Ending the World’s Longest Engagement

If the last 35 years have proven nothing else, they have at least shown that, in the American political arena, the pro-life movement is the cheapest date in town.  

The system works something like this.  Along about election time, we can always expect a call from the nation's political hacks - mostly Republicans.  They don't really like being seen in public with us, but if they want to get elected they don't have a choice.  So they kiss us on the ear and whisper how much they love us.  But, they promise nothing and we demand nothing because we know our place.  So once our election-cycle dream date is over, we go back and dutifully wait by the phone until they want us again.  And as this pathetic act is repeated every couple of years, the killing continues.

I think the time has come for the pro-life movement to set some new ground rules.  We can start by making it clear that the days are over when politicians can finesse the abortion issue by giving us their philosophical position.  Our new instruction to these people should be that we have no interest in what they “feel” or “think” or “believe” about abortion.  None.  All we want to know is (a) do they believe that an unborn child is a “person” from the moment of fertilization and, thus, entitled to have his or her life protected by the Constitution and (b) if so, what is their plan to return legal protection to every one of these children?”

That’s it!  That’s all we want to hear.  Anyone who answers the first question with anything other than an unapologetic and unqualified “Yes” is not pro-life.  As for the second question, we instantly dismiss any response that mentions “reducing the need for abortion” or “lowering the unwanted pregnancy rate” or “creating a culture of life,” etcetera.  We bought that sort of mealy-mouthed political gibberish in the past, but no more. 

If you think I am off base for saying that a politician's “position” on abortion is meaningless, consider this.  If you went into a state penitentiary and interviewed every serial rapists incarcerated there, you would find that a significant number would tell you that rape is wrong and that they understood so when they did it.  We also know that a certain percentage of these same people would rape again if released.  So obviously, what they “believe” about rape does not affect their actions and, in the end, that’s all that matters to the victims.        

That same dynamic applies here.  What politicians “believe” about abortion doesn't help the unborn until it becomes action.  Look at it this way, if the economy was in the tank, we would not allow a politician to simply tell us that he “believes” in a sound economy.  We'd demand to know what his plan is for fixing it.  It’s time we insisted on at least that much for the unborn. 

The next thing we need to do is inform these politicians that we are going to be single issue voters.  Simply put, when a candidate is wrong on the slaughter of helpless children, his or her position on other issues is irrelevant.  For too long, the pro-life movement has bought the lie that we should not have litmus tests.  That is nonsense.  There are many perfectly legitimate litmus tests and anyone who claims not to have any is either lying or is devoid of personal convictions.      

Think about it.  A politician could be attractive, intelligent, experienced and have all the right answers to the important issues of the day, but if he was found to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan, that would certainly be a litmus test.  If it were discovered that a fully qualified politician had written a law review article saying women should not be allowed to vote, that too would be a litmus test.  You can also bet that if a politician said that the terrorists who flew airplanes into the World Trade Center had legitimate reasons for doing so, his or her position on other issues would be irrelevant.  Actually, if you really want to understand about litmus tests and single-issue voting, imagine that a politician admitted that his primary reason for seeking office was to raise taxes on every voter?  Do you honestly think this person could be “right enough” on every other issue to make up for that?      

The point is, if we are serious about protecting the unborn, this is the standard we must start demanding for the politicians we support.  And that is true even when the political office being sought is unrelated to abortion.  If we truly believe that abortion is the intentional execution of helpless children, we must also acknowledge that any politician who is pro-choice is not morally qualified to be dogcatcher.

No Men? Think Again.

I write this to America’s pro-choice community. 

It seems that a shop-worn old theme you people regurgitate from time to time is back making the rounds once more.  On several radio talk shows I’ve done recently, I have been admonished that I have no right to be involved in the abortion issue because I am male.  Some of you have even gone so far as to advocate that only female elected officials be allowed to vote on legislation that might impact abortion.

Even if we ignore your blatant sexism, I advise you to be careful what you ask for.  After all, when polls are broken down by gender, they consistently find that women oppose abortion at a higher rate than men, are more opposed to government funding of abortion, are more active in the pro-life movement, and are more likely to favor banning abortion outright.  In other words, if you exclude men, support for legal abortion plummets.   

The reality is, the most numerous proponents of legalized abortion are men.  Of course, that makes perfect sense given that men are the ones who most profit from it.  That is why, with almost no exceptions, pioneers of the women’s movement like Susan B. Anthony, Mattie Brinkerhoff, Sarah Norton, Emma Goldman, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were outspoken opponents of legalized abortion.  It is also true that suffragist newspapers such as Woodhull’s and Claflin’s Weekly, had editorial policies which openly attacked both abortion and abortionists.  Even Alice Paul, the woman who wrote the original Equal Rights Amendment, considered legalized abortion to be the ultimate exploitation of women. 

These early feminists saw that abortion is patronizing and paternalistic and that it doesn’t free women, it devalues them.  They understood that, as a practical matter, legalized abortion is nothing more than a safety net for sexually predatory and sexually irresponsible men.  And if the last 35 years have proven nothing else, they have proven that these women hit that nail on the head.  It is now clear that the legalization of abortion, and the willingness of women to submit to it, are the two greatest gifts these kind of men have ever received. 

If you want to see that played out in the real world, stand in front of an abortion clinic on a day when pro-lifers are there trying to offer women alternatives to having their babies killed.  What you will quickly discover is that the most vicious and violent reactions they get are not from these women, but from the men who are dragging them in by the elbows.  The fact is, regardless of what you think about the abortion issue, you would have to be a certifiable idiot to think that women are the ones who profit from putting their feet in the abortion industry’s stirrups.  On the other hand, you can be certain that every man who ever put a woman in that position was fully aware of whose interests were being served.             

Now if your point is that men should be excluded simply because we can’t get pregnant, let me ask you about women who can’t get pregnant.  Is it your view that the only women who should be allowed to have an opinion about abortion are those who are (a) fertile and still in their child-bearing years, (b) sexually active with males, and (c) not practicing birth control?  If so, that is going to thin your herd even further.   

I have also noticed that those of you who take this “no men allowed” approach, always seem to have an exception for pro-choice men.  For example, I have never heard one of you tell that paragon of respect for women, Bill Clinton, to keep out of the abortion issue.  Neither do you ever argue that the 1973 Supreme Court had no right to be involved in the Roe vs. Wade decision, despite the fact every member was male.  You don’t even seem to mind that the overwhelming majority of abortionists who make their fortunes off women are men, and you never say anything about the male “escorts” who work at the abortion mills.  You don’t even say anything about men who force women to have abortions.  Evidently, the only men for whom you have contempt, and the only men you want censored, are those who think women deserve better than abortion.

My final point is one that I do not expect you to understand, but I’m going to make it anyway.  Men do not merely have a right to speak out against abortion, we have a responsibility to do so.  Real men do not just stand around with their hands in their pockets while people like you slaughter helpless children by the millions.  So you may as well get used to the fact that, as long as your death camps are churning out dead bodies, many of the people fighting you will be men.      

Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics