Campaign Finance and the Right to Life
In her important new book Dollars for Life, Mary Ziegler, the Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law at the University of California-Davis School of Law (formerly at Florida State University College of Law), traces how American prolifers of various descriptions and political persuasions have tried for decades to bend the two major political parties to their life-affirming will. Her other books on abortion and legal history in America, such as the highly informative (if occasionally biased) Reproduction and the Constitution in the United States (Routledge, 2022) and the essential Abortion and the Law in America: Roe v. Wade to the Present (Cambridge, 2020), detailed how the twists and turns of abortion politics have shaped the legal and political gestalt of America for decades, even centuries. But in Dollars for Life, Ziegler more narrowly focuses on how the pro-life groups’ various attempts to get political parties and politicians to act on protecting the unborn and their mothers may have worked to debilitate, for better or worse, the longstanding liberal consensus guiding American political discourse and practice.
Dollars for Life is the story of the prolifers’ frenemy relationship with the GOP. Over time, and especially “when the GOP became the only party endorsing the ‘human life amendment,’ most leading pro-life groups cast their lot with the Republicans” (xii). But the alliance was an uneasy one. While political machines were happy to take donations from prolifers and to court their votes, American politics bogged prolifers down in the quicksand of mixed and conflicting interests.
For instance, Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), who switched from pro-choice to pro-life views, ostensibly on the inspiration of legendary prolifer Mildred Jefferson (1927-2010), chose Sandra Day O’Connor as his first Supreme Court justice nominee in 1981 (46-47). Prolifers protested because of O’Connor’s pro-abortion record as an Arizona state legislator. Adding to the unease, O’Connor, the first Supreme Court nominee ever to be asked about abortion during judicial nomination hearings, was coy about Roe v. Wade (46-47). O’Connor fully justified the prolifers’ wariness with her pro-choice rulings over the years to come.
Prolifers revved up for one political campaign after another, hoping to influence this or that politician, to sway this or that Supreme Court justice, to finally end the scourge of abortion against the unborn and their mothers. However, no matter how hard they tried, the elusive conversion of the Republican Party to the pro-life cause moved seemingly further out of reach with each betrayed election promise, each dud on the Supreme Court.
Enter James Bopp, Jr. Ziegler’s core argument in the book, one she makes with extensive reliance on Bopp’s personal archives, is that, in trying to change campaign finance laws so that prolifers could overrun the GOP instead of trying to control it from the outside, Bopp set the stage for the party’s collapse (xviii).
Bopp did succeed in eliminating campaign finance laws that capped donations and restricted how and when cash could be spent, but Ziegler sees his victory as pyrrhic. What Bopp’s successes engendered, Ziegler argues, was first the Tea Party (163-167) and finally the populist uprising that manifested in the presidency of Donald John Trump (194-196).
It is in the details marshaled in support of this thesis that Dollars for Life really shines. Over the course of six chapters, Ziegler traces the turbulent history of the post-Roe Republican Party, showing how pro-life idealists and realists hammered out uneasy compromises—and often engaged in open internecine warfare—over the political strategies that all hoped would one day end abortion in America.
In Chapter One, “The Fall of Personhood,” Ziegler provides a window into often-overlooked pre-Roe pro-life work, such as the efforts of Fordham law professor Robert Byrn (1931-2017) in New York City and Dennis J. Horan (1932-1988) and Horan’s “brother-in-law, Dr. Bart Heffernan [(1925-1990)],” in Illinois. Byrn and Heffernan (the latter with Horan’s help) tried to have themselves appointed legal guardians for unborn children in Queens and the State of Illinois, respectively. “The purpose of the guardianship is to allow the unborn children to assert their constitutional rights in court,” Ziegler quotes Byrn as saying in a 1971 article in the New York Times (13). Although a Queens judge agreed and “blocked abortions in the city [of Queens in January 1971], reasoning that the fetus was ‘a living human being,’” higher courts overruled and then affirmed the reversal (13). That was not the only setback for pre-Roe prolifers. Courts in Pennsylvania, “Washington, DC, Wisconsin, Georgia, Illinois, Florida, and New Jersey all struck down state laws prohibiting most abortions” between 1969 and 1972 (13-14). In the Supreme Court, 1971’s United States v. Vuitch and 1972’s Eisenstadt v. Baird also presaged the coming cataclysm of Roe and Doe (14). In response to those two 1973 Supreme Court rulings legalizing abortion nationwide, both pro-life and pro-choice groups “hoped to deliver a [followup] knockout blow,” the former by designating unborn children as persons, the latter by having abortion restrictions at the state level dismantled (15). It was around this time that James Bopp, under the tutelage of “conservative giant” M. Stanton Evans (1934-2015), joined the pro-life cause. Bopp also (and also under Stanton’s sway) started to attack campaign finance rules. But at the time, the two prongs were unrelated. The target of campaign finance maneuvering was President Gerald Ford (1913-2006), whom Bopp wanted to oust in favor of Ronald Reagan (20-21) in the 1976 Republican primary. Reagan of course came up short that year, but the Supreme Court indirectly helped Bopp and others like him by deciding in Buckley v. Valeo in 1976 that some of the 1971 Federal Election Campaign Act’s restrictions on campaign spending were unconstitutional (21, 27, 30-34).
