Of Pro-Lifers and Faux-Lifers

The foundation of the pro-life position is that, from the moment of fertilization, a new human being exists and has the same right to life as a 5-year-old or a 50-year-old.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems plaguing the pro-life movement today is that so many of our people don't appear to actually believe that.  For me, this was reinforced at a speech I gave recently.  In the “meet and greet” session beforehand, someone came up to me and mentioned that he was a long-time pro-lifer but was working for one of the pro-choice candidates in the presidential race.  His rationale was that there are "other issues" we also need to be concerned about, issues like the economy and the war on terrorism.  He lamented that this had created a nasty and growing rift between himself and some of his fellow pro-lifers, not the least of which was his own wife.  His argument was that he was as pro-life as any of them and was being unfairly attacked despite having worked for years in the movement.   

I asked him if he truly understood what being pro-life means.  He acknowledged that it is the belief that the unborn has the same right to life as the born. So I asked him to imagine that, instead of the unborn, it was his life, or the lives of people he knew, or the lives of anonymous 5-year-olds that his candidate was saying it should be legal to snuff out.  If that were the case, would he still be saying that there are "other issues" we need to consider or does that standard only apply to the unborn?

Recognizing the trap he had set for himself, he never responded.  After making it clear that his mind had not changed, he angrily walked away.  Somehow, this man had convinced himself that helping to put a politician in office that would slaughter unborn children by the millions did not conflict with his claim to be pro-life.

I have often observed that the human brain is the only organism on earth that has the ability to deceive itself.  This guy is a living testament to that phenomenon.  The sad part is, I am seeing more and more evidence that he is not alone.  The problem seems to be that a significant number of the people in this country who claim to be pro-life are only pro-life in the theoretical sense.  As a practical matter, when economic agendas and self-interests collide with their pro-life principle, it's the pro-life principle they will abandon.

Each of us knows that there have always been internal disagreements within the pro-life movement and there always will be.  It is human nature.  Some of these conflicts have been petty and others have centered around matters of legitimate substance.  In either case, however, I think we would all like to see even those pro-lifers with whom we have differences as people of integrity and character.  But when someone says they are pro-life but could support a baby-killer for political office that person can no longer be viewed in that light.  What they have said is that, when push comes to shove, for the right 30 pieces of silver they will drop the unborn in the grease.

By definition, that makes them the same as the people they claim to oppose.  The abortion lobby is willing to butcher the unborn for personal, political and financial reasons, and the faux-lifers are willing to look the other way for personal, political and financial reasons.  It is a distinction without a difference.     

The bottom line is, for those of us who are committed to the pro-life cause, the fate of the unborn will never be merely “an” issue.  It is always “the” issue.  For that reason, a candidate's position on abortion is all we need to know and all that matters.  If a politician is wrong on that, he or she cannot be right enough on anything else to make up for it.  It also makes no difference whether or not the office being sought has any direct impact on abortion.  Those people who contend that it should be legal to execute helpless children are not morally qualified to serve in any public office.  And those who help put them there have no right to call themselves pro-life.

And the Beat Goes On

In Kansas, the political landscape continues to get more bizarre.  To bring you up to date, a few years back Attorney General, Phill Kline, announced an investigation into whether abortion clinics are in violation of the state’s child sexual abuse reporting laws and the state’s regulations involving late-term abortion.  In response, Kansas filled up with high-dollar legal talent from out-of-state pro-abortion groups and they brought with them the knowledge that whatever money is needed, is available.  Despite that, however, as the legal machinations ebbed to and fro, it was clear that things could go badly for them.                 

When Kline indicted notorious late-term abortionist, George “The Killer” Tiller, on 30 criminal charges, the district attorney in Sedgewick County, Nola Foulston, was able to pull a legal maneuver to get the charges dismissed.  As an outspoken proponent of legalized abortion and a personal friend of Tiller’s, Foulston was simply doing what any other corrupt political puppet of the abortion lobby would be expected to do.  But everyone knew that this “fix” was only temporary.  The charges could be refiled at any time and in a way that would be insulated from Foulston.  This meant that Tiller, not to mention his competitors at Planned Parenthood, were still in trouble.     

