CNA—The pro-life movement could learn something from the New England Patriots and their future Hall of Fame coach Bill Belichick.
At least, that’s what former Patriots tight end Ben Watson thinks.
Watson, who officially retired from football in 2020 and currently serves as vice president of strategic relationships for the pro-life group Human Coalition — in addition to speaking, writing, and serving as a TV analyst for college football games — spoke recently with “EWTN News Nightly” host Tracy Sabol about his latest book, the one-year anniversary of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the future of the pro-life movement.
Watson’s book — The New Fight for Life: Roe, Race, and a Pro-Life Commitment to Justice — came about a year ago as the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was handed down, overturning the almost-50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision.
“I think what inspired me honestly was just knowing that we were at a seminal moment in not only American history but [also] … pro-life advocacy,” Watson told Sabol.
He said he believed pro-lifers are in a “new fight for life.”
Why post-Roe is much different from before Roe
“This time period doesn’t look like it did before Roe was overturned,” he explained. “Now is the time not for us to shrink back and think that this is over but really to re-engineer and to re-imagine what it looks like, to keep that same energy and take it up a notch, because quite honestly even though Roe was overturned, there are still women who feel like abortion is a necessary and needed option for them.”
Watson, a Christian, said a lot of work still needs to be done in the pro-life movement.
“There’s an idea out there that pro-lifers only care about children in the womb, and we know that not to be true,” he told Sabol. “It may be for some but not for most of the people that I’ve encountered. But there’s an individual responsibility: What are we doing with our own personal resources? How are we serving?”
The need for bigger thinking
Watson noted the 2,700 pregnancy resource centers around the country that serve women with educational opportunities as well as meet their material, physical, and in some cases spiritual needs. But he said pro-lifers must also be vigilant about state abortion legislation as well as speak to the issue at the church and home levels.
“We also need to … understand how we speak about things like marriage, how we speak about sex to our children, if we’re even talking about those sorts of things,” said Watson, a married father of seven. “There are so many different ways and different facets of this [issue]. It’s more than simply saying, ‘Don’t abort your child,’ although we believe that, full stop 100%. There are also all these other connecting points and avenues.”
Connection between racial justice and pro-life work
Watson also pointed to his work in racial justice and how it’s connected to his pro-life work.
“My work in racial justice coincides with some of the statistics that we see with abortion and how the two are connected inextricably to one another,” he noted.
Learnings from Coach Belichick
And yes, he said, there are even things the pro-life movement can learn from Coach Belichick.
“One thing Coach Belichick always told us was ‘Do your job,’” Watson said. “He always said do your job and do it well, and the other thing he did was he held us to a very high standard; he never sugar-coated anything.”
“There are so many people that would consider themselves to be pro-life that are attorneys, that are in medicine, and perhaps they’re in faith; they’re educators, they’re moms, they’re dads, they’re laypeople or clergy … We all can contribute something,” he said.
Watch Ben’s interview
Watch the full “EWTN News Nightly” interview with Watson below.
- The New Fight for Life: Roe, Race, and a Pro-Life Commitment to Justice, by Benjamin Watson