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I'm an undecided voter. Can someone try to "convince" me that the Republican Party is really Pro-Life? Please provide data, voting records and list any Pro-Life Supreme Court Justices that have been appointed since the Reagan Administration.

Ung

ps This is a serious hypothetical Election '08 question.

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Originally Posted by Ung-Certez
I'm an undecided voter. Can someone try to "convince" me that the Republican Party is really Pro-Life? Please provide data, voting records and list any Pro-Life Supreme Court Justices that have been appointed since the Reagan Administration.

Ung

ps This is a serious hypothetical Election '08 question.


By prolife do mean opposed to abortion or do you mean prolife in the broader sense of being opposed to all unjust killing and social and economic policies that harm people?

Joe

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Two points (others will surely give more details):

1. Open pro-lifers would never have been confirmed to the Supreme Court. What to look for are justices that respect "original intent" or "literal interpretation" of the Constitution. With such an interpretation Roe v Wade has no standing, and will fall. Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito all so far have ruled in that mode. Their votes helped to uphold the laws against the type of infanticide known as "partial-birth abortion". [Kennedy was the swing vote.] Republican appointments have been mostly good, but there have been disasters.

2. Abortion is a foundational issue that trumps other issues. As a Catholic I may conclude that the wars to liberate Afghanistan and Iraq are just (the Vatican's point was not that the wars were unjust but rather that even just wars should not be fought). Torture is wrong, but not in the same league as murder of innocents through abortion. Social and economic policies are certainly secondary. One could demonstrably argue that free-market capitalism helps more people out of poverty then does socialism. But societies can arrange many different economic systems and be respectful of life. In the other thread someone linked a listing of President Bush's many pro-life accomplishments. Always remember that the press is not going to tout them.

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Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver:

The abortion conflict has never simply been about repealing Roe v. Wade. And the many pro-lifers I know live a much deeper kind of discipleship than “single issue” politics. But they do understand that the cornerstone of Catholic social teaching is protecting human life from conception to natural death. They do understand that every other human right depends on the right to life. They did not and do not and will not give up -- and they won’t be lied to.

So I think that people who claim that the abortion struggle is “lost” as a matter of law, or that supporting an outspoken defender of legal abortion is somehow “pro-life,” are not just wrong; they’re betraying the witness of every person who continues the work of defending the unborn child. And I hope they know how to explain that, because someday they’ll be required to.

When someone claims that the right-to-life is just one of many pro-life issues rather then the foundational issue one harms the pro-life cause. One must always make sure the points he advances are actually correct as well as understood with in the correct context of the the right to life from conception until natural death. Otherwise it is like trying to fight one small battle while loosing the entire war.

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Oh, on a lighter note than some of my recent posts in like-minded threads, I met Justice Clarence Thomas a couple of weeks ago and had a short conversation with him; we shared a joke about the Georgia-Alabama game (which ended disastrously for us Dawgs).

Alexis

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Originally Posted by JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
Originally Posted by Ung-Certez
I'm an undecided voter. Can someone try to "convince" me that the Republican Party is really Pro-Life? Please provide data, voting records and list any Pro-Life Supreme Court Justices that have been appointed since the Reagan Administration.

Ung

ps This is a serious hypothetical Election '08 question.


By prolife do mean opposed to abortion or do you mean prolife in the broader sense of being opposed to all unjust killing and social and economic policies that harm people?

Joe


I'm first referring to the Abortion Rights vs. Right to Life issue. I'm not convinced that Republican politicians have done everything in their power to reverse Roe vs. Wade.

I'm not happy with the lack of Pro-Life Democrat politicians. Except for the former PA Governor, the late Robert Casey, and his son, Bob Casey Jr., I don't see that many Democrats defending life. But I'm equally unhappy with the Reagan Administration and both Bush Administrations for their passiveness in appointing openly vocal Supreme Court Justices that will actually try their utmost to over turn Roe vs. Wade.

I won't even get into the semantic debate concerning Christians who are openly against Abortion, but have no problem with artifical "barrier" contraceptive practices.

Ung

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Originally Posted by Ung-Certez
I'm first referring to the Abortion Rights vs. Right to Life issue. I'm not convinced that Republican politicians have done everything in their power to reverse Roe vs. Wade.

I agree that Republicans have not done enough, and some have even only paid lip service to the Pro-Life cause. Still, a lot has been accomplished in the past 8 years. But when one thinks of things of going the other way with the appointment of openly pro-abortion Supreme Court justices....

