Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Planned Butcherhood: From Here, Where?

This is the final post in a three-part series. The first and second posts can be read here and here, respectively.

In the still-widening wake of undercover videos centered around Planned Parenthood, those of us who are not embarrassed to call ourselves "pro-life" should be asking "where do we go from here?"

We are the adults in the room and should act like it. We are caring and contemplative and should act like it. And though that sounds easy, it is not.

Try telling intelligent and well-meaning friends that by "supporting a woman's right to choose," they are effectively sanctioning the intentional murder of babies. It is a perfectly natural reaction for them to feel like you've attacked them personally and accused them of the most grotesque form of immorality.

Try telling a friend or relative who once had an abortion that you know abortion to be murder, but that you still love her and believe her soul can be redeemed. No matter how friendly and supportive you mean those words to sound, it is almost impossible for the person on the other end of the conversation to translate them as anything other than "you committed murder and would spend eternity in Hell if you died today."

This does not put us in an easy or fortunate place, but we have a duty to act properly in this place, for we are on the right side and the stakes are high as can be. Human life itself -- in fact, human life in its most innocent state -- is what's on the line.

But there are two pieces of good news. First, of course, is that we have truth on our side. But the second piece of good news is something you might not know: Contrary to what the media would have you believe, most Americans are pro-life, even among card-carrying Obama-voting liberals. It's just that people who don't follow politics with eagle-eyed closeness are woefully misinformed about the positions held by our politicians and political parties.

*     *     *     *     *

Over the years, numerous polls have borne out that an overwhelming majority of the American population supports legislative restrictions on abortion, including a large majority of those who identify themselves as pro-choice.

Today I am going to cite this one that was conducted in January. It did find that 49% of respondents called themselves pro-choice versus 47% who called themselves pro-life. However, the rest of its findings clearly reveal that most people who call themselves pro-choice do not mean it in the way the abortion lobby wants; i.e., all they mean is that they don't favor an absolute ban on abortion without any exceptions whatsoever.

Specifically, and most significantly: 84% of respondents said they support "significant restrictions" on abortion, while only 9% said they believe it should be "available to a woman any time during her entire pregnancy."

Also, 69% of those who call themselves pro-choice said they believe abortion should be allowed "at most, in the first trimester or only in cases or rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother, or never permitted." (emphasis mine)

Think about that 69% figure. It means that more than two-thirds of Americans who self-identify as pro-choice also believe that notable restrictions should be placed on abortion.

Plus -- contrary to what jittery Republican consultants have been saying for years -- there is evidence that candidates who make a centerpiece of their pro-life position are helped at the ballot box when they do so, not hurt. In other words, abortion is not the third rail that the political elites believe it to be.

As reported by Adam Scheffer, when pro-life, doctrinaire conservative Gary Abbott and pro-choice, doctrinaire liberal Wendy Davis faced each other in the Texas governor's race, "exposure to just one pro-life video shifted Democratic-leaning women by 10 points away from Davis and toward Abbott. Moreover, voters ages 18 to 34 shifted about 8 points, and Hispanic voters shifted about 13 net points from Davis to Abbott."

In the Virginia governor's race between pro-life, doctrinaire conservative Ken Cuccinelli and pro-choice, doctrinaire liberal Terry McAuliffe, Scheffer reports that "a single phone message emphasizing McAuliffe's support for unrestricted, late-term, and taxpayer-funded abortions shifted support a net 13 to 15 points away from McAuliffe and toward Cuccinelli." (I assume that the 13 to 15, range as opposed to a specific number, and the use of the word "toward" rather than "to," are because Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis was also a major player in that election.)

Granted, Texas and Virginia are not California and Vermont, but those numbers are huge and you can bet that Democrat higher-ups are concerned about them. Scheffer's reports can be read here and here.

In any event, the upshot is that although desensitization to abortion has affected American society, it clearly has not affected it as badly as many of us fear. It has not put us on the road to perdition and has not made the conservative position the minority one.

*     *     *     *     *

Combining the above poll results with my own experiences while talking with people over the years, I am convinced that most liberals, and thus most Democrats, are opposed to abortion.

Their opposition may not be as all-consuming as Rick Santorum's. It may not be as flammable as that of a rural Pentecostal who donated to Pat Robertson in 1988. But it is real. The problem is that they are not aware of the actual position of the Democratic Party versus the actual position of the Republican Party, and do not realize how cold-hearted and extreme the pro-choice movement's power brokers have become.

