Colorado Tragedy Can’t Obscure The Heart Of The Pro-Life Movement


As hundreds of thousands peaceful pro-life demonstrators coverage on Washington D.C. today for the annual March For Life, the supporters of legalized abortion are gloating over a tragedy that’s unfolded in Colorado.

The tragedy surrounds the death of Lori Stodghill in St. Thomas More hospital. She and her unborn twins were lost and the father, Jeremy has brought a wrongful death lawsuit, pertaining to the failure of an emergency caesarean section to be performed. The glee that comes from the abortion industry’s foot soldiers is that the legal defense of the hospital has apparently centered on the idea that because Lori’s twins weren’t born, they aren’t entitled to legal protection.

A tragedy at Thomas More Hospital has become a legal centerpiece in the fight for human life.

The bishops in Colorado have issued a statement reaffirming the dignity of human life from conception to natural death, vowed to investigate the nature of the legal defense strategy and have declined further comment. It’s eminently believable that the prelates would not have been involved in the formulation of defense strategy—and thereby need to investigate–nor would it be appropriate for them to start commenting on a legal proceeding that’s still unfolding. Although in our media-saturated environment, which thrives on rapid-response, this is going to leave the Church vulnerable to abortion industry attacks, at least for the time being.

I don’t think anyone here is going to defend or condone a legal defense that appeals to the letter of the law while ignoring Church teaching on a matter of fundamental human rights. This would be the ultimate example of winning a battle at the expense of losing a war. The deeper question is why anyone should be persuaded against the right to life because of what may or may not have happened in Colorado.

If prominent Catholic laypeople—from lawyers to politicians—abandoning the unborn were enough to cause anyone to lose faith or belief in the sanctity of life, then I think the public behavior of Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and the late Teddy Kennedy would have already done that.

Even if you want to assume the worst about those involved in the legal defense at St. Thomas More—and I don’t—it would have no impact on anyone’s commitment to the right to life. Just as the fact that Al Gore can be found jetsetting around the world, in a conspicuous display of fuel consumption doesn’t have any impact on the belief of environmentalists.

The focus in Colorado should be first and foremost on the suffering of the Stodghill family. Then on the bishops’ investigation. If they find a wrong decision was made in legal defense tactics, then it’s a tremendous opportunity for the bishops to witness to the sanctity of life even it comes at financial cost. I guess that’s easy for me to say, because I don’t live in Colorado and wouldn’t be involved in paying the costs, but it is true and I hope I’d do the same if presented with a similar challenge.

But ultimately the faith of the Catholic Church and the pro-life movement is always going to come from the ground up. That’s why, regardless of whatever machinations take place among lawyers and politicians, the ultimate driving force of this movement is the people, who will again set foot in Washington by the hundreds of thousands and give an irrefutable witness to the reality that full legal protection for the unborn is a dream that will never die.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

Dan Flaherty is a freelance writer living in southeastern Wisconsin with a passion for the Catholic Church, the pre-1968 Democratic Party, the city of Boston and the world of sports. He is the owner of, and the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in late 1940s Boston.

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