The 2020 elections and “Voting for Life”

By Dave Andrusko

Over the last six weeks, as we approach the November 3rd General Elections, we’ve been talking again and again about why defending defenseless unborn babies is the preeminent issue in this or any election. 

As the last post for Thursday, I’d like to consider a post co-authored by Ramesh Ponnuru & Robert P. George that appeared in National Review Magazine. As always I strongly encourage you to read the entire story, because I can only touch on some, but by no means all, of their pertinent points.

Here are some highlights from “Voting for Life.”

*It is a scientific, not a theological claim, that “modern embryology has placed beyond doubt the status of the human embryo, from its very formation and earliest developmental stage, as a distinct living member of the species Homo sapiens: a human being.” It cannot be emphasized enough how much gibberish pro-abortionists espouse when they try to pretend that the life of each individual life does not begin at conception. 

* “The Church additionally recognizes that this teaching is fully available to natural reason: Its content can and should be affirmed even by those who have no belief in or access to revelation,” they write.  Abortion “is precisely the sort of grave injustice and violation of fundamental human rights that it is a central duty of law and the state to prohibit.”

* They write that “During the vice-presidential debate in 2012, Joe Biden claimed to agree with his church’s teaching on abortion but to be unwilling to impose it on other citizens.” But….

“The logical problem in Biden’s claim of fidelity is very like the one faced by anyone, Catholic or not, indeed religious or not, who takes the ‘personally opposed, but pro-choice’ position on abortion: The reason to oppose abortion at all is also the reason to prohibit it. Psychologically, it is possible for one sincerely to wish that no one ever had an abortion while supporting its legality and even its subsidization. But support for those policies necessarily entails willing the denial of basic human rights to one category of human beings: a grave injustice no matter the victim class. And because nearly everyone believes that he himself and those others he considers worth protecting should enjoy these basic rights, support for those policies involves a violation of the Golden Rule.”

* So what are our obligations? “The individual pro-life voter is not responsible for ending abortion, because he cannot achieve that goal. He is obligated, however, to do what he can, which is to cast his vote in solidarity with the unborn victims of abortion. Very often it will not be difficult to determine what this obligation means in practice: In a general election where two candidates differ in their commitment to justice for the unborn, the pro-life voter should nearly always back the one who has more of it.”

*The ever-more pro-abortion Democrat Party. “Because the modern Democratic Party has become ever more committed to abortion and more hostile to legal protection for unborn children at any stage, pro-lifers who agree with Democrats on issues other than abortion have sometimes labored to find ways to rationalize voting for Democratic candidates who pledge to ensure that unborn children are exposed to lethal injustice (though, of course, they prefer different, more euphemistic language). … These rationalizations are fatally flawed.”

*There are many subtle and well thought out considerations in “Voting for Life.” The authors do a splendid job of illuminating the “particular injustice of treating an entire class of persons, unborn children, as nonpersons with no right to life”; of reminding us that “Biden, like Obama and Clinton before him, has an ‘abortion rights’ litmus test for the Supreme Court. Yes, that’s right: Biden has expressly pledged to deny appointment to the Court for anyone who does not support what amounts to an unlimited right to abortion”; and of the particular “gravity of the evil” of abortion. 

Neither author is saying, in their opinion, that  there is an obligation to vote for President Trump. “If, however,

the considerations we have adduced in this essay are sound, they practically preclude a vote for Biden. If one acknowledges the gravity, scale, and scope of the injustice of abortion, and of a legal regime that denies to an entire class of human beings the most basic of human rights, thus exposing them to lethal violence, then it is hard to imagine what proportionate reasons there could be for joining one’s will to the desire of a supporter of it for great political power.”