As long as abortion is legal, Catholics should be single-issue voters

One glance at the news, now that it’s an election year, shows that there is no escaping politics––stories of the Democratic primaries or President Trump take up every headline. Trump’s impeachment trial and decision to be the first president to be present and speak at the March for Life, in addition to the Democratic Primaries, have made for an unusually eventful January in politics. We hear so much about the Democratic primaries, but does it really matter who is picked? Many Catholics already know who they are going to vote for come November, since the Democrats leave them little choice. 

Single-issue voting. Is the candidate pro-life? If not, then they won’t vote for them. Some might think this is an illogical way to vote. Politics is a very complex field, after all. I agree that this seems a bit extreme, but when the issue is a matter of life and death, it is perfectly reasonable. Americans view their basic rights as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The right to life is the most essential right of all. Without it, no other rights are possible. How can you be free or pursue happiness, if you are not alive? Sadly, modern culture has become too caught up with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness to recognize the right to life for the most vulnerable of our society: the unborn. 

In our culture, people have even accepted the possibility of late-term abortions. Virginia governor Ralph Northam allowed for the possibility of just letting a baby die if it was meant to be aborted before it was born and survived. Such blatant disregard for human life is shocking. We often criticize ancient Greek and Roman culture for leaving a baby out on the mountainside to die. How can we criticize them if we now are willing to do the same thing, in essence? Once a baby has been delivered, no one in their right mind would deny that it is a human being, therefore just leaving it to die equates with murder. 

No wonder that when it comes to abortion, people base their vote on the candidate’s position on the right to life. They have the common sense to recognize that the rights they can enjoy now are only because of the basic right to life that their mothers protected. 

Mother Teresa reminds us: “the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.” 

Our society has so strayed from the proper meaning of love––from love as a sacrifice––that abortion is condoned, especially by politicians.

Though, in fact, many Democratic voters would not like to step as far as politicians. According to a recent Marist poll, 61% of Americans would like more restrictions on abortion, not fewer. But as the Democratic primaries continue, many Americans can do nothing but watch as not one Democratic presidential candidate supports the right to life. 

And even though Donald Trump is a divisive figure in American politics, at least his administration supports the pro-life movement. He was the first president ever to speak at the March for Life. As one of my friends said, “Isn’t it wonderful that God uses such flawed people to do such wonderful things?” 

Gretchen Siegel is a freshman living in PW and studying in the Program of Liberal Studies. She enjoys classical music, museums, and hiking. She also shares a love of soccer with her four wonderful brothers. You can contact her at