By Schu Montgomery
Editor’s note. This op-ed appeared in the Louisville Courier-Journal.
On the opening day of the National Right to Life Convention in Charleston this past July, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster told an enthusiastic luncheon crowd, “I believe time and history is on our side.”
A Gallup poll had just been released showing a whopping 60% of respondents said abortion should be legal in “only a few circumstances” (39%) or “illegal in all circumstances” (21%). That was a jump of 7 percentage points from just a year earlier.
Grossly underreported, though, even ignored by the media, has been the surge of support among Americans who will “only vote for a candidate who shares their pro-life view on abortion.” As has been the case in practically every election cycle since Roe v. Wade in 1973, the percentage of “single-issue” pro-life voters has outpaced “single-issue” abortion-rights voters by anywhere from 6 to 9 percentage points. In 2016, the numbers were 23% to 17% — a 6-point advantage. Today, the gap is 9 points — 35% to 26%.
Could this dramatic shift reflect American outrage over aggressive efforts by Democrats to make abortion policy more permissive in states like New York, Vermont and Illinois? Or maybe more and more Americans are learning how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has blocked more than 80 times now, floor votes on the “Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” which would give legal rights to newborn infants who survive failed abortions. (The Center for Disease Control reports 143 babies died after being born alive during botched abortions between 2003 and 2014.)
Possibly, the word is getting out (no thanks to the mainstream media), too, that certain politicians are apparently just fine with late-term abortions and even post-birth deaths, in spite of polls consistently showing huge majorities favoring the anti-infanticide reform measure.
Indeed, there is virtue in single-mindedness when choosing who to vote for when casting your ballot. The suffragists are a perfect example. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul (incidentally, all strong abortion opponents) and others believed in the promises of liberty guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence and made possible through the amendment process of the Constitution.
You better believe women, like the founding feminists, demanded Americans focus on a single issue. The Democrat-led 65th Congress failed to legislate a woman’s right to vote. So, in the next Congress, Democrats were swept out of power and Republicans led the victory for women’s rights instead.
Abortion, as a single issue, is the most compelling issue facing America today. The right to life for all members of the human family is the most important right guaranteed by our Founding Fathers. As concerned citizens elect candidates on their willingness to protect human life, presidents, legislators and judges will begin to restore protection to the unborn and end abortion on demand.
The anti-abortion movement has been successful in passing life-saving measures including mandatory informed consent and a ban on late-term abortion due, in part, to its uncompromising stance when evaluating candidates. Without the right to life, no other right is possible, or has meaning. A candidate unwilling to rectify the terrible injustice perpetrated by abortionists (killing a defenseless preborn child), should be disqualified from holding public office.
The gravity of restoring the civil right to life to unborn children is especially salient in the Kentucky governor’s race. Republican Matt Bevin has fearlessly defended the most vulnerable. For example, the bill he signed into law requiring abortionists to give women opportunity to view an ultrasound of their baby before an abortion, was upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. A judicial appointment by President Donald Trump made all the difference! Elections do have consequences.
Yet, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear, as attorney general, refused to defend that very law in the courts, an egregious shirking of his constitutional responsibilities.
If the civil rights of the unborn throughout the nine months of pregnancy are to be restored, then our obligation to vote for candidates who hold the right to life inviolate, becomes as important as democracy itself.
As the late Judge John Noonan so aptly said, “Once or twice in a century an Issue arises … so far-reaching in its consequences and so deep in its foundations that it calls every person to take a stand.”
Vote pro-life on Nov. 5!
Schu Montgomery is a member of the board of directors for Right to Life of Louisville.