New Battles in the Abortion Wars

The pro-life movement has a hero in Phill Kline, the former Attorney General of Kansas, who crusaded, among other things, against Wichita’s notorious abortion clinic that specializes in late-term, partial-birth abortions (that is to say, infanticide). Columnist Robert Novak tells about how the abortion industry targeted him for defeat:

That industry pumped an estimated $1.5 million into the 2006 campaign of Paul Morrison, the pro-choice Republican Johnson County district attorney who turned Democratic to run against Kline for attorney general. Tiller contributed $121,000 to his own ProKanDo PAC, which spent $322,680 in the campaign. An affiliated nonprofit group, Kansans for Consumer Privacy Protection, spent more than $400,000 on “educational mailings” obviously targeting Kline. Badly outspent, Kline relied on an old-fashioned handshaking campaign and was swamped at the polls.

Then came a bizarre event worthy of Shakespeare. Since Morrison had been elected district attorney as a Republican, under state law his replacement was selected by the GOP’s precinct committeemen. They chose Kline. The abortion lobby’s campaign against him had made him unelectable to any office, ruling out election to a full term as district attorney next year. With time short, he immediately set to work.

From this post in suburban Kansas City, Mr. Kline has opened up a new tactic in the abortion wars: going after the biggest abortion-cliinic franchiser, Planned Parenthood. Kline is charging the group with a multitude of offenses:

His 107 charges against Planned Parenthood include allegations of “unlawful late-term abortions,” “unlawful failure to determine viability for late-term abortion,” “making false information” and “unlawful failure to maintain records.” Antiabortion activists see Kline’s prosecution as the springboard for a national campaign. Forty other states have abortion laws similar to the Kansas statute that says abortion is legal only when the fetus cannot live independently outside the mother’s womb — that is, when it is not “viable.”

That is a big opening, since medical science is pushing back that time further and further. Phill Kline is a reminder that pro-lifers must never give up, that defeats may not be permanent and that new fronts in the battle are always opening up. And, I would add, that God has a hand in all of this.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • organshoes

    That never-giving-up attitude is what is needed; not sitting out elections or voting to make what amount to useless, unanswered, unheard statements (like those threatened third-party votes).
    You have to vote with the intention of winning an election.
    And you have to realize that the other side likewise never gives up.

  • Joe

    We don’t need a thrid-party candidate. There happens to be a good solid Christian conservative (with some populist tendencies) already in the race. His name is Mike Huckabee and in the Rasmussen daily tracking poll his is running fourth overall (Rudy 20%, Fred 17%, McCain 14%, Huckabee 12%, Romney 11%). http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_2008__1/2008_presidential_election/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    He is also getting a ton of earned media and his fundraising is picking up (750K since Oct. 1). He is a real contender and eveyone should give him a lot.

    I did and I am sold.

    He has raised over 750,000

  • Joe

    Sorry, I meant to say “give him a look.” I’ll let his fundraisers tell you to give him “a lot”

  • Greg

    The last time I voted third party was when Pete Wilson was governor of California and I was angry at his attempt to purge pro-lifers from my county republican orginization. I will not vote for a pro-choicer for President. If Guiliani wins I will vote third party. I will vote GOP if any of the other contenders win.

  • Joe

    I’ll take the polka, thanks

  • jgernander

    I think Bethel is a Baptist institution. It would be interesting if they would show Luther’s “smackdown” of Zwingli at Marburg.

  • Eric

    Yep, Bethel belongs to the Baptist General Conference, the old Swedish Baptists before ethnicity was dropped.

    Jgernander, they maybe would do a version of the smack down, but it would have to be from Zwingli’s point of view. :)

    At other places on this board people have wondered why Luther does not get more play in the larger evangelical world. This video to some extent illustrates the challenge. Nailing the 95, Diet at worms and translating the bible into German. That is the Luther story, the end. The larger protestant and evangelical world glom on to these portions because they are easy to understand. It is Luther as action hero.

    The tough stuff; the hiddenness of God, Law and Gospel, Heidelberg Disputation; etc; this never gets talked about. If Confessional Lutherans want to make an impact, I suggest starting with the hard and misunderstood parts of Luther. Evangelicals have already seen the movie about the easy stuff. Hit them with the nuance.

    Dr. Veith’s book, The Spirituality of the Cross, broke through to me. At least it has made me a Luthero-Baptist if such a chimera can exist.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Luthero-Baptist? To me that is an impossibility. Two completely divergent theologies, apart from believing in the Trinity and accepting the Bible as the word of God. Can you explain your use of the term? I believe that Veith coined the term Evangelical Catholic in that book, if I’m not mistaken.

  • Eric

    My tongue is planted firmly in my check. The two are irreconcilable. Luthero – Baptist is chimera.

    Strict Baptist theology has to be Arminian. Many Baptist have reconciled Baptist symbolism with Reformed soteriology. Trying to work in a confessional understanding of the means of grace is just so much… Word in the water… whhhaaat.

    Why have I not run