Two pro-life candidates for president offered up some unsatisfying pro-life positions in the past week.
Former President Donald Trump forcefully attacked Heartbeat Bill legislation passed in Florida and signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. Similar legislation has passed in Iowa (twice). Said Trump:
“I think what he did is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake.”
He also refused to support a 15 week federal ban on abortion, dodging the question:
“I would sit down with both sides and I’d negotiate something, and we’ll end up with peace on that issue for the first time in 52 years. I’m not gonna say if I would or I wouldn’t.”
Mr. Trump lives a fantasy world if he thinks he can negotiate a ‘peaceful’ resolution to the abortion question with a political party that calls for late term abortion in cases of unwanted children; taxpayer funding of human abortion; and the abolition of conscience protections for Catholic doctors, nurses, and hospitals.
Although the pro-life community is grateful for the judges he nominated to the Supreme Court who overturned Roe v Wade, pro-life leaders are abandoning him following these comments on Meet the Press. Lila Rose of Live Action didn’t mince any words:
“Trump should not be the GOP nominee. Pathetic and unacceptable. Trump is actively attacking the very pro-life laws made possible by Roe’s overturning. Heartbeat Laws have saved thousands of babies. But Trump wants compromise on babies’ lives so pro-abortion Dems ‘like him.’”
Same with Abby Johnson:
“The Republican nominee for President should, at minimum, be able to say that men can’t be women and that it’s wrong to kill children in the womb. We’re not asking him to be a rocket scientist. We’re asking him be to be a conservative.”
Same with Kristen Hawkins with Students for Life:
“It was tremendously discouraging for Pro-Life First Voters and the more than 1,000 volunteers preparing to work with us in the general election to see you disparage protections for pre-born infants starting at the universal sign of life – a heartbeat. A political calculation to support limits late in pregnancy, such as 15 weeks (almost 4 months), does not negate the value of laws that acknowledge the clearly understood, audible proof of life. Usually, in an emergency room, we rush to save someone with a heartbeat, and that continues to be the desire of motivated pro-life voters. It’s hard to understand why you would discourage so loyal a following to make a play for the votes of those unlikely to share your vision for shrinking the size of government, working to reduce inflation, or protecting parents’ rights to manage their children’s education and lives.”
Same with Pulse Life Advocate’s Maggie DeWitte:
“Saving innocent human life is never a mistake. The mistake is thinking we have the right to take a life. The mistake is calling a law that will save the lives of thousands of babies terrible. There can be no compromise on the life issue. Former President Trump words are disappointing and should be a wake up call to the pro life movement. Abortion is the human rights issue of our time. Now is the time for a strong leader to guide us into the post Roe generation. This fight will never end until we have equal protection for all our pre born brothers and sisters.”
Nikki Haley’s unsatisfying pro-life position
Nikki Haley’s comments on abortion at Saturday night’s Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition banquet are also a cause for concern. Pulse was there. We’ve transcribed her complete remarks along with our reactions:
“I think the American people deserve the truth. You have to speak hard truths on this. I am unapologetically pro-life. Not because the Republican party tells me to be, but because my husband was adopted, and I had trouble having both of my children. I’m surrounded by miracles and blessings.”
So far, so good.
“This issue is personal for every woman and every man, and we need to treat it that way. I don’t judge anyone for being pro-choice any more than I want them to judge me for being pro-life.
So when we look at this subject, we finally took it from unelected judges and put it back in the hands of the people. That’s where it should be. But the debate is whether there should be a federal law. And in order to pass a federal law, you have to have the majority of the House, sixty, SIX-ZERO, Senate votes and the signature of the president.
We haven’t had 60 Republicans in over a hundred years. We might have 45 pro-life Senators. so no Republican president can ban abortion any more than any Democratic president can ban state laws.
So my goal is how do we save as many babies as possible and support as many moms as possible? The way we do that is to bring people together and say, can’t we all agree that we should ban late term abortions?
Can’t we all agree that we should encourage adoptions … and good quality adoptions?
Can’t we agree that doctors and nurses who don’t agree with abortions shouldn’t have to perform abortions?
And can’t we all agree that no woman who gets an abortion should get a jail sentence or the death penalty?”
