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11/1/2012 - November 2012 SLI Educational Update - Abortion Regains Important Attention





To:                  SLI Supporters                                  

Date:               November 2012  

From:              A. Eric Johnston

Re:                  Abortion Regains Important Attention

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, abortion was an issue debated by all political candidates.  Major news media included it as a question in exit polls at voting places.  As economic woes mounted, attention turned away from social issues.  In the last decade, abortion has not had much attention . . . until now.

 The catalyst for the refocusing on abortion was when Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin made a remark that a woman’s body will likely reject pregnancy in a “legitimate rape.”  Many view this as saying we do not need a “rape exception.”  The Democrats characterized it as part of the Republicans’ “war on women.”  After much discussion, the political parties adopted positions on abortion at their party conventions:

“The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.  We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”  www.Democrats.org/democratic-national-platform.

“. . .  we [The Republican Party] assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life that cannot be infringed.  We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”  www.WhiteHouse12.com/republican-party-platform.

In 1973 Roe v. Wade made abortion on demand legal at virtually any stage of the pregnancy.  Since then the battle has not ended.  While the issue may not have been in the spotlight, pro-lifers have not lost their zeal to protect life.  They agree with the Republican statement above.

At the same time, those who support abortion agree with the Democrat statement above.  They do not focus on the issue of whether the unborn child is a person or has life, rather they euphemistically say it is a “woman’s choice” through personal right.  They rely on choice and inability to pay as reasons for supporting abortion.  They attack pro-lifers as being small minded, rigid, old fashioned, religious zealots.  They attack the pro-life messenger, rather than address the reality of the issue.

If the reality of the issue is properly addressed, both medically and legally, one must come to the conclusion that the unborn child has life protected by law.  If you have ever looked at the booklet produced by the Alabama Department of Public Health pursuant to the Alabama Woman’s Right to Know Act (www.ADPH.org/Healthcarefacilities/assets/abomaterialorderform.pdf to order a booklet or video), you will see the stages of development of the unborn child and there is no mistaking what he or she is.

If you read Roe and its progeny, you see the utter fallacy of the majority Justices’ unprecedented reasoning in finding a “constitutional right to abortion.”  This is reinforced by the truths revealed in the later published Papers of Justices William O. Douglas and Harry Blackmum.   The Justices could not actually find a right to abortion in the Constitution, so they made one up.

In spite of two generations since Roe and 39 years of legalized abortion, there is still a significant percentage of Americans who believe in the personhood of the unborn.  So, it is not surprising that when Candidate Akin made his remark, the issue again found importance in the American political psyche. 

 Of course, abortion supporters brought a barrage of criticism on how horrible it is for a woman to be impregnated by rape or incest and then have to bear the child.  Imagine how the child must feel about that.  Politically, both inside the party and out, Republicans were scorned for not making exceptions.  Well, all of this brought on a real opportunity to educate the new generations.

The proper pro-life position is that there is no exception for abortion.  While the life of the mother is sometime called an exception, that is really a medical decision.  Rape and incest are not exceptions.  From conception, the unborn child is a person protected by our Constitution, notwithstanding the uncorrected error of Roe.

In the end, we must believe it is life and strive to protect it.  That is what the Republican Party platform does.  While Candidate Romney’s position recognizes rape and incest exceptions, this is a typical political pragmatic pro-life position.  We must often be pragmatic when working within the framework of law as it currently exists.  Because we support a law that only regulates abortion and not prohibit it does not mean we are any less pro-life.

We are glad to see abortion receive this attention.  We hope that it results in the interest of a renewed examination of the issue.  After all, nothing will ever change the fact that the unborn child is a person.  It is only politicians who like to ignore that fact.

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