Thursday, October 25, 2007

Practical Pro-Life Politics [Bob]

Yesterday, in USA Today, Michael Medved made the case ("Abortion's Shades of Gray") that today's abortion beliefs "are much more nuanced ... [and that] it's no longer a black-and-white debate." While I may agree with him about today's beliefs and arguments, that does nothing to change the black and white facts about abortion. As Jay pointed out yesterday, there are clear distinctions between all the nuanced arguments, justifications and beliefs that people put forth and the simple issue of the moral status of an unborn, innocent human being. But that is not what I want to address.

Before I make my point, I want to make it crystal clear that, as a pro-life advocate and voter, I will do everything in my power to defeat Rudy Giuliani in the Republican primary process. I will do this for many reasons, not the least of which is his stance on abortion. But, when it comes to electing someone like Giuliani to the presidency (if it does come to that), all the talk of abandoning the Republican party to demonstrate our disgust for his views, or of launching a third-party in protest, are not only inane, but genuinely destructive to the pro-life cause. Let me explain.

Medved points out the key differences between Giuliani's platform and those of the leading Democratic candidates. Here's the list:
  • Giuliani has committed to preserve the Hyde Ammendment, banning taxpayer money for abortions ... the top Democrats urge repeal and favor federal funding.
  • Giuliani applauded the recent SCOTUS decision upholding the ban on partial-birth abortion ... all leading Democrats condemned it in harsh terms.
  • Giuliani supports tougher rules on parental notification for underage girls seeking abortion ... Clinton and Obama oppose such legislation.
  • Giuliani has specifically cited strict-constructionists like Scalia, Alito and Roberts as his models for future appointees to SCOTUS ... top Democrats regularly express conempt for the conservative jurists Giuliani admires and worked against all three of these.

In other words, when it comes to the abortion issue, a Giuliani presidency would look no different from that of George W. Bush. In fact, given the likelihood that the next president will appoint one or more justices to SCOTUS, positive (though incremental) steps toward the possibility of overturning Roe would move noticeably in the right direction. The alternative would be an utter disaster.

Along those lines, some have expressed dismay toward the seemingly opportunistic late change in Romney's abortion views. Point granted. But my sources tell me that Romney convened a meeting of several pro-life advocates and asked them to make their case. After that meeting(s), his view was changed. Given that organizations like the Life Training Institute exist to "persuasively communicate the pro-life message," does it make sense to chastise those for whom our message may actually have been persuasive? Can we not consider the fact that our arguments may be working? I have no way of knowing Mitt Romney's motivation for seeing the pro-life light. But motivations are irrelevant if his policy stance agrees with ours. Romney has never given any indication (that I know of) to doubt that point.

So, at risk of re-igniting the wrath of the purists out there, I simply propose that we keep our collective eyes on the mission at hand and take every practical and effective step we can to achieve it. As a former Marine, I hate the idea of losing tactical skirmishes. But, more importantly, I refuse to submit to strategies that have no hope of winning the war.

6 comments:

  1. Excellent post, Bob! Right on the money...

    Steve

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  2. Could not have said it better myself, Bob. Beware, you are now a member of the compromiser's club, that is, you've joined those of us who allegedly elevate reason over Scripture, which the purists seem to know better than the rest of us morally compromised (and nearly damnable) "former" pro-lifers.

    Keep the heat on the purists...at least until we're both assigned to the Lake of Fire for daring to suggest that pro-lifers should save as many lives as possible given current political realities.

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  3. Scott -- Thanks for your welcome to the "club." I hadn't realized how heretical my stance would be! I appreciate the heads up ...

    :-)

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  4. Bob, I couldn't agree with you more. When I discuss this with anti-Giuliani pro-lifers, I simply try to make the point that even if Giuliani only replaces ONE pro-abort on the Supreme Court with a Roberts or Alito, the days of Roe will be over. Sadly, many still think that it would be better to "send a message" to the GOP by not voting, or voting third-party.

    I had the honor of sharing breakfast with Dr. Beckwith a few weeks ago, where he made a brilliant point on this: Our goal should be to advance the common good in the public square the best we can. In other words, we must do our best to limit evil, instead of giving up at the first sign of evil. I can't think of a worse possible time to "send our message" to the GOP while allowing Hillary to take over the White House right when at least two pro-abort SCOTUS judges are about to retire.

    "But we're being principled."

    I don't think the babies that would be sent to their death because Roe lived on would appreciate your principles that much. Our mission is to end abortion. Our mission is NOT to feel good about our record of "principled voting" for only 100% pro-life candidates or not voting at all.

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  5. Amen Josh ... thanks for the comment and the Beckwith insight (on point as usual). I just hope you realize that you have just exposed your interest in Scott's "compromiser's club."

    Seriously, I have a hard time understanding why this concept is so controversial for some, even though I appreciate the zeal and the heart behind the "purist" ideals.

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  6. What are today's racisms against colored people and sexisms against women?
    1. Republicans discouraging colored people attempting to vote in the South/Bible Belt/KKK Belt.

    2. Churches preaching politics against women, which is against IRS tax exemption status. Church is for worship not politics. Several churches are comparing candidates to Hitler and allowing the audience to solely agree with “Hallelujah,” “Amen,” and “That’s Right Brother.” The first US Constitutional Amendment allows for freedom of religion and speech. That means not forcing religious views on the masses. These churches aim is to limit women's right to safe and quality healthcare. As a person whose mother was raped by law enforcement and nearly died at the hand of a back alley butcher, I hope brainwashed women will wake up and fight for each born woman’s right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Churches please start focusing on adopting the born 143 million orphaned children (orphanshope.org) who want to be valued as much as white newborns are valued.

    3. Free trade sending jobs to slave labor camps in China and South America where people work 16 hour days 7 days a week for pennies (Walmart: the high cost of low prices).

    4. Calling Native Americans without Visas - illegal human beings.

    ReplyDelete

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