This allowed Bopp and others wider leeway to raise money and skirt the Republican establishment. According to Ziegler, although Bopp did not yet realize it, Buckley had set the stage for Bopp’s much later drive to demolish campaign finance restrictions of all kinds (21). Bopp would pursue this end as a way to hold the GOP accountable, mainly on abortion, and in so doing his two purposes—campaign finance and the right to life—were joined. But Bopp’s success, Ziegler argues, broke up the GOP. Impassioned single-issue prolifers—and anyone, really—could pour money into political campaigns, which eventually overcame the GOP establishment’s ability to maintain a centering hold on the right-leaning American electorate.
Ziegler thus sees the GOP establishment as a kind of brake on the American Right, a role that she tacitly seems to support. She writes penetratingly, for example, of Patrick Buchanan, the insurgent presidential candidate in 1992 and 1996 whose spitfire campaigns pushed George H. W. Bush (19242018) and Bob Dole, respectively, to the right in the Republican primaries (82, 105). Buchanan was quashed both times from within the GOP. Ziegler, it seems, sees this as an important filtering function that kept the GOP from becoming a one-issue party crusading to end abortion in America (108). Dollars for Life is on the whole a fair, clean reading of history, but the argumentative posture of the book is unmistakably partial to allowing establishment Republicans to fence out those, like Buchanan, whose views on abortion many in pro-choice circles (and Ziegler’s legal-academia world is nothing if not one of those) would surely find extreme, even appalling.
In Chapter Two, “Controlling the Court,” Ziegler shows how pro-life groups gradually adjusted to the new post-Roe landscape and settled in, as did abortion advocates, for the long haul. Some prolifers wanted a “personhood amendment” (Human Life Amendment (HLA)) that would effectively undercut Roe, while others thought “public education,” such as the
“slideshows” that John (1925-2015) and Barbara Willke (1923-2013) had shown across America depicting the graphic reality of aborted children, would eventually have their effect on public opinion and from there eventually put pressure on the courts (22-23). Ziegler recounts Barbara Keating’s (1938-2021) 1974 run for New York State Senate on the Conservative Party ticket, during which she used her campaign to educate the public on abortion (25-26). The Willkes ran a similar public-awareness playbook in working to unseat popular (pro-choice) Ohio senator John Glenn (1921-2016) (26). In 1976, a Democrat named Ellen McCormack (1926-2011), “one of Barbara Keating’s colleagues in a New York pro-life group, tried to copy Keating’s strategy at the national level” by “seek[ing] the Democratic nomination for president. The point was not to win, but, like Keating before her, to ‘bring to as many as 100 million people visual information about the life of the unborn child and the reality of abortion’” (34).
But . . . why not win? The 1976 presidential election, which Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter, was a turning point in prolifers’ coming to see that they could exert real influence on the halls of power (35). During the 1976 campaign, prolifers had courted both Ford and Carter. Although both candidates were noncommittal on abortion, prolifers, including the converted Reagan, were able to get Ford to select the pro-life, HLA-supporting Kansas senator Bob Dole (1923-2021) as his running mate as a sop to gain needed pro-life votes. The 1976 election also galvanized pro-life Democrats, “awaken[ing them] to ‘the abortion philosophy that was creeping into their party leadership’” (36).