Cue Paul Morrison, the district attorney in Johnson County.  Bankrolled with hundreds-of-thousands of dollars from his good friend, George Tiller, Morrison ran against and defeated Klein for re-election.  Then, to no one’s surprise, he immediately fired the special prosecutor Kline had appointed to pursue the investigation of Tiller and Planned Parenthood. 

The message was clear: when the Kansas abortion mafia buys a politician, they expect results.  And the Foulston/Morrison gang did not disappoint.  But unfortunately for them, the matter did not end there.  Currently, a citizen-led grand jury has been seated to investigate the charges and that panel operates outside the influences of people like Nola  Foulston and Paul Morrison.  

Meanwhile, the story takes a new twist.  It seems that Morrison has been, shall we say, fishing off the company pier.  He has now been charged with sexual harassment stemming from an extramarital affair he admitted he had with one of his employees in the Johnson County district attorney’s office.  Linda Carter, the office’s director of administration, revealed extensive details about their two-year relationship that, as might be expected, are juicy enough to fire-up a Jerry Springer audience.  She also says that the affair continued after Morrison was elected Attorney General and that he pressured her to use her position in the D.A.’s office to influence pending litigation involving Phill Kline.  She refused.  Apparently, despite whatever personal warts she may have, Linda Carter is no Nola Foulston.

Like most Americans, I have some profound reservations about the broad definitions of sexual harassment used in our society today.  Many of them have been so preposterous that they cause people to see the entire issue of sexual harassment as nonsensical.  The effect of that has been to diminish the validity of claims made by people who truly are victims. 

Having said that, it appears that Ms. Carter may have initially resisted Morrison’s advances and only succumbed after repeated pressure.  If it turns out that she finally gave in simply because she thought a little roll in the hay might be fun, she has no claim to victim status.  However, if she gave in because she had a legitimate reason to believe that not doing so would affect her employment, then the relationship was less an affair than it was a capitulation.  Time will tell if that was the situation but, if it was, then Morrison is in over his head.  

It is also coming out that Morrison has a history of this sort of thing.  That, coupled with Carter’s claim that Morrison leaned on her to influence litigation involving Kline, raises two interesting issues.

First, this case puts those leftist groups who inevitably take the side of any woman who raises sexual harassment claims between a rock and a hard place.  Although this story has exploded across Kansas, these groups have remained uncharacteristically silent.  They have apparently figured out that it would be dicey for them to assert that Ms. Carter is telling the truth about the sexual harassment but lying when she says that her pro-choice harasser committed a crime to protect the abortion industry.  So their response has been to just punt and let Ms. Carter take her chances under the bus.   

Second, I have always speculated that the abortion industry keeps files on its high-profile customers–especially politicians–that could be used to “keep them in line” in the future.  If a customer is a publicly known woman, or says she is pregnant by a publicly known man, or is the daughter/wife/granddaughter of a public family, etcetera, evidence of an abortion would be good leverage to keep on hand.  Bill Clinton could be a perfect example of what I am talking about.  During his presidency, even his admirers complained that he was not always loyal to the people and special interest groups who helped put him in office.  The sole exception to this is the abortion lobby.  For eight years, this was the only constituency he never once double-crossed. 

Consider that fact within the context of Clinton’s history.  Gennifer Flowers always maintained that, in 1977, Clinton gave her $200 to have an abortion.  Clinton denied that the abortion occurred and, in fact, denied that he even had an affair with Flowers.  When that turned out to be a lie, it is certainly no stretch to then conclude that his denial of the abortion was also untrue.  Given what we now know about this guy, it is also no stretch to speculate that Flowers’ abortion was not the only one.  To the contrary, the smart money would be that his political career was salvaged more than once when one of his babies was snuffed-out at some abortion clinic. 

It is also perfectly reasonable to assume that (a) the files associated with whatever abortions Clinton may have been responsible for are sitting in the desk of a Washington, DC, abortion-industry lobbyist and (b) Slick Willy understood that any betrayal of their agenda by him could result in these files ending up on some reporter’s desk.

