In recent years, polling shows that a majority of Americans consider themselves ‘Pro-Life’. How can we tell if a candidate is pro-life vs pro-choice?
The question is, “What does it mean to be Pro-Life”? Can one support abortion and still be pro-life? What about euthanasia? Assisted suicide? The death penalty? Can you be “personally opposed” to abortion and unwilling to support laws that would minimize or eliminate them? What about the ‘hard cases’? Can he or she support other candidates who are clearly not pro-life?
While pro-lifers differ on the death penalty [justice vs. life, etc.], there is no such difference when it comes to abortion, euthanasia, or assisted suicide. In all these case ‘pro-life’ means we protect the innocent human life from beginning [conception/fertilization] to end [natural death]. Anything less compromises the entire pro-life philosophy.
In my view, the ‘personally opposed’ position is hypocrisy, pure and simple. The political process is all about electing people who will legislate according to our views. Any candidate who says he (or she) will vote contrary to his own conscience [personally opposed, but…], obviously does not trust his own judgment and, thus, can’t be trusted by us.
As to the ‘hard cases’ or ‘exceptions’ in the abortion discussion, similar ideas apply. If one recognizes the inalienable right to life, can one say that the cause of the life [rape/incest] determines the baby’s right to life?
Similarly, we must take every care to protect the baby’s life while we treat the mom’s illness, even to the extent of endangering the baby. What we must not do is sacrifice the baby for the benefit of the mother. Accidental death is one thing. Intentional killing, abortion, is another.
Only when we elect truly pro-life candidates, those with the integrity and courage to enact pro-life laws, will we succeed in protecting the most vulnerable in our society. Politicians who undermine the pro-life cause by refusing to implement it themselves or who support other candidates who are not pro-life should be considered pro-choice.