We systematically vilified the Catholic Church and its “socially backward ideas” and picked on the Catholic hierarchy as the villain in opposing abortion. This theme was played endlessly. . . . And the media drum-fired all this into the American people, persuading them that anyone opposing permissive abortion must be under the influence of the Catholic hierarchy . . . An inference of this tactic was that there were no non-Catholic groups opposing abortion. The fact that other Christian as well as non-Christian religions were (and still are) monolithically opposed to abortion was constantly suppressed, along with pro-life atheists' opinions.
~Dr. Bernard Nathanson (1926-2011), former abortionist and co-founder of the abortion lobbying group NARAL.
For the past forty years, the battle over abortion has been situated within a broader culture war, pitting godless liberals against right-wing theocrats. As the above quote by the late Dr. Nathanson illustrates, this understanding of the abortion issue has been deliberately encouraged by abortion advocates, who utilize religion as a distraction from the fundamental human rights claims at stake. Their approach has been remarkably successful. Pro-life victory depends upon the re-casting of abortion as more than a mere “religious issue.” Today’s pro-life students, who are more religiously diverse than previous generations, have a unique opportunity to challenge stereotypes, change the course of the debate, and make abortion unthinkable.
<!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><!--[endif]--> [Citation to Nathanson's book.] Dr. Nathanson became pro-life while still an atheist, and was an atheist at the time of this quote. He converted to Catholicism later in life.
<!--[if !supportFootnotes]--><!--[endif]--> Additional battles in this culture war include same-sex marriage, evolution/creationism, school prayer, and the role of religion in civic life.