However, some began to realize that to really change the political landscape would require enormous sums of money. Reagan Republicans like David Keene, “the southern regional director for Reagan’s  campaign,” wanted to change campaign finance rules so that outsider challengers could raise enough in donations to unseat establishment incumbents (37). Campaign rules were sufficiently stringent and byzantine to restrict much of the money that might otherwise be used to fund candidates and their campaigns directly (37). “The National Conservative PAC, a group founded in 1975 by activists John Terry Dolan [(1950-1986)], Roger Stone, and Charles Black,” argues Ziegler, was among the new breed of “issue-based conservative PACs” that “soon built a fearsome reputation” for moving establishment edifices (often with the help of “direct-mail guru[s]” such as Richard Viguerie) toward purer ideological bases (38, 40). The Heritage Foundation and Reverend Jerry Falwell’s (1933-2007) Moral Majority also joined the outsider push to get the GOP to act more like its voters believed (41).
At the same time, Bopp, along with lawyers from Americans United for Life (AUL), began to see the Supreme Court—the very one that had handed down Roe—as a potentially fruitful target for activism (39-40). A pro-life political strategy seemed to be coming into view.
But then came what Ziegler calls “the anti-abortion civil war,” a split over how far to push the political process, and how patient to be over ending abortion in America. A Human Life Review article was one of the sparks that set off the conflagration. In Ziegler’s words:
Stephen Galebach, a young attorney at the Christian Legal Society, published an article in the Human Life Review [(Winter, 1981)] arguing that Congress already had the authority to pass a federal statute recognizing fetal personhood and functionally banning abortion. [. . . ] His proposal caught the attention of Jesse Helms [(1921-2008)], who introduced what he called the Human Life Bill in January 1981. The bill declared that unborn children were legal, rights-holding persons from the moment of conception. (45)
However, “some abortion opponents did not think Galebach’s bill went far enough. A later Congress could just repeal a statute, whereas a constitutional amendment would last” (46). One person who thought this way was Judie Brown, a member of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC). Brown had come to entertain doubts about the NRLC, as she “opposed contraception and sex education” and found her “colleagues’ silence” on those things to be “cowardly” (46). Brown, Ziegler writes, “wondered if the GOP was telling the pro-life movement what to do” (46).
On the other hand, “pragmatists like Bopp and Willke thought Brown had it backward: abortion opponents needed a dose of practical advice, not more idealism” (46). For one thing, the Supreme Court “did not allow Congress to define new rights,” which is just what Helms had done in invoking the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process language as the constitutional authority Congress needed to pass his Human Life Bill (46). Abolitionists like Brown ran headlong into legal tangles and political realities like these, but compromise on the dismembering of children seemed to many a betrayal of their cause.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (1934-2022) of Utah attempted just such a compromise with a proposed constitutional amendment in October 1981, but it had the effect, Ziegler writes, of “touch[ing] off a war inside the anti-abortion movement and even with the NRLC, where it was denounced by roughly half the board” (48-49). Judie Brown, who by then had left to co-found the American Life League (ALL), opposed the Hatch proposal, even though the NRLC (despite internal dissent) eventually endorsed it (49). It is difficult to argue with Brown’s position given her convictions, as the Hatch proposal would have “allow[ed] states to criminalize abortion” but carried no requirement that “anyone do anything” (49). As Ziegler quotes Brown, “very few who have fought these many years want to support an amendment to the Constitution which ‘regulates the killing’ and which gives legislatures and the Congress the ‘right to choose’ to regulate or not” (49). Ziegler sums up Brown’s thinking on political strategizing thusly: “She thought that by relying on the GOP, prolifers had forfeited the ability to make any real demands on politicians” (49). Many others, Ziegler writes, agreed.
Meanwhile, however, James Bopp was still chipping away at campaign finance laws. Reagan’s landslide 1984 re-election helped salve the wounds of the “anti-abortion civil war,” but Bopp was thinking much longer term. He had “filed a separate suit against the FEC [Federal Election Commission]” in connection with what would wind up as the 1986 Supreme Court case Federal Election Commission v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life (54-55). At issue was whether a “special edition of [the Massachusetts Citizens for Life] newsletter,” which “urg[ed] readers to ‘vote pro-life’” and which “detailed the views on abortion of roughly four hundred candidates running for federal office,” constituted a violation of federal election law (54). The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Massachusetts Citizens for Life and other issues-centered groups, on the grounds that they “raise money on the strength of their ideas” and, unlike corporations, “d[o] not exist to amass wealth or make a profit for shareholders” (56). The door was thus ajar for more groups to spend more money influencing elections, and for more attempts by Bopp and like-minded attorneys and political strategists to “mount a much larger and far more controversial effort to dismantle the rules governing money in politics” (57).
