This was written in a comment to Scott under an earlier post:
The debate is on -- and it's already vicious -- between Operation Rescue which is willing to support an "abortion ban" which nevertheless upholds the "right to abort rape babies" and a growing number of no-compromise groups such as ALL, Operation Save America and Colorado Right to Life.
It IS a matter of principle. It CANNOT be a matter of politics, because the politics negates the principle. Principle -- "the RIGHT to life" -- is the strongest tool we have in our arsenal to soon effect a total end to abortion in at least some states, if not nationwide.
Remember how we got rid of slavery -- by agreeing as a country that we could not allow slavery in ANY circumstances.
I wanted to address a few things in this comment, but I want it to be clear before I start that my motivation is not to stir up more antipathy but to quash it.
First of all the reference to how we rid our nation of slavery is factually inaccurate. Political coalitions existed between those who believed slavery was an affront to God, those who believed slavery was anti-capitalist and bred laziness, and those who wanted to control the spread of slavery so as to control the increasing political power of the slave holding states to name a few. Within the most ardent abolitionists there was division over whether violent force should ever be used to free slaves or whether slave owners themselves were “victims” of the system of slavery and in need of spiritual liberation not violent overthrow. We can not imagine that the anti-slavery movement was monolithic. We ought not to be surprised that the pro-life movement is not monolithic. It is the way we advance. People often are convinced in part before they are convinced in whole.
The primary purpose for my post is to address the issue of the viciousness of the debate as it was characterized. What possible gain can be had by the people that agree on the sanctity of life turning our frustration and passion on each other? If this is indeed a movement based on principle and we, the pro-lifers, are asserting a higher ground of principles, how do we demonstrate that higher ground by impugning the passion or commitment of our fellow pro-lifers? How do we assert the dignity of all human life while belittling the intelligence of those who share our goal but differ with our tactics? The battle is for the lives of the unborn. The battle must not become about who loves the unborn more. I was once warned by a wise friend that we are in grave danger when we start to believe that no one else truly understands the issue. That only I or my group “gets it.” We have to figure out the best way to confront abortion, and when others differ with us, we act within our conscience and make our case. If they continue to differ then we take divergent paths and recognize that we still want the same thing.
I agree that this is a moral issue, and so we are forced to confront it with moral and principled clarity. Whether we are incremental or “no compromise” in our tactics, we had better operate with more dignity and less viciousness. We are not so strong a force that we can afford to tear each other apart.