Baptists in Oklahoma, including Bill Ascol, brother of Tom Ascol, played a key role in the movement’s growth. Silberman said that the abolitionist movement got a shot in the arm after the state Baptist Convention opposed legislation in 2019 that would have abolished all forms of abortion.
That fueled a backlash, said Silberman.
Silberman said he was glad to see this month’s letter from national groups opposing penalties for women who have abortions. “The abolition movement grows when the pro-life movement and pro-life leaders oppose abortion bills,” he said.
The American Life League, a Catholic group founded in 1979, has long called for the abolition of abortion, focusing on training activists to oppose new Planned Parenthood clinics and publishing materials about church teaching about the sacredness of human life. Dwain Currier, the organization’s director of public policy, said that many people who oppose abortion are willing to compromise — something his group wants to change. “We need to start training people that evil is always evil,” Currier said.
But the group has largely stayed out of politics, Currier said, because almost all legislation about abortion includes some kinds of exceptions.
In his radio interview, Tom Ascol also cited politics as a problem. Pro-life elites oppose abolition, he said, because it would hurt their fundraising.
“I have to tell you, at least with some of these organizations, I’m becoming fully convinced that’s precisely what’s going on,” he said.
Tobias said she has heard such criticism in the past from groups that support abortion rights. She said the conflict between abolitionists and groups like National Right to Life is counterproductive.
“I want us focused on winning elections to save babies,” she said.
This article originally appeared here.