Magazine article The Human Life Review

For Right-to-Life Realists

Magazine article The Human Life Review

For Right-to-Life Realists

Article excerpt

Republican presidential candidates must rescue their party from the sterility into which its abortion debate has fallen. Herewith a suggested statement for any candidate seeking a position palatable to right-to-life realists:

"For those of us determined to regenerate society's reverence for young life, the proposed Human Life Amendment has become a distraction. It encourages the barren politics of catharsis-striking emotionally satisfying poses unrelated to practical policy. Let me be blunt: An America in which three-quarters of the states would ratify an amendment banning abortion would not need such an amendment. Abortion would already be rare because it would be broadly understood as invariably tinged with tragedy.

"Concerning whether I would use a `litmus test' to select Supreme court nominees `opposed to abortion,' I say that question is miscast. It entices conservatives into endorsing the sort of result-oriented jurisprudence liberals advocate. The proper question concerns general jurisprudence. I would nominate judges whose respect for the Framers' intentions-the Constitution's language and logic-would dispose them to conclude, as many thoughtful supporters of abortion rights do, that Roe v. Wade is indefensible as constitutional law.

"The Democratic Party, which distrusts the American people, insists that abortion policy be set by judges. I believe the people can be trusted to legislate abortion policy. Overturning Roe would invigorate democratic debates at the state level concerning parental notification, public funding and partial-birth abortion. "Temperate people on both sides of the abortion divide can support a requirement for parental notification, less as abortion policy than as sound family policy. Supporters and opponents of abortion can join in opposing public funding as an offense against civility: It is uncivil to compel one's fellow citizens to fund a practice they abhor.

"Partial-birth abortion, too, reveals the real abortion extremism. In this procedure, all but part of the late-term baby's head is delivered from the birth canal, then the skull is collapsed. During Senate debate on banning this procedure, two Democrats, Wisconsin's Feingold and New Jersey's Lautenberg, were asked: If the baby's head slipped out-if the baby were entirely delivered-then did it have a right to live? Neither `pro-choice' senator would say that the baby even then had a right to live.

"Who are the extremists now? The American majority, troubled by the casualness of abortion today? Or abortion-rights zealots who regard abortion as no more morally significant than an appendectomy? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.