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Scott Brown presents a paradox for the pro-life movement

Imagine for a moment if Senator Orrin Hatch from Mormon dominated Republican Utah said, when asked, “Are you pro-life?”

“Yes, I am pro-life. I’m against partial-birth abortions. I’m against federal funding of abortions. And I believe in a strong parental consent notification law.”

Remember that position: Pro-life. That is the position of James Dobson and Focus on the Family, the Roman Catholic Bishops, Phyllis Schlafly and the Eagle Forum, Steve Ertelt and National Right to Life. They have each actively opposed or refused to endorse the Personhood initiative — a strategy for passing state amendments that would recognize the right to life of all human beings from conception to natural death — thinking that pushing for an outright ban on abortion would be counter-productive at this point in time. Instead, they choose the pragmatic approach of incrementalism. To be fair (and by that I mean less strident than other Personhood advocates have been) I must point out that these individuals and organizations support Personhood, but only deny that it is the correct strategy at the current time.

Meanwhile, in the current political climate, newly-elected Senator Scott Brown from Roman Catholic dominated Democratic Party Massachusetts says, when asked, “Are you pro-choice?”

“Yes … The difference between me and maybe others is that I’m very — I’m against partial-birth abortions. I’m against federal funding of abortions. And I believe in a strong parental consent notification law” (Barbara Walters interview, ABC News, Jan. 31, 2010).

We ought to note this paradox and its obvious solution. Politicians take their positions from their constituents. The vast majority of Americans believe that there should be some restrictions on abortion. Most favor banning late term abortions and favor these incremental restriction measures. Most are “pro-choice,” however, when it comes to the various exceptions, especially rape and incest.

Thus a “pro-choice” candidate from a Democratic yet Roman Catholic stronghold may nuance his stance with words such as “strongly” and “very” opposed to certain types of abortion to underscore the exact same incremental approach held by National Right to Life, the Catholic Bishops, Focus on the Family and so on. As long as the strategy is to keep “chipping away at Roe v. Wade,” they feel satisfied with the label of “pro-life.” But if a candidate pledges the same thing under the label “pro-choice,” doesn’t it amount to about the same thing?

I submit that the problem is not with political candidates, but with the position taken by “pro-life” organizations and individuals. The biblical adage, “You have not because you ask not,” applies here in full force. For pro-life advocates to criticize Senator-elect Scott Brown misses the forest for the trees. He is not the problem. In fact, he is little different than the so-called “solution” that has thus far been an effete assault on a modern day Goliath.

I take conservative “pro-life” pundits to task for their proposed solution. For example, Fox News’ Sean Hannity is “pro-life,” but holds out for the exceptions of rape and incest for the sake of political pragmatism. Ironically, these “pro-life” conservative Christians need to be reminded that is exactly the position of Roe v. Wade. In the decision, the Supreme Court sided with Jane Roe (Norma McCorvey) who argued that she needed to be guaranteed the legal right to an abortion because she was raped and pregnant.*

In the 2000 presidential primaries, John McCain said he thought Roe v. Wade should be overturned, but then said he would support exceptions to a ban on abortion in cases of rape and incest (Boston Globe, A11, Jan 22, 2000). Ironically, these are the very exceptions that Roe v. Wade provided. It was Roe’s companion decision, Doe v. Bolton, that gave a legal justification to extend abortion rights through all nine months with no exceptions. To be accurate, these “pro-life” political candidates and pundits ought to call themselves “pro-Roe but anti-Doe.”

So, in effect, when we support the “exceptions,” we uphold Roe v. Wade, just like Sean Hannity, John McCain and Scott Brown.

My challenge to politicians to say they are pro-life with the “exceptions” is this. If that is your conviction, then let’s get this done now. If the majority of Americans are in favor of certain restrictions on abortion, then put it to a vote each session until it passes. If the majority of Americans are against abortion past the time of viability (20 weeks) then where is the legislation? If the majority of Americans want a ban on all abortions with the exceptions of rape or incest, then why not put that to an up or down vote this month? While I believe that the God-given right to life extends to all human beings without exception, I would support such an effort that would stop over 98 percent of all abortions that currently do not fall under one of the so-called exceptions.

With a Republican congress and president for six full years, there were no such bills and no such up or down votes. The problem is that politicians say what they need to say on the abortion issue to get elected. The problem is that pro-life advocates continue to support weak candidates in the primaries with the view that they are more electable. Then we bemoan the fact that our incremental approach isn’t working. What we need to do is to start insisting on a vote on specific pro-life legislation in each session (up or down – win or lose) before we will support any candidate for reelection. If a “pro-life” representative shows no initiative in sponsoring or advocating such legislation, then we should support his or her pro-life opponent in the next primary election. Only then will the Republican Party take us seriously.


Comments

Your comments are welcome!

After seeing the dismal election results for my home state of Illinois, I am inclined to agree with you. It is reported that the GOP favorite for US Senate is one of a handful of politicians who voted FOR PBA... And let's not forget that our pro-abort prez is from IL. :(

Posted by Friend for Life on 03/02/2010 11:52 AM #

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

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Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

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