|Fr. Robert Fredrick Drinan, S.J.|
"The broader public evaluation of Robert Drinan's career might fall into three groups," Father Schroth writes. There were his severe critics, his devoted followers and a third group of "admirers, who respected him as a champion of human rights but had serious reservations on his abortion position."
Among "those who strongly disliked him, most did so because of his abortion position," Father Schroth explains. However, for "his devoted supporters," Father Drinan's "lifelong commitment to human rights around the world is the unifying, idealistic glue of his public life."
Surely, Father Drinan viewed his apparently evolving abortion position differently than did his critics. He has spoken of the "horror" of abortion and insisted that "an unborn child must be respected as a precious gift from God." But he long opposed making abortion a crime in America's pluralistic culture and even seems to have thought laws limiting abortion to certain hard cases had a left-handed way of legitimizing those abortions. Whatever the case, many thought it appeared that Father Drinan supported abortion. And Father Schroth says that many admirers, who would follow Father Drinan "on the other justice issues and even accept the general principle that not all immoral activity can be controlled by law," remained "puzzled by what they consider(ed) his inconsistency on abortion."