Prolife Politics

This comment by rmkton over at Julie's place resonated with my thinkings of late:
I think it is interesting to hear folks say that they vote Republican based upon the pro-life stand when it seems obvious to me that Republicans have no interest in actually overturning Roe v. Wade.

It is an easy stand to take to be pro-life when you know it will garner a lot of votes and yet the practicality of passing anti-abortion legislation is nil. I think it is why many Republicans pur forth anti-abortion bills with no provision for the health of the mother which they know will get shot down....then they can claim to be pro-life and demonize those who allow for abortion as "baby killers".

Abortion proponents at least say they are for it...but the anti-abortion crowd say they are against it, but do nothing practically to stop it. Appointing conservative supreme court justices ain't gonna do it.
I have been voting prolife since Reagan and I am thoroughly disgusted that these who depend on our prolife votes do absolutely nothing to overturn Roe v. Wade. Ever wonder:
  • what our country would look like if our conservative majority (i.e. Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Kennedy) supreme court ever had the courage of their conviction to take on Roe?
  • how many conservative jurists it will take (6, 7, 8 or all of them) to take on Roe?
  • how many babies would be saved if abortion was controlled by the states?
  • how many states would actually outlaw all abortions?
  • why the Republican Party did nothing to overturn Roe when it had both the congress and the presidency for the first six years of this millenium?

I am already hearing the rhetoric in my head.. I espoused it for 25+ years.. I understand it.. I just think that it is irrational to allow this issue to cause us to ignore all of the other issues.


  1. The politicians don't live up to their rhetoric. Unfortunately, that's not exactly shocking.

  2. Hmmm, so are you suggesting that because there has been a relative lack of progress we should shake things up and vote for someone who supports infanticide and has vowed that his first act in office will be to issue an executive order to make RvW the law of the land?

  3. I detest abortion. However, when it comes to that issue with politics I view it this way.

    I can vote for candidate A who will talk up the issue and pretend it means a lot to him. He is going to claim he will do everything in his power to change it. The truth of the matter is I know as well as he does that he isn't really going to make any honest effort to change it. He is only paying lip service to the issue to garner my vote.

    I can vote for candidate B who will admit up front that he doesn't share my belief about abortion. Obviously he won't do anything to change it.

    So, I can vote for two people of whom I know will neither one do anything about the issue. I have determined that I will not let any candidate buy my vote with promises about abortion that he has absolutely no intention of keeping.

    That has led me to the conclusion that my vote will be based on other issues. My vote could still go Republican, but it won't be based on the abortion issue because the Republicans have no intention of tackling the issue head on.

  4. I think that Mark answered for me Casey. I may vote Republican but it will not be solely because of McCain's position on abortion.

    The "lack of progress" that you mention is somewhat of a spin Casey and it is the reason that these "prolife" politicians are never held acountable for their "lack of action" for the unborn.

  5. Well, if Obama issues that executive order, we can say goodbye to any progress that has been made, because all those waiting periods, parental consent laws, etc. will be illegal. Say goodbye to the Mexico City Policy that Reagan put in place (which Bill Clinton rescinded and George W. restored) as well.

    Will that be achieving our goal of holding the lazy "prolife" politicians responsible, or will it actually mean more children die in the womb? We need more politicians who are willing to actually do something about abortion, but we're certainly not going to save lives by voting for politicians who are going to work towards the opposite ends.

  6. Casey,

    I did some research on the "executive order" you talked about because it just didn't sound right to me. I'm guessing you're talking about the Freedom of Choice act. It's not an executive order, if that it what you were referring to. It's a bill in congress.

  7. You make some good points Casey and have caused me to ponder.. the Mexico City policy is about impacting abortion outside of the USA.. I honestly had not thought of that aspect of the debate. Thanks!

  8. Oops! Brian, you're exactly right. I was mixed up. He vowed to sign the Freedom of Choice Act into law. McCain, with a 100% prolife voting record, would obviously veto it. Executive order or not, the effects would be the same: more abortions.

    Of course, if the conventional wisdom is wrong and the Democrats do not retain a majority in Congress then Obama won't have the opportunity to sign the bill.

    Both candidates have also told us specifically what types of judges they would appoint. That is going to be key to whether abortion stays legal or not. Obama's appointments will ensure that it does, McCain's appointments will make it likely that it will not.

  9. Casey - I have previously looked into the issues you have brought up, and I guess I am still left in the same position I was in before.

    Perhaps I am too skeptical, but I don't think Republicans will have the balls to nominate people to the supreme court that will actually make any difference.

    Again, I admit to lots of cynicism when it comes to politics. I just don't think the politicians that Christians vote for over and over really care about the issue at all. They know all they have to do is say the right thing and they have a huge percentage of the vote of the "religious right". They don't really have to do anything about the issue because the vast majority of those opposing abortion won't vote for a Democrat.

    It's a win-win situation with them.
    They buy millions of votes for a lick and a promise and get to avoid a battle they don't want to fight because they know they can keep stringing along the religious vote with nothing but promises.

    By the way, my belief in no way means I don't respect yours. I was where you are, and who knows I may be there again. I actually very much respect that you have taken the time to look into things that allow you to make an educated vote.

    God Bless.

  10. Casey,

    I'm not sure it's just that simple. And, personally, I'd rather have legal, safe abortions being performed than illegal abortions that risk the life of the mother and send people to jail for trying to help.

    I'm all for reducing the number of abortions in this country. The closer we get to zero, the better. But, taking away a woman's right to choose and criminalizing it is not the way I think we should do that.

    I think you'll find this Barack Obama's position as well. He's not "pro-abortion". He's pro-choice. But, he also wants to work hard to reduce the number of abortions.


  11. Mark, there are plenty of reasons to be cynical. I'm voting in the hopes that the Republicans will be true to their word. It may be naive, but on the other hand, I know that the Democrats are trying to work towards the opposite goal. Voting for the Republicans may not work. Voting for the Democrats definitely will not work.

    Brian, if there is nothing wrong with abortion, why should we be trying to get closer to zero? If there is something wrong with it, why should be be trying to help people do it safely?

  12. Casey,

    I hijack Bob's blog way too often and this is probably not the place to have the abortion debate. So, I'll answer quickly and that'll have to suffice.

    Abortion is not a desirable method of birth control because it is so controversial. Different people have different opinions about when a "person" becomes a person. Some say at the moment of conception, some say when a baby takes it's first breath. IMO, it's probably somewhere in between. Arguments can be made either way.

    Abortions have happened for hundreds if not thousands of years and will continue to happen, legal or not. For the government to make it illegal for a woman to do something to her own body is overstepping of its bounds to a lot of people.

    No one in their right mind wants to see more abortions. So, since we cannot agree on the government's role in making abortion illegal, why not focus on what we can agree on? Both pro-life and pro-choice people can work together to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and to make options other than abortion more desirable to women in the situation where they have to make a choice.

    I hope this helps. If you want to have this discussion on my blog or elsewhere, I'm happy to do that.


  13. Alright, well I won't hijack Bob's blog, either, then. All I'll say is that your argument sounds a lot like the arguments against abolishing slavery. You know, the whole "3/4 of a person" thing and all. We're talking about a procedure that results in the death of the unborn child. If there is a "controversy" surrounding whether or not that child is a "person," I think the benefit of the doubt should go to preserving life. We do not need to ensure that it's safer and cleaner to take the lives of other human beings. The "choice" should be about whether or not to get pregnant, not whether or not to take the life of an innocent human being.


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