LETTER: Abortion shouldn't determine vote for president

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 | 8:47 p.m. CDT; updated 10:39 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A number of pro-life friends tell me they feel compelled to vote for the Republican nominee for the single reason of his position on abortion. Here is why they are wrong.

First of all, the track record of Republican Supreme Court appointees is anything but consistent on abortion. So you don't know what you will get. And John McCain's pro-life stance is itself questionable. Both of his preferred running mates, Lieberman and Ridge, are pro-choice. In other words, McCain would have been happy to leave under a pro-choice president should he have become incapacitated or succumbed to, say, skin cancer. And McCain supports embryonic stem-cell research. But most importantly, even were McCain to appoint a pro-life Supreme Court justice who voted in a majority to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion would not be outlawed. Legal determination would go back to the states, as before 1973. No doubt some states more heavily restrict abortion, others to a lesser degree, and a third group perhaps make abortion free of any restrictions at all. The fact that some women might then have to drive, say, for an hour to get an abortion is no reason to expect a decline in the abortion rate.

What must you exchange for this no-change-in-abortion outcome under the aegis of ending abortion? You become complicit in the continuance of an unjust war that has cost over 655,000 lives of Iraqi children and adults, according to the leading British medical journal, The Lancet. You thereby fan the fires of hatred and violence against your own country. You help keep close to 50 million fellow Americans, a large proportion children, from health care insurance, with death as the result for some 18,000 every year. You become a partner to the devastation of the environment, upon which the whole human future depends. You support torture. You continue giving billions more to the rich while cutting social programs for the needy. And with all of this, you have saved none of the unborn. You cannot cast that vote in good faith.


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Justin Hopkins October 23, 2008 | 3:14 p.m.

You make your point quite well. I'd like to suggest something that I picked up not too long ago: Let's all stop saying "pro-life" and start saying "anti-choice". It's far more accurate.

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