Saturday 15th December 2018

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

In Twenty Years . . . Why Democrat Leaders Turned On Their Heels Against Pro-Lifers

December 4, 2018 Frontpage No Comments


Highly placed Catholic liberal Democrats were outraged when President Bill Clinton in April 1996 issued the first of what was to be two vetoes of congressional bills against repellent partial-birth abortion. His other stubborn veto came in October 1997.
The Slickster, as some foes called Clinton, insisted on the slaughter, and Catholic Democrats later learned to eat defeat with a shrug.
As the first of the two bills had proceeded on the legislative pathway from the House to the Senate, columnist George Will noted in his column in Newsweek on December 11, 1995, that 73 House Democrats voted for this pro-life bill.
In her opinion column in the April 14, 1996, Washington Post, just after the first of the two vetoes, politically liberal Catholic writer Mary McGrory said she happened to be at a party for the liberal Catholic magazine Commonweal the night Clinton killed the bill. The liberal Catholics’ reaction, McGrory wrote, “was consternation, dismay, anger.”
McGrory wrote that the Commonweal editor, Margaret Steinfels, “defined the sense of betrayal” by commenting that, “Tonight, a liberal friend called me and said, ‘How can I possibly vote for him after this?’”
That year Clinton was facing the voters for his presidential re-election campaign. To his good fortune, his opponent was the amiably passive veteran Republican Sen. Bob Dole.
Closely identified with the politics and personalities of Boston’s Catholic John F. Kennedy generation, McGrory was a typical partisan liberal of her time. And she saw nothing to apologize for when she blasted pro-abortion Clinton for stabbing Catholic Democrats. Her column, headlined, “Clinton Vetoes Catholic Voters,” concluded that Clinton “let them down so hard.”
To McGrory, the Catholic focus seemed natural, even though partial-birth abortion was, as she described it, “a procedure so harrowing that even agnostics or pro-choice voters are repelled by it.”
The April 19, 1996, issue of Steinfels’ Commonweal magazine echoed with a cutting editorial titled, “Clinton’s choice.” It noted that the difference between partial-birth abortion and infanticide is only a matter of another inch or two or another minute in the delivery.
Although the 1996 legislation came out of “a very conservative Republican Congress…the bill passed with many Democratic votes,” Commonweal said, proceeding to ask:
“Here is the real quandary: Why does a procedure that can reasonably be called infanticide get so much support from pro-choice forces and from Bill Clinton?”
The editorial concluded that Clinton was guilty of a “grave failing.”
This wasn’t so far in the past, but only two decades later unrestricted abortion was held to be a basic requirement of Democratic Party belief. To think that even 13 House Democrats would vote for a vital pro-life bill in 2016 would be to imagine the impossible.
Major Democratic officials like Andrew Cuomo, Tom Perez, and Dick Durbin said there was no room in the party for pro-lifers — a declaration so bold that even pro-abortion Nancy Pelosi said it went too far.
Not that “Catholic” Pelosi was rejecting her own hardline pro-abortionism, but she didn’t want the remaining pro-life Democrats to go off voting for Republicans: You pro-lifers vote for our Dems, then we’ll ignore you for the rest of the time.
The very night after Dem presidential nominee Hillary Clinton stood up in debate in 2016 favoring even late abortions and appointing new justices to the Supreme Court who’d protect massive abortion, she publicly broke bread with meek and jovial Timothy Cardinal Dolan at the New York Al Smith dinner in October, shortly before that November’s election.
While Catholic leaders in the secular political world of 1996 viewed Bill Clinton’s abortion fanaticism with “consternation, dismay, anger,” one of the nation’s top Catholic prelates in 2016 didn’t even peep in public protest against the pro-abortion fanatic seated just next to him in the dinner spotlight. Such Catholics had crumpled their conscience and thrown in the towel.
For Democrats to whom being pro-life still mattered, there was Democrats for Life of America (, but party leaders seemed to regard them as no more than a minor irritant, while the party would engage in any atrocity imaginable that Planned Parenthood demanded.
What had happened in those 20 years? A constant propaganda pounding was one factor. Major media regarded as the Democrats’ friends promoted radical pro-abortionism as a pressing priority.
And on the left, it long has been the view that there are no enemies to one’s left. Those more liberal than oneself can be trusted, and probably have the higher moral ground. Can’t hurt to capitulate to them. Keeping peace under one roof in a household has led to more than one unfortunate surrender.
What looks like “keeping peace” to one person, though, might be more like cowardice and abnegation to another.
Also, as pro-abortion activists purged party pro-lifers, they sometimes didn’t encounter that much resistance, especially when many Dems decided their party had left them behind, so they left it behind as a result, becoming Republicans or independents. That’s why Democrat leaders ever more desperately fought to bring millions of new voters into their ranks by any means from over the borders.
While being adamantly pro-abortion was entirely acceptable, pro-lifers were regarded as foolishly focused on one narrow issue. Yet, as veteran pro-life activist Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life ( said, “If a candidate who supported terrorism asked for your vote, would you say, ‘I disagree with you on terrorism, but where do you stand on other issues?’ I doubt it.”
Opposing permissive abortion wasn’t “a single issue”; pro-abortionism was a disqualifying issue.

