to choose life? Abortion isn't "needed" if there aren't housing or financial constraints. We're a country that can figure out how to give women the ability to choose life, if we have the will. Remember Hillary Clinton's "It Takes a Village"? It's possible to work together to support women and families, we just have to buckle down and do it.


Michael Wear, a proud pro-life Democrat, was a faith adviser to President Barack Obama. In the days after the Supreme Court's decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, he proposed a compromise on abortion that would nationally ban most post-viability abortions, keep federal funding from abortion, and protect conscience rights, among other things. It would protect states that want to do more to protect the unborn, as Wisconsin does. That's something both sides of the aisle could talk about if we had a more reasonable politics.

We'll never get to a better place on what some of us clearly see as the human-rights issue of our time (and President Biden once seemed to see it this way, too, even if somewhat muddily) -- the killing of the innocent unborn -- if we can't even talk with one another.

Introducing his new Center for Christianity and Public Life, an organization aimed at training Christians to effectively serve society without getting bogged down in culture-war issues, Wear writes in Christianity Today: "We've lost the imagination for a politics that helps people and instead bought into a political logic that justifies hurting them. And we tell ourselves, this is just how the game is played. They'll do it to us if we don't do it to them."

As a Christian, he's encouraging something different.


Wear is trying to follow what St. Paul advised to the Ephesians: "Never let evil talk pass your lips; say only the good things men need to hear, things that will really help them. Do nothing that will sadden the Holy Spirit."

Imagine if we did that in politics! We might even allow ourselves to change. Let's help women, not insist that they need abortions. Mothers are capable of such love. A healthier society would want to help them see that as practical reality.

President Biden could still choose to lead rather than follow the commands of the abortion industry. It would be the grandfatherly thing to do, in honor of his grandmother and his first instincts on Roe.

(Kathryn Jean Lopez is senior fellow at the National Review Institute, editor-at-large of National Review magazine and author of the new book "A Year With the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living." She is also chair of Cardinal Dolan's pro-life commission in New York. She can be contacted at

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