Often, the debate over the direction of the pro-life movement is portrayed as a debate between pragmatism and principle.
This like most other dichotomies is false. The abortion issue is one that requires pragmatism and principle both.
There are key principles that must be advocated, that must be at the core of every pro-lifer: Government recognition of the sanctity of innocent* human life from conception to natural death. Whatever, the political movements of the moment, whatever the demands of this politician or that, that goal remains the goal. And no we can’t change it. It is where this country must go and where we will fight tooth and nail to take it.
On the pragmatic end of the spectrum, we must realize this: One million plus unborn children will be killed this year and every year until abortion is ended. This is a visceral fact of cruel cold death in these modern civilized times of ours. We must, like Oskar Schindler, during World War II, must save every life we can. In crisis pregnancy center and abortion pickets, this is the goal. To save every single life, because every life matters.
However, when it comes to election and politics, it seems that some take the position that the actual prevention of abortions is not what matters as much as only supporting and advocating for candidates who favor absolute bans on abortion such as fellow Caffeinated Thoughts writer David Shedlock who says if you favor allowing legal abortion in the case of rape and incest, you’re not pro-life. Given that about half of Americans identify as pro-life but only 14% oppose abortion in the cases of rape and incest, Shedlock seems to be suggesting his own version of Benjamin Franklin’s satirical, “Rules by Which a Great Empire May be Reduced to a Small One” and uses this to suggest we ought not to support Mitt Romney.
To be clear, I oppose the rape and incest exception as well, but to apply it as a litmus test to political candidates or for being part of the pro-life movement is impractical and reckless. To educate and encourage the public recognize the fallacy of supporting rape and incest abortions is sensible and reasonable.
It is a sad fact thousands will die over the next few years due to abortions as a result of rape. It’s also a sad fact that there is no government regulation that will prevent. Had a “no exceptions” like Rick Santorum led the ticket, they still would have died as the President is not a potentate.
The only time, the question of rape and incest abortions would become an issue is if we got to the stage of drafting a Constitutional Amendment to send to the States by a 2/3 vote of Congress but: 1) we’re not close to being there and 2) even if we were, the President has no roll in that.
To use a football analogy, those who oppose Romney over the rape and incest exception are upset about whether the team will go for a field goal or a two point conversion if they make a touchdown and the ball is on their own twenty yard line. If we do get to a point of debating a Constitutional Amendment, it will be long after a President Romney leaves office.
Practically, the anti-Romney pro-lifers offers us a chance to feel righteous by refusing to support Mitt Romney. Plus, you can avoid any and all responsibilities for the predictable letdowns of a Mitt Romney presidency.
On the other hand, Mitt Romney offers pro-lifers some hope to actually save lives. Romney has no specific pro-life legislation planned but he has pledged three things: 1) the restoration of the Mexico City Policy on abortion forbidding funding to groups that support abortion overseas, 2) to Defund Planned Parenthood, and 3) to appoint strict constructionist judges.
The first is the most easy to accomplish and will save thousands of lives by thwarting the abortion industry’s international missionaries of death. The less money they have from taxpayers for “family planning”, the less third world children die through abortion.
The second is much harder to do, but if Romney and the Republicans can accomplish the goal, it will save tens of thousands of lives and put that genocidal racist group Planned Parenthood on the ropes and ultimately force them to reduce the number of abortions performed.
The final is huge. Any Presidential election could have giant consequences for the Supreme Court and two Justices could make the difference between overturning Roe v. Wade or continuing it for two decades. If Roe is overturned, the states will have the ability to restrict or to ban abortion. If states could do that, we could save 200,000 or 300,000 lives a year. If Obama is re-elected and makes those appointments, those lives will be lost as Roe could continue for decades longer.
To me, as a committed pro-lifer, a vote for Mitt Romney is consistent with that second great Commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote that offers us the hope of being able to save Millions of Lives. I’ll vote to save as many I can.
A protest vote or no vote offers only the chance to be proud of yourself for having done the right thing by opposing the imperfect Mitt Romney and ensuring Barack Obama’s re-election, the continuing funding of Planned Parenthood, ever-increasing abortions overseas, and radical judges who will support greater barbarism and curtailment of religious liberties.
Apparently, the chance to show your absolute support for the sanctity of human life is well worth gambling with the destinies of a few million unborn children who might live in Romney is elected and might die if he’s not.