I have been struck lately by the perceived dichotomy among Catholics to be either "pro-life" Catholics or "social justice" Catholics. I believe this comes from the traditional political conservative and liberal extremes. Hence, conservative Catholics define themselves primarily as pro-life and place social justice in a secondary position "because if you are not alive, all the other rights don't matter." Liberal Catholics are "social justice" activists because Jesus and a vast array of saints worked for social justice, and therefore place their pro-life views in a secondary position, perhaps because the poor and oppressed are here now and unborn babies aren't..
Catholic teaching, however, embraces both of those positions in a typical "both/and" fashion, so politically, we are forced to choose a majority party and swallow the wrongs of that party in order to achieve the rights. This has the unfortunate (planned?) effect of splitting Catholics into separate, opposing camps.
Denying the right to life does indeed undermine the US Declaration of Independence's affirmation of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which places Life in the primary position. All other rights are useless if your life can be taken away by law. Therefore the inherent right to life is foundational. By any definition, however, social justice assumes the right to life. Social justice activists would never assert that the lives of the poor and oppressed should not be protected! Looked at that way, protecting life can be seen as a fight for the equality of all, born and unborn, therefore it is also social justice. The dichotomy, then, is a false one and all Catholics should embrace both pro-life and social justice teachings and, better, fight for the rights of all people!
When will the irrationality of professing equality for all, while protecting some but not others, end?