A Liberal Cause

It’s also worth remembering that in its early days, the modern pro-life movement wasn’t like the rewriters of history would prefer that you think. They long have striven that as the years passed, liberals would shun pro-lifers as unworthy of their companionship.
Yet in his book Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement Before Roe v. Wade (Oxford University Press, 2016), historian Daniel K. Williams noted an orientation that would explain why liberal Catholic Democrats still could castigate Bill Clinton in 1996.
As I wrote in a book review in the hardcopy issue of The Wanderer dated for February 25, 2016: “Contrary to media myths that pro-lifers are reactionaries who sprouted to oppose women’s newly court-granted (abortion) freedom, Williams writes, the early pro-lifers often were New Deal Democrats and liberals who regarded protection of the threatened unborn as a liberal, human-rights cause.”
Even a book review on January 9, 2016, in the strongly pro-abortion New York Times admitted Williams’ “stunning central claim: For much of its history, the fight to restrict abortion was a progressive cause.” It was a time when, the Times review said, “Democrats and the Black Panthers opposed abortion, and Ronald Reagan, like most conservatives, supported it.”
The review added later: “An ecumenical, liberal coalition of anti-abortion allies began to share fetal photographs, abortion videos and the tales of horrified nurses with legislators, and even some who had supported liberalization changed their minds. In 1971, in every single one of 25 legislative battles, attempts to broaden abortion’s legality were thwarted by activists fighting for ‘life’.”
But radical pro-abortionists don’t get all the credit for shoving pro-life policies out of the Democratic Party. Often major national Republicans including that party’s presidents had seemed reluctant or embarrassed at opposing permissive abortion, as if the pro-life cause is unworthy, and thus removed pressure from national Democrats to affirm being pro-life.
Perhaps the GOP’s Bob Dole is among the most disappointing. Dole said he hadn’t read the party platform produced for the 1996 Republican convention that nominated him as its presidential candidate. This was widely taken to mean that he was uninterested or ashamed about its social-conservative stands.
Moreover, only a few months earlier in 1996 Bill Clinton vetoed the partial-birth abortion bill, even shocking the liberal Catholics, but Dole dared not challenge Clinton over the atrocity as they faced off against each other for the White House.
By October 1996 syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, hardly a fire-breathing abortion foe, was despairing over Dole’s pallid campaign, saying, “Dole has utterly failed to articulate any challenge” on the issues. In a presidential debate where he could have brought up Clinton’s abortion veto, Krauthammer lamented, Dole had “nothing to say.
“Dole made no mention of partial-birth abortion,” Krauthammer continued, “a barbaric and medically unnecessarily procedure so close to infanticide . . . that it troubles vast numbers of even those who believe in legalized abortion. Partial-birth abortion survives in the United States solely because of Clinton’s veto pen. Not a word.”
The two GOP presidents most willing to take an open stand for pro-life have been Ronald Reagan and, to an even greater and perhaps more sincere degree, Donald Trump.
This is possibly one of the foremost reasons that dominant, hysterically pro-abortion media loathe Trump so. But justice eventually triumphs over all, and even dominant media won’t be able to fast-talk their way past the Final Judge into the penthouse.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Fr. Weinandy: "What we have learned is that what Pope Francis says has little meaning in and of itself. The real Pope Francis is only seen within his actions, and his actions often are in conflict with his words."

Edward Pentin on Twitter

“Father Weinandy's full remarks on the chances of #PopeFrancis including the issue of homosexuality in the discussions of the February meeting o...

Load More...