Chapter Three, “The Price of a Nominee,” focuses on Ronald Reagan’s failed nomination of Robert Bork (1927-2012) to the Supreme Court in 1987, his follow-up choice of the more moderate Anthony Kennedy, and the increasing importance, in the eyes of many prolifers, of electing Republicans to the presidency in the hopes that they would appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court and lower benches (61-69). That such a strategy could pay off seemed, if not abundantly clear, at least a bit less murky with the 1989 Supreme Court case Webster v. Reproductive Health Services. The Webster Court, Ziegler argues, largely upheld much of the Missouri statute that was at issue:
. . . a preamble stating that life begins at conception, a prohibition on the use of public money or facilities for abortion, and a measure related to fetal viability, the point at which survival is possible outside the womb. Roe had held that the state’s interest in protecting fetal life did not become compelling until viability. Prior to that point, under Roe, states could not ban abortion. Missouri had created a presumption of fetal viability at twenty weeks. But Roe concluded that viability did not occur until the twenty-fourth week[. ] Webster suggested that the very concept of viability—and Roe’s trimester framework—were incoherent. Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia ([1936-2016]), the Court’s newest members, expressed profound doubt about Roe’s validity. Webster sent a clear message: many on the Court believed Roe was fundamentally unsound. (70)
This was hopeful news for prolifers, but a gathering nightmare for the GOP. Politically, Republicans squirmed, abortion was an Election Day albatross. Polls suggested that the American voting public saw prolifers as anti-woman and anti-democratic process, hardly cheerful results for GOP insiders (71). Establishment Republicans like Mary Matalin and Lee Atwater (1951-1991) fretted openly about the GOP’s prospects were it tied too closely to the prolife movement (71). “The idea that the Court might overrule Roe frightened the [George H.W.] Bush administration,” Ziegler writes of the run-up to the 1992 presidential election (81). In April of 1990, “Ann [Elizabeth Wesche] Stone, a conservative fundraiser [and ex-wife of Roger Stone], founded Republicans for Choice” (77).
However, that fall “Gary Bauer and a group of like-minded activists met in DC’s Washington Square Hotel to form a competitor to Republicans for Choice. [. . .] Vowing ‘to keep the Republican Party principled on the fundamental issues of life’, the meeting attendees planned for a group that was pro-life, single-issue, and Republican. [. . .] ‘The Republican Party is the only vehicle through which conservatives can govern America,’” they wrote (78). “The new organization, christened the Republican National Coalition for Life (RNC-Life), planned to exploit gaps in campaign finance rules” (78). This long-game mentality helped prolifers stick with the GOP through tough days ahead, including 1992’s Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, a disaster for prolifers in which three Republican-appointed justices (“David Souter, Anthony Kennedy, and Sandra Day O’Connor”) joined the majority. James Bopp doubled down on opening the floodgates and pouring even more money into elections to get Republicans into office (84, 86). The logic was the same as ever, namely that the GOP establishment was squelching grassroots efforts to get true believers into positions of power, and that the GOP’s stronghold on fundraising allowed it to continue doing so ad infinitum. The only angle of attack was to level the lance at the GOP’s massive money bag. “Building influence was no simple thing, but if abortion foes spent more on elections, and if the pro-life movement helped the GOP raise as much money as party leaders wished, that would be a good start” (86). With the conflicts and the strategies thus in place, the rest of Dollars for Life flows along the lines of Ziegler’s main argument about campaign finance and how it relates to various turns and players in the pro-life movement.
In Chapters Four, “The Big-Money Party,” and Five, “Corporate Free Speech,” Ziegler explains how some in the GOP, including even campaign finance reform stalwart John McCain (1936-2018), wanted to shift the party away from life issues toward more economic concerns. To be sure, abortion abolitionists like conservative legend Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) continued to question the Bopp approach of demolishing campaign finance limits. But with the 1992 presidential campaign of an aggressively pro-choice Arkansas governor named Bill Clinton, both pro-life and life-lukewarm Republicans found more than enough grist for the fundraising mill (91-92). Based in large part on voter dismay over Clinton’s vision for America, Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich moved the big-money-in-politics needle even deeper into the cha-ching zone in the run-up to the 1994 midterms, while a grotesque procedure known as partial-birth abortion (a term for which Ziegler registers her dislike) convinced many non-prolifers that the fight against abortion was something to be taken seriously (95, 101-102).
