From the Archives: Fr. Shenan Boquet: The Danger of the ‘Seamless Garment’ MentalityMarch 23, 2018
US House Passes Spending Bill Which Continues Funding Planned ParenthoodMarch 23, 2018
March 23, 2018
The latest test for the so-called Seamless Garment came in the primary challenge to pro-life Democrat Dan Lipinski in his effort to win his party’s nomination for the seat he has held in suburban Illinois for 13 years and that his father for 12 years before that.
But we have established that the Seamless Garment is now and has always been something of a scam. Earlier this year, fourteen Seamless Garment Catholics in the U.S. Senate, all but two of them Democrats, voted against even debating the 20-week abortion ban. This included Seamless Garmento par excellence Tim Kaine of Virginia who was educated by Jesuits, don’t you know, and actually went on mission trips to South America!
The latest test of Seamless Garment metal was Dan Lipinski and the Seamless Garment has been shown wanting once more. Though Lipinski won, it appears he did so with the support of what some derisively call the Old Pro-Life Movement, including conservative Republicans.
That pro-life Dem Lipinski is an endangered species speaks for the utter lifelessness of the Seamless Garment. He is one of only three remaining pro-life Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives. And for this, he was targeted not only by rabid pro-abortion groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, even fellow House Democrats from his home state turned on him.
Consider how the pro-life caucus in the House has evaporated. Back in the late Seventies, the Hyde Amendment banning federal funding for abortions, first initiated by Illinois Republican Henry Hyde, passed with 107 votes from Democrats. This rose to 151 votes after the Senate added an exception for the life of the mother. It was defended before the Supreme Court by the Justice Department under Democrat president Jimmy Carter.
Fast forward to last year when the House voted to make the Hyde Amendment permanent, rather than a rider to budget bills. Only three Democrats in the House voted for it, including Lipinski. Additionally, there was the 20-week abortion ban, which only three Democrats in the House voted for, including Lipinski.
Hearts were beating a little faster last August when it was thought the Democrats might become more welcoming of pro-lifers. Flying in the face of hard facts, various pro-life Democrats insisted there was an opening for them precisely because the pro-abortion party had fallen into such doldrums, losing the House, Senate, presidency, and losing state houses and governorships all over the country. Charles Camosy of Fordham, Steven Schneck of Catholic University and Kristen Day of Democrats for Life were certain the Democrat Party was learning its lesson on abortion. Perhaps when Unicorns fly.
I do not know if Camosy, Schneck, and Day helped Lipinski in his race, but I doubt it. In order to win Lipinski had to go up against his own party and buckets of money from powerful Democrat interest groups. And he had to rely on unexpected allies. Would you like to know who went door to door for him? Was it the so-called New Pro-Life Movement, which claims to have come into existence in order to support folks like Lipinski? It is hard to tell since the group seems to be only a couple of bloggers at the highly questionable Patheos website both of whom seem to have been utterly silent on the Lipinski race.
Who went door to door for him was the Susan B. Anthony List, a conservative group, part of the derisively called Old Pro-Life Movement. SBA sent 70 canvassers into the district who went door to door and is said to have knocked on nearly 30,000 doors. Among them were members of the College Republicans from Notre Dame. There was also a contingent from Franciscan University of Steubenville.
New Pro-Life Movement types just might say that Lipinski was bad on other issues and therefore does not really represent the Seamless Garment. After all, homosexual elites at the anti-Christian Human Rights Campaign said he was bad on their issue. Some leftist immigrant groups opposed him. Lefties were also unhappy he opposed the $15 minimum wage and that he voted against ObamaCare. You see, all of these issues are “intersectionally” connected to the pro-life issue and even if Roe was overturned, if the minimum wage remains below $15, women would still abort their children to the tune of a million a year. They might say Dan Lipinski is no better than one of those hypocritical pro-life Republicans.
So, maybe the New Pro-Life Movement would say the Seamless Garment—the truly pro-life position—is best served by one of only three pro-life Democrats losing his seat. That is how confused and even scammy are the Seamless Garment and the New Pro-Life Movement.