President Trump’s Decision to Defund Planned Parenthood of $50-60 Million Likely to Win in Court

President Donald Trump appears likely to win a court battle against the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. At issue are new guidelines for Title X grants, which fund family planning programs across the country. In February, the U.S. Department of Health and…Continue Reading

Pro-LGBT priest promotes ‘rainbow’ rosary with prayers for ‘full acceptance’ of gay couples

December 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-LGBT Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin is promoting on social media a rosary with “rainbow” beads for one of the decades which are to be used, the rosary’s creators say, to pray for the “full…Continue Reading

Archbishop Viganò denies claims he defrauded his brother

ROME, December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò today has denied claims he defrauded his brother, and has sought to clarify an October court ruling ordering him to pay his brother €1.8 million in inheritance. Many believe the ruling is being…Continue Reading

Vatican’s former doctrine chief: ‘LGBT’ has ‘no place’ in Church documents

VATICAN CITY, November 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – An influential cardinal says that pro-homosexual terminology such as “LGBT” has no place in the documents of the Roman Catholic Church. In a recent interview with LifeSiteNews, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, formerly the Prefect of the…Continue Reading


PHILADELPHIA ( – After Cdl. Donald Wuerl spearheaded a $25 million grant to the Vatican earlier this year through the Papal Foundation, sources confirm the money remains unaccounted for, the Rome hospital designated as beneficiary apparently never having received the grant. Sources also confirm Wuerl…Continue Reading

Cardinal guilty of covering up sex abuse addresses US bishops’ conference

BALTIMORE, November 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A cardinal barred from public ministry since 2013 as a result of his systematic cover-up of sex abuse spoke at the U.S. Bishops’ General Assembly in Baltimore Tuesday, telling the bishops they “need to lead by witness.” In…Continue Reading

US bishops consider asking Pope Francis to release McCarrick documents

BALTIMORE, Maryland, November 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will consider officially asking Pope Francis to release any documents related to alleged serial sexual abuser Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. The motion was made from the…Continue Reading

U.S. Catholic Bishops Meet in the Shadow, Still, of Clergy Sex Abuse

This weekend, the Catholic bishops of the United States gather in Baltimore ahead of their three-day annual general assembly, which opens Monday. By coincidence, it will be 16 years exactly since their session in 2002, when they met to amend…Continue Reading

The Synodal Church

Antonio Spadaro, SJ – Carlos Galli Forty years ago, Jesuit Father Arij Roest Crollius wrote: “What is so new about inculturation?”[1] His reflection was a milestone in the understanding of that word and in welcoming a concept at the heart of…Continue Reading

National network of Catholic church leaders told to preserve all communications

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has asked the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to preserve all electronic and paper documents in case other federal prosecutors need to look into accusations of sexual assault against current…Continue Reading

Cdl. Burke ‘strongly’ endorses new virtue education program for young people

October 26, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the Church’s most outspoken defenders of life, marriage, and family, has “strongly” endorsed a new virtue education program for children. “Alive to the World” is a continuous, story-based virtues/values program. Much…Continue Reading

Pittsburgh wants to revoke Chick-fil-A’s sponsorship of kids event over Christian marriage views

PITTSBURGH, October 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – America’s most successful Christian food chain may be driven out of a children’s community event in Pittsburgh over the owners’ Christian-based view of marriage and homosexuality, if the Pittsburgh City Council has its way.…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Today . . .

Help Us Break The Silence!

Vatican seized by Silence

The bishops have proven once again that they are unable to address the current crisis facing the Church. It is time for the laity to step up. We are asking you to help us flood the Vatican with this appeal to the Pope for answers. Tell your friends, your family, and your pastor: Encourage all concerned Catholics to sign our petition (see below) to the Holy Father. Please share on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.…Continue Reading

Cdl. Burke: ‘Synodality’ suggests some kind of ‘new church’ where pope’s authority is destroyed

LIMERICK, Ireland, (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke has come out criticizing the concept of “synodality” that was barely discussed during the recently concluded “Youth Synod,” but, nevertheless, found its way into the final document, surprising many of the Synod Fathers. “It’s become like a slogan, meant to suggest some kind of new church which is democratic and in which the authority of the Roman Pontiff is relativized and diminished—if not destroyed,” said Card

Facebook unblocks image of Santa kneeling before Baby Jesus after LifeSite report goes viral

