The pro-life movement today almost completely identifies with the Republican Party, despite its support by a few Democrats such as Pennsylvania Sen. Robert Casey (sometimes). It wasn’t always so.
In 1972, at the age of 17, I worked against Michigan’s Measure B, which would have legalized abortion in the state. It lost, with 61 percent of Michiganders opposed. Most of the pro-lifers in Detroit and the industrial suburbs to its west were Democrats, including state Rep. Tom Brown, a friend of my father’s. Those Democrats included what then were called “ethnics,” especially Poles, Italians, and Irish; whites from the South; and, overwhelmingly, black Democrats in Detroit.
The pro-aborts who were backing Measure B largely were wealthy Republicans, including then-Gov. William Milliken and his wife, Helen.
All that began to change the following year with Roe v. Wade, which overturned not only state laws outlawing abortion but also state laws that legalized but regulated abortion, such as those in New York and California. Since Roe, more than 57 million babies have been slaughtered.
Daniel Williams’s book is the first comprehensive review of the pro-life movement in the pre-Roe years. Williams notes that, although Catholics played a major role among pro-lifers, and
The media portrayed...