As far as Republicans being passive about appointing openly pro-life justices such appointments would never be confirmed. The votes just are not there right now. But, one can get justices that will not find a right to abortion in the text of the Constitution. And you go from there.

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If a Republican President with a Republican lead House and Senate cannot get a pro-life Justice confirmed - that leads me to believe that the goal wasn't to get it done in the first place. Which goes to my premise that only a pro-life Democrat can get realistically this done.

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Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
If a Republican President with a Republican lead House and Senate cannot get a pro-life Justice confirmed - that leads me to believe that the goal wasn't to get it done in the first place. Which goes to my premise that only a pro-life Democrat can get realistically this done.

Look at the timing of the appointments. Most Republicans have not had a Republican majority in the Senate when the appointments were made. And not all Republicans are pro-life. But if you can find enough pro-life Democrats in Congress who will promise to confirm pro-life justices, and then get a Democrat to run on a pro-life platform I might consider voting for him. At the moment the Democrat Party is legitimately called the "Party of Death" for the extreme positions it has its platform, and Senator Obama is the most radical anti-life candidate ever to run for the presidency.

Remember that a Supreme Court rules on the cases before it. Unless there is a human life amendment to the Constitution the way forward is to chip at Roe v Wade until it falls. Then the debate will go to the individual states. Much work to do, and I sure hope Michael was promising not to vote for any candidates of any party unless they are Pro-Life!

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For the record Senator Casey says he is pro-life but will not confirm any judge who is against Roe vs Wade. A far cry from his Father of Blessed memory.

Republicans could only do so much. Have they done enough? Heavans no. Look at Clinton's record. Look at what Obama has done. Look at McCain's voting record. Look at what the both plan on doing if elected.

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Originally Posted by MrsMW
For the record Senator Casey says he is pro-life but will not confirm any judge who is against Roe vs Wade. A far cry from his Father of Blessed memory.

Republicans could only do so much. Have they done enough? Heavans no. Look at Clinton's record. Look at what Obama has done. Look at McCain's voting record. Look at what the both plan on doing if elected.


But future Democratic Party presidential candidate Bob Casey Jr. could appoint openly Pro-Life Supreme Court justices.

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He is not his Father. Look at what he does rather than what he says.

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And, as was mentioned the previous thread, Barack Obama has pledged to pass the Freedom of Choice Act which will effectively eliminate all state and federal barriers to accessing abortion, including parental notification, 24 hour delays, etc etc.

Not to mention the use of tax-payer dollars to support abortion...

John McCain has a very solid pro-life voting record, and has made this an issue in his campaign against Mr. Infanticide himself, Barack Obama.

All one has to do is compare party platforms on abortion to get a clear picture of its orientation:

The DNC (appropriately named) Party Platform

Quote
Choice

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to comprehensive affordable family planning services and age-appropriate sex education which empower people to make informed choices and live healthy lives. We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman’s decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre- and post-natal health care, parenting skills, income support and caring adoption options.


The GOP Party Platform

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Maintaining The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life

Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life.

We have made progress. The Supreme Court has upheld prohibitions against the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. States are now permitted to extend health-care coverage to children before birth. And the Born Alive Infants Protection Act has become law; this law ensures that infants who are born alive during an abortion receive all treatment and care that is provided to all newborn infants and are not neglected and left to die. We must protect girls from exploitation and statutory rape through a parental notification requirement. We all have a moral obligation to assist, not to penalize, women struggling with the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy. At its core, abortion is a fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life. Women deserve better than abortion. Every effort should be made to work with women considering abortion to enable and empower them to choose life. We salute those who provide them alternatives, including pregnancy care centers, and we take pride in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

Respect for life requires efforts to include persons with disabilities in education, employment, the justice system, and civic participation. In keeping with that commitment, we oppose the non-consensual withholding of care or treatment from people with disabilities, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, which endanger especially those on the margins of society. Because government should set a positive standard in hiring and contracting for the services of persons with disabilities, we need to update the statutory authority for the AbilityOne program, the main avenue by which those productive members of our society can offer high quality services at the best possible value.


...couple that with this...

Quote
GOP Party Platform on "Preserving Traditional Marriage"

Because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it. In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives.

Republicans recognize the importance of having in the home a father and a mother who are married. The two-parent family still provides the best environment of stability, discipline, responsibility, and character. Children in homes without fathers are more likely to commit a crime, drop out of school, become violent, become teen parents, use illegal drugs, become mired in poverty, or have emotional or behavioral problems. We support the courageous efforts of single-parent families to provide a stable home for their children. Children are our nation’s most precious resource. We also salute and support the efforts of foster and adoptive families.

Republicans have been at the forefront of protecting traditional marriage laws, both in the states and in Congress. A Republican Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of states not to recognize same-sex “marriages” licensed in other states. Unbelievably, the Democratic Party has now pledged to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which would subject every state to the redefinition of marriage by a judge without ever allowing the people to vote on the matter. We also urge Congress to use its Article III, Section 2 power to prevent activist federal judges from imposing upon the rest of the nation the judicial activism in Massachusetts and California. We also encourage states to review their marriage and divorce laws in order to strengthen marriage.

As the family is our basic unit of society, we oppose initiatives to erode parental rights.


....as opposed to this...

Quote
DNC Party Platform on Same Sex Marriage

It is not enough to look back in wonder at how far we have come; those who came before us did not strike a blow against injustice only so that we would allow injustice to fester in our time. That means removing the barriers of prejudice and misunderstanding that still exist in America. We support the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections. We will enact a comprehensive bipartisan employment non-discrimination act. We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us.


...and which party is more in keeping with Catholic principles on these two fundamental issues? Very clearly it is the GOP. Historically, I think one could argue the opposite, and the Democratic Party was at one time a truly Catholic party. This can no longer be asserted in any serious way on fundamental issues and it is a tragic loss to our two party system.

God bless,

Fr. Deacon Daniel

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To answer the original question, some Republicans are pro-life, but some are not. But the party platform has been fairly consistent in being anti-abortion.

Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
If a Republican President with a Republican lead House and Senate cannot get a pro-life Justice confirmed - that leads me to believe that the goal wasn't to get it done in the first place. Which goes to my premise that only a pro-life Democrat can get realistically this done.


Good luck finding a pro-life Democrat who can get some traction in national politics. The activists shut them down quickly. The last pro-life Democrat that I can remember being taken seriously was Gov. Askew of Florida in 1984. He did not get past New Hampshire.

Gov. Hugh Carey of New York was pro-life, but was never thought of for the national ticket.

Gov. Casey was not allowed to speak to the Democrat Convention in 1992 on the abortion issue. I haven't heard a pro-life Democrat speak seriously on the subject since Gov. Casey passed away.

I offer a few other people's opinions for reflection.

http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=91657

http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=91658

http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=91295

As the son of a former union local President, I would love to find a pro-life Democrat to support. I tend to agree with them on issues regarding labor, pensions, social safety net type things. If only we had some Christian Democrats who believed that God is the source of life and liberty.

But pro-life is a blacklist kind of thing for Democrat activists, so those candidates that deviate from the herd get culled quickly. I thought Sen. Obama might be different, as his background is different, but I am sadly disappointed. Slick speaker, but just another party line politician.

As for Sen. McCain, he seems to be more or less pro-life. But I don't quite trust him, on a number of issues. And, he has run a foolishly negative campaign.

But he has a record of working with Democrats when he thought it was right.


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This document may be a helpful guide. Obviously no party is perfect, but one of the parties is right on the fundamentals of upholding and protecting the dignity of human life and the integrity of marriage and the family:

Compendium of Catholic Social Doctrine

It is a marvelous work which Catholics of both parties should consider.

God bless,

Fr. Deacon Daniel

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John McCain has a very solid pro-life voting record, and has made this an issue in his campaign against Mr. Infanticide himself, Barack Obama.


I would be cautious in waiving a pro-life flag for McCain. Some like me will not soon forget his very public feud with the National Right to Life Committee.

He also voted in favor of the expansion of embryonic stem cell research, from which he has never recanted. If half of all women voters who will be supporting McCain feel he is pro-choice, then that is certainly NOT a clear position platform he has generated.

I also remember hearing a South Carolina National Right to Life Committee ad that stated plainly "If you want a strongly pro-life president ... don't support John McCain."

I do not recall one, not even one occasion where McCain took the floor of the Senate either identifying himself as a social conservative, OR defending one.

So what has changed? Alan Keyes, of whom I respect, maintains McCain is definitely NOT pro-life.

His recent interview on Supreme Court appointees refusing to submit a "litmus test" does nothing for the pro-life movement; as at this point the only three options are for a new constitutional amendment (he never proposed such a thing in the Senate); a change in Supreme Court justices (he admits there will be no litmus test); or an executive order that I feel he will never use due to his perceived "moderate" status.

With McCain's unclear position, I cannot see that any arguments of "proportionality" are really valid, and I would even posit such arguments may approach relativism. While certainly he may have personal beliefs along this line he has generally kept those out of his political actions.

The only truly pro-life candidate is third party, like it or not.
FDRLB


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