The GOP establishment ballooned as interest in abortion, partial-birth and otherwise, kept pace. But neither side was able to effect a lasting rapprochement. The lackluster 1996 presidential run of the decidedly uncharismatic Bob Dole, and Dole’s eventual shellacking at the hands of a seemingly unstoppable Clinton, soured even more prolifers on the marriage of convenience with the Republicans. “At Life Forum meetings in 1997,” Ziegler writes, “Paul Weyrich [(1942-2008)] complained that GOP leaders had downplayed, defunded, and marginalized anti-abortion goals while taking money and credit for casting token votes on the right to life” (110). “I must now say,” Ziegler quotes Weyrich as proclaiming at the October 1997 Life Forum meeting, “that it was a mistake to facilitate the marriage of the prolife movement and the Republican Party” (110).
Nevertheless, James Bopp kept plugging away at campaign finance rules. In 1997, Bopp “co-founded the James Madison Center for Free Speech,” whose board was stacked with GOP establishment panjandrums like Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell and Michigan fatcat donor Betsy DeVos (111-112). Armed with funding from “the John William Pope Foundation, the Mercer Family Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation,” the James Madison Center for Free Speech honed the strategy that would eventually put paid to campaign finance reform: emphasizing that political donations fell under the rubric of free speech (112-113).
When Bopp took up the cause of Wisconsin Right to Life, a pro-life group that wanted to “run ads opposing [Wisconsin senator] Russ Feingold’s threat to filibuster some of [President George W.] Bush’s judicial nominees,” the gate to corporate campaign monies cracked open a little more (139). The Supreme Court’s ruling on the resulting case, Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life (2007), cracked it open further. Finally, in 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that the government’s attempts to ban political discourse and its funding, simply due to some speakers’ being legal persons and not human beings, were clear violations of the First Amendment, “classic examples of censorship” (159160). A follow-up Supreme Court case, 2010’s SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission, went even further in countenancing super PACs (161). Ed Meese, who had been Ronald Reagan’s attorney general during Reagan’s second term in the White House, submitted an amicus brief in Citizens United “on behalf of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, an arm of the conservative Claremont Institute, argu[ing] that the Constitution’s framers would not blink an eye at the concentration of vast sums of wealth in the contemporary United States—or the vast sums spent on election ads” (158).
In many ways, then, the Supreme Court in Citizens United merely recognized a movement that had been underway for decades. It wasn’t so much that Republicans had gotten on board with campaign finance reform as that prolifers had upped the campaign finance ante so high that establishment types had no choice but to try to beat them at their own game. Both sides knew, of course, that what looked on the outside like teamwork looked from the inside like jockeying for primacy. Prolifers often held their noses when voting for Republicans, but George W. Bush’s eventual nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court was, on my reading, the death knell for the long-troubled GOP-prolifer romance.
To be sure, Bush also appointed Samuel Alito, the “Federalist Society darling,” in Ziegler’s words (referencing the legal advocacy group that has long worked to provide politicians with a vetted pool of potential judicial appointments from which to select) (143). Alito, we now know, would go on to write the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the signal 2022 Supreme Court ruling that at long last overturned Roe. But between Bush and Dobbs, as Ziegler records, Americans witnessed the rise of the Tea Party, a hasty phalanx of fiscal and social conservatives opposed in a thousand different ways to the administration of the radically pro-abortion Barack Obama (163).
It is in Chapter Five, “The Rise of Trump,” that Ziegler explicates what, in her view, all that pent-up voter dissatisfaction and unregulated cash wrought. Super PACs, Ziegler writes, helped fund the Tea Party’s dramatic appearance on the American political scene and also helped keep it there (164-167). More than money, though, it was exasperation with Republicans (as well as with Democrats) that hustled American politics off into the populist rough. “Republicans had proclaimed theirs to be the party of life since 1980,” Ziegler writes, “and yet abortion remained legal. It seemed that any popular, successful candidate would inevitably prioritize his own agenda (and reelection) over promises about abortion. The Tea Party, however, was a kind of proof of concept that under certain circumstances, conservative, issue-based movements could control candidates rather than depend on them. The question was what control required” (167). As for Bopp, he “saw the Tea Party’s victory as the start of a roadmap for reshaping the GOP” (171). It was that and more.