December 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Facebook is no longer censoring an image of Santa Claus kneeling before the Baby Jesus that it had deemed “violent or graphic content” after a report on LifeSiteNews about the matter went viral yesterday. Facebook had obscured the picture, explaining that the “photo was automatically covered so you can decide if you want to se

Pro-LGBT Catholic prof: Many German bishops don’t believe homosexual acts are wrong

December 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic German ethics professor calls Cardinal Müller’s recent remarks on homosexuality “unbearable” and claims that, just as the Church’s teaching on the death penalty has changed, the teaching on homosexuality is also open to change. Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has been under constant sharp criticism since his 21 November interview with LifeSiteNews, in whi

Cardinal accuses EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo of attacking Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY, December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier has come out swinging against EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo, accusing him of reporting “negatively” on as well as “attack[ing]” Pope Francis. The former Archbishop of Durban tweeted last night that Arroyo was like a “throwback” to Northern Ireland’s most notorious anti-Catholic “Ian Paisley & his ilk.” “The World Over” hosted by Raymond A


I Saw An Angel

By DEREK BECHER I saw an angel on the sill, The dawn of Christmas Day; It gazed upon my little crèche And pressed its hands to pray… Her whispered words were weaving Into frost upon the pane; It printed pretty lyrics That the seraph would proclaim. And then she strummed a little harp, So smoothly,…Continue Reading

Federal District Court… Halts HHS Mandate For Six Christian Organizations

DENVER — A federal district court issued an order Tuesday, December 11 that permanently prevents the federal government from enforcing the Affordable Care Act’s abortion-pill mandate against six Christian organizations represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The order also declares that the mandate violates the organizations’ rights protected by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . The AAUP: Defender Of Sham Scholarship In The Interest Of Ideology

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Witnessing To Christ In China

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Blood of the Martyrs: Trappist Monks in Communist China by Theresa Marie Moreau; 187 pages, available on Kindle and limited hardcover at Blood of the Martyrs details the persecution of a group of Cistercian monks following the establishment of the postwar Communist government in China, a government determined to destroy…Continue Reading

When Can Americans Be Arrested In Retaliation For What They Say?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of Creators Syndicate distributes his column. All rights reserved.) + + + It may be a prudent policy to always be polite to the police, but does that mean Americans must give up the right to be rude? A question similar to…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Supernatural Faith

By DON FIER A brief and enigmatic scriptural definition of the theological virtue we began to consider last week, faith, is set forth in the Letter to the Hebrews: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Its fundamental importance with regard to man’s attainment of salvation is underscored just a few…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Regarding a recent reply to a person struggling with unholy and impure thoughts during Mass or when reading Scripture or praying the rosary, we quoted a priest as recommending four things: guard your senses, pick a good time to pray, focus on your prayers, and open yourself to God’s grace through the sacraments. One of our readers, an…Continue Reading

Gender Ideology — A Radical Attack On The Family

By FR. SHENAN J. BOQUET (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission of Human Laife International, It first appeared at on December 3. Fr. Boquet is the president of HLI.) + + + “Gender theory is an error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion” — Pope Francis. + + + The speed with…Continue Reading

The Lord Is Near

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday Of Advent (YR C) Readings: Zeph. 3:14-18a Phil. 4:4-7 Luke 3:10-18 In the first reading today the Lord instructs Zion to shout for joy, Israel is to be joyful, and Jerusalem is to be glad and exalt. The reasons for this rejoicing are threefold: Israel’s judgment has been removed, God has turned their enemies…Continue Reading

ADD Represents D.C. Church… Atheists’ Lawsuit Would Force Churches To File Tax Returns

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a church in Washington, D.C. — The New Macedonia Baptist Church — have filed a motion in federal court to intervene in an atheist group’s lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed by Freedom From Religion Foundation attorneys on behalf of Nonbelief Relief, Inc., seeks to more greatly entangle the government with religion by unconstitutionally…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes … Servant Of God Walter Ciszek

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Unless people are faced with no choice in hardship, they will never know just how much pain and suffering they are able to endure, especially with the help of God’s grace. The concentration camps of World War II, the flotillas of Vietnamese boat people escaping a repressive regime, and the horrors of fighting in armed…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Maria Virgo

By CAROLE BRESLIN When I visited my aunt in St. Louis, Mo., we would visit the basilicas, the museums, and other places of interest. She had many sites near her that were particularly special to her, such as her parish, The Little Flower, in Richmond Heights. In addition, she described a place where she frequently went for eucharistic adoration at…Continue Reading