Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Issues Debate: Abortion, Part 3

I agree with Stephen until his last paragraph:

I concede that there are many political obstacles, but what better way to undermine these obstacles than by electing a president who has deep pro-life convictions? If we ever hope to see America restored to her former glory, this is the only strategy to pursue.

Certainly, abortion has taken us far away from the American dream of a just and free society. The question is what to do about it. Even if we elect a pro-life president, the only way he can affect abortion policy is to appoint strict-constitutionalist judges (something even a less-than-ideal president could conceivably do). And this only affects abortion policy if the court decides to revisit its previous decision. Assuming that happened, judges appointed by pro-life presidents could wimp out at the last moment (or completely change their minds, etc.). If (the if's are getting bigger at each leap) the court reverses Roe v. Wade, the only thing that would be accomplished would be to allow states the freedom to set their own abortion policy. Admittedly, this would be a huge step in the right direction. But, ultimately, we come back to changing the attitudes of the American people. If that doesn't happen, all this is for nothing. Many states will simply continue the status quo at the state level.

Alternatively, if we do nothing but convince the American people of the wickedness of abortion, we will see immediate and lasting change. Not all abortion will be stopped, but it will stop to the degree that we influence public opinion. Indeed, some of this is already happening in small bits. The improvement of ultrasound technology helps, as women see their baby for what it is. Premature babies are being saved at younger and younger ages. The point is that this is the real front line in the battle.

Electing a pro-life president would probably help some, but it might not help at all. This long-shot of a chance is not worth sacrificing the pressing needs of reform and security (things that will be influenced--no chance involved).

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