Up to this point in the book, Ziegler has largely played the field fairly, where the ball lies. Her history of money, politics, and pro-life advocacy is important and accurate. Unfortunately, in her conclusion she allows herself some rather unhinged theorizing, arguing for example that it was Trump’s having “fanned the flames” of unrest in the summer of 2020 (was it not rioters who were doing that?) and his resulting unpopularity (coupled with the fallout from the coronavirus and his two impeachments) that prompted him to seek out “his pro-life supporters” (198-199). I think it would be more accurate to say that the Washington establishment (now very awkwardly allied against the very kind of politician both Republicans and Democrats had always sought to keep at the back of the big tent) did everything in its power to take back control of the political machinery.
But while Ziegler’s personal predilections soak through the page a bit here and there in Chapter Five, her account of Bopp’s involvement with Trump’s challenge to the results of the 2020 election is straightforward, as is her statement that Trump appointed the three judges—Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett—who would tip the scales and bring Roe crashing down some eighteen months after Trump had left the White House (199-202). Many prolifers see those three justices, and that one dead Supreme Court case from 1973, as more than worth the price of admission for the entire span of Trump’s season on the political stage.
Ziegler’s reflection on Bopp’s lifework is, I fear, right on the money (no pun intended). “Bopp,” Ziegler says, “felt [. . . ] gutted by what he saw happening to conservatives” in the wake of the 2020 election.
He thought Trump supporters had been forced “into a ghetto” by the corporate world and the mainstream media. Twitter and Facebook had removed Trump from their platforms, and Amazon Web Services had stopped hosting Parler, a conservative alternative to Twitter, after users continued to threaten election-related violence. Major corporate donors suspended contributions to politicians who had objected to the election certification. If Bopp’s critics saw him as a man who peddled lies to conservative voters, Bopp accused Democrats of making conservatives feel that they were no longer safe or welcome in America. As he saw it, the country was courting another civil war. (203)
The perhaps uncharitable phrase “hoist with one’s own petard” comes to mind. That conservatives and prolifers in America are now at the mercy of woke capitalists and tech lords, in addition to politicians, is ironic and deeply depressing.
Ziegler surely does not go that far, but her book is nevertheless a lament about how American politics has fractured. She acknowledges, in Dollars for Life and elsewhere, that the dis-uniting of America is not solely about abortion, or about campaign finance reform, or about Donald Trump. Indeed, Dollars for Life is about how the history of political upheaval in America is a tangle made up of many more than a handful of different strands. But by spotlighting campaign finance and prolifers, Ziegler is making a pointed suggestion that these, above others, have undone the fabric of our republic. Perhaps she is right. Perhaps the trade-off for overturning Roe was the unraveling of our political order, such as it was.
And yet, while Ziegler’s argumentative thrust is welcome, and while her detailed research is a boon for anyone interested in politics or abortion, regardless of where he or she stands on the issues, I cannot help but feel that the framing of Dollars for Life falls short. Prolifers, after all, have long been aware that our ranks are disordered and our alliances are at best tactical. A two-part series in Human Life Review in the Spring 2007 and Winter 2008 issues (volumes XXXIII and XXXIV, respectively) by James Hitchcock is a perfect example of how well prolifers know that we are a contentious bunch, and that even those on our “side” very often act in ways that we do not understand or agree with. This is not news to anyone who has been paying attention. Abortion is, for prolifers, a horrific offense against innocent human beings, against all that is decent and good, against God Himself for many of us. On the argumentative scoping which Ziegler employs, dollars for life was a bad bargain, a rotten deal. But take a step back from the political and take in, as best one can, the sweep of the human, the spiritual, the endless assault by evil upon good, and all those dollars for life, every last one of them, insofar as they saved human lives, were worth whatever other consequences might have followed.
2. https://fordhamlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Byrn-Memorial_May.pdf http://88480785.weebly.com/uploads/2/5/5/8/25589473/amicuscuriaebrief5.pdf https://epublications.marquette.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1786&context=lnq
4. https://humanlifereview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/1981winter.pdf. According to the introduction in the same HLR issue, Galebach claimed he got the idea from “Professor George W. Carey of Georgetown” (2).
Jason Morgan is an associate professor at Reitaku University in Kashiwa, Japan.