The Future of the Movement in a Secular World
Much like the future of our nation, the future of the pro-life movement is younger, less religious, and more diverse than previous generations motivated by life issues, according to survey data. While most pro-life people still are religious, many activists in the movement today are choosing not to root their arguments in religious notions of God or doctrine, amid the perception of many that the movement is inextricably linked to Catholicism and evangelical Christianity. This raises the question of whether removing God from the equation lessens the moral imperative which so animates and motivates the religious segment of the movement. Are there valid, nonreligious arguments for life? If so, should these arguments be primarily grounded in human rights, science, or something else entirely? In the 2018 Cardinal O'Connor Conference on Life, we will address these questions by attempting to reconcile the attitudes and tendencies of today's secular world with the traditional religious values, if any, that undergird the pro-life position, with the end goal of defending and promoting a consistent ethic of life among believers and nonbelievers alike.