I will never forget something that was said about ten years ago by a personal friend of mine. She is one of the finest people I know, and extremely smart. She fancied herself liberal, and I believe still does. She voted reliably Democrat, and as far as I know, still does. She was married without children at the time, and is now married with a daughter. At the time, she was in the closing stages of nursing school and actively doing rounds and being involved with patients; today she is a skilled LPN. And as you have probably guessed, she identified herself as pro-choice.

It was a Friday night party. She looked at me with a look of palpable and unmistakable shock, and said that until earlier that day "I didn't know you can have an abortion for any reason you want."

Since 2012, the Democratic Party's official platform has asserted that it will stand for no restrictions on abortion at any time, for any reason. In other words, if your due date was yesterday but your baby fetus still hasn't fully exited your uterus and come entirely to this side of your cervix, you are welcome to go ahead and kill it. Just don't call it "her" or "him." Oh, and by the way, taxpayers can be forced to pay for the killing even if it appalls their moral sensibilities.

To the contrary, the GOP's official platform since 2012 opposes sex-selective abortion; the denial of care to born-alive babies who survive an abortion; and forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions. In addition, it supports "health-protective clinic regulation" and "protect(ing) from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain," as well as to supporting informed consent laws and mandatory waiting periods. (It is silent regarding exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother -- though as Ben Carson pointed out, given the state of modern medicine, it is almost impossible than an abortion could be necessary to save a mother from death.)

Note and read the links in the two paragraphs above, and think about this. When I have mentioned the truth on social media (namely, that the Democratic Party supports abortion on demand for any reason at any time) I have been met by outraged shrieks from Democrat voters who: 1) proclaim that they do not approve of abortion on demand, and 2) demand that I prove the veracity of my claims.

Those shrieks are not disingenuous, nor are they made in bad faith. They are sincere. They show that the shriekers comprehend the bloody wounds of abortion and cannot conceive that their political allies are hunky dory with abortion on demand. The shrieks show that some people have simply been conditioned to think of pro-lifers as reactionary troglodytes.

In short, no matter how conservative you feel and how many times you have voted Republican, the odds are that most avowed pro-choice Democrats secretly agree with you when it comes to abortion.

*     *     *     *     *

So from here on out, we should take heart from the numbers and proceed with a humble breed of confidence.

Rather than dance a "told you so" jig over the CMO video, we should address them with the solemnity they deserve.

Rather than breathe fire when someone says Planned Parenthood is integral to women's health, we should respectfully refer to the large number of outlets that do an even better job providing women's health (please visit my August 18th post for examples, including links).

We should stress that the pro-life movement is far more devoted to women's health than the pro-choice movement, as evidenced by its concern for women's complete and long-term well-being, from both a physical and emotional perspective.

We should remind people that the Democratic Party resolutely refuses to voice an opinion regarding the intentional killing of babies -- even babies who are full-term and fully viable.

Most of us agree that abortion should be permissible when the life of the mother is at stake. We should stress that this is so, and that it is so without reservation -- but we should stress the tragedy of such a situation, and, drawing on Ben Carson's words, we should admit that we are not certain whether such situations really exist in 21st century America.

We should not judge women who had abortions in their past, when they were confused by the conflicting siren songs of our culture... We should not judge them as they struggle to come to terms and find peace... We should put our arms around them, not scowl at them. We should acknowledge that we know people who made the same choice in their youth, and/or in their panic, and we should assert our love for those people. (On a personal note, one of those people happens to be someone who shall remain nameless, but who has meant the world to me for more than 30 years.)

Some of us are unsure if we can square the circle of being okay with the taking of human life when that life was conceived by rape or incest... All the same, the majority of us who feel unsure are nonetheless willing to accept rape and incest exceptions... We should openly state our willingness to compromise, while simultaneously admitting our mixed emotions.

We should coax our liberal, Democrat-voting friends into realizing that when it comes to this topic, they are on the same side as us. We should coax them into realizing that when it comes to this topic, their chosen party rejects their ethics and scoffs at their ideals.

No matter how much the media tries to cover it up, we are in the right and are already winning this race. Now CMP has dealt us a hand so rich it's hard to fathom. At this point, there is no reason for us to lose unless we waver in our resolve and fail to play our hand.

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