Pro-lifers don’t treat women as criminals
For the record, pro-life leaders consistently view women as victims of abortions, not criminals. Legal sanctions are targeted towards doctors, not moms.
As to her other points, obviously we CAN’T agree with elected leaders of the Democratic Party who have rejected their party’s former position, that abortion should be safe, legal, but rare. However, polling indicates that rank and file Democratic voters are closer to Republicans on abortion than they are with their own elected officials.
Haley continues …
“Let’s start there, because if you go and put these restrictions in that make people demonize each other, I’m not going to be a part of the demonizing. We have to humanize this issue if we’re every going to pass it and do more.”
What is Haley saying?
Abortion zealots demonize pro-lifers over every single restriction we get passed. Abortion zealots are radical. They block votes on ‘born alive’ legislation that mandates that babies that survive abortions be transported from the abortion clinic to a real hospital for medical treatment. They demonize Republicans for trying to pass a law that they claim “unnecessarily restrict doctors from making case-by-case decisions about what is best for infants and mothers.” Seriously? Is it in the best interest of the child to just let it die?
So how is Ms. Haley going to avoid being a part of the demonizing when every single pro-life restriction unleashes a mountain of rage from the pro-aborts?
She continues …
“I had a roommate in college who was raped. I wouldn’t wish on anyone what she went through wondering if she was pregnant. Everybody has a story. The way we bring people to us is not by demonizing them, we bring people to us when we humanize the situation. That’s all I’m saying. Tell people the truth. You go and put this ban of 15 weeks and what does it do? It has everyone running from us.”
Haley seems to be saying that she won’t take any leadership on using the bully pulpit of the presidency to promote life.
What would Lincoln do?
Imagine if Abraham Lincoln felt the same as Ms. Haley and Mr. Trump. Suppose he said, let’s leave slavery up to the individual states. That’s what the Democrats wanted back then. But Lincoln rejected that approach because it denied human rights to a class of people in violation of everything America believes in, just as abortion does.
“What about if we got people running to us? Whatever we can get 60 Senate votes on, isn’t that better than what we have now? If it’s six weeks, that’s great. If it’s fifteen weeks, that’s great. If it’s 20 weeks, it’s going further than we want, guess what, we’ll save more babies that way. I just want us to have a good conversation on how to save as many babies as we can.”
Ms. Haley spends a lot of time telling us what we can’t do. This issue demands leadership, not defeatism.
Candidates need to go on offense, not defense, which seems to be Haley’s path.
At least she isn’t completely selling out pro-lifers as it appears Trump is doing. And to her credit, she went on offense at the first Republican presidential debate:
“I think we’re all pro-life but what I would love is for someone to ask Biden and Kamala Harris are they for 38 weeks? Are they for 39 weeks? Are they for 40 weeks? Because that’s what the media needs to be asking.”
Defeatism is a prescription for defeat.
Be bold, candidates. Avoid wishy-washy unsatisfying pro-life positions. When debating abortion, focus on 3 points:
- The extremism of the other side’s positions.
- That abortion is a human right’s issue, just as slavery was.
- And it’s a human rights issue, because the unborn are biological human beings.
So when a Donald Trump … or a President Joe Biden … or even a Nikki Haley, challenges a Ron DeSantis that his Heartbeat bill is ‘too harsh,’ DeSantis should be teed up ready to go on offense:
“Mr. President, it’s never ‘too harsh’ to pass and enforce a law that protects an innocent person with a beating, human heart.
Abortion is a human rights issue, because each abortion kills an innocent human being.
Each abortion undermines our nation’s Creed that proclaims God-given rights of LIFE, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
And each abortion reminds us that abortion isn’t JUST a states rights issue, just as slavery wasn’t JUST a states rights issue, as the Democratic Party maintained in a tragic, earlier chapter in our nation’s history.
Both issues are human rights issues. End of story.”
And if an opponent tries to make a case that the unborn isn’t a ‘person,’ the rebuttal is straight forward:
“All I know is that is that it takes a human father and a human mother to make a human baby. Until you prove to me beyond a reasonable doubt that the thriving unborn baby in the womb isn’t a human being, I will continue to stand up for her human rights.”