This same phenomenon may explain the abysmal level of corruption we’ve seen when it comes to George Tiller, Planned Parenthood and anyone else involved with the Kansas abortion lobby.  Simply put, their influence is far more broad and deep than could be reasonably expected in a middle-America state.  I guess you could say that when it comes to Kansas politicians, the abortion cartel knows where the skeletons are buried.  After all, they helped to bury them. 

Pro-Life: What Does it Mean?

Today, there seems to be a lot of debate about what it means when someone says they are pro-life.  This is especially true for politicians.  For clarity’s sake, let’s define the term.  The pro-life position is that a new human life is created at the moment of fertilization and is, thus, entitled to the same legal protections as any other human being.

Given that, some abortion positions are pretty cut and dried.  For example, someone who supports a universal human life amendment to the constitution is pro-life, while someone who supports the Roe vs. Wade decision is not. 

Then there is the person who says that they are personally opposed to abortion and would never participate in one, but pro-choice when it comes to legality.  As amazing as it may seem, I have actually heard pro-lifers describe people who say this as pro-life.

In reality, this is the most insidious and despicable of all positions on abortion.  After all, there is no reason to oppose abortion other than the belief that it takes the life of a living human being.  So what the “personally opposed” crowd is saying is, "I agree that abortion is the intentional killing of a baby, but if other people want to do it I support their legal right to do so and it’s not my place to interfere."  That is not a pro-life position.  It’s like someone in 1860 saying, “I am personally opposed to slavery and I would never own one, but if someone else wants to own a few that’s their business.”   

Another stance often mischaracterized as pro-life is the “pro-life with exceptions” position.  You’ll hear people say things like, “I am pro-life, but I think there should be an exception when the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest” or “I am pro-life, but abortion should be legal when the baby is handicapped.”

It is a complete abandonment of the pro-life principle to say it should be permissible to kill selected categories of children.  When someone says they are pro-life but that abortion should be allowed in some circumstances, the question is whether they would support killing a five-year-old in those same circumstances.  If not, then it is clear that they don’t see born and unborn children as morally equal.  In other words, they do not subscribe to the most fundamental tenet of the pro-life position.

In the grimy world of politics, a new position is emerging to test the boundaries of what it means to be pro-life.  We are now hearing presidential candidates say that they are pro-life but that each individual state should be allowed to set its own policies regarding abortion.  Of course, the problem with that thinking is that the right to life is specifically listed in the U.S. Constitution.  The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that no person shall be deprived of his or her life without due process of law.  Even Harry Blackmun, the Supreme Court justice who wrote Roe vs. Wade, said that if the personhood of the unborn was ever established the right to abortion evaporated. 

When a politician claims to be pro-life, he or she is asserting that the born and the unborn are both persons.  So the question becomes, how can they logically claim that only the born have a constitutional right to life?  And the answer is, they can’t. 

To understand how preposterous this is, imagine that a state legislature passed a law allowing parents of newborn children to take a few days to decide whether they are really prepared to start a family.  Under this new statute, if they decided they were not ready for this responsibility, they would be legally allowed to have a physician slit their child’s throat.  In that situation, how many of these “pro-life” politicians who are now saying that the federal government has no constitutional right to intervene on behalf of unborn children, would say that the federal government has no constitutional right to intervene on behalf of these born children?  Of course, the universal consensus would be that they not only have that right, they have the duty to do so.

The point is, when someone claims to be pro-life but says that abortion is a state matter, that is an unmistakable indicator that either (a) they do not truly believe that the born and unborn are both persons or (b) they are unfamiliar with the U.S. Constitution. 

It may also be indicative of something the pro-life movement has done.  For 35 years we have hammered away at legalized abortion when, technically speaking, abortion is not the root problem.  In reality, it is only a symptom.  The disease is the absence of legal protection for the unborn. 

After all, if a woman who is not pregnant wanted to submit to abortion, we might find it bizarre and we would probably question her sanity, but in the final analysis it would probably not concern us any more than it would if she were getting a tattoo or body piercing.

So the problem is not that women have abortions, but that children die.  And that only occurs because our nation took away their right to life.  So maybe we need to talk a little less about stopping abortion and a little more about returning legal protection to the unborn.  Perhaps then, all these people claiming to be pro-life would know what being pro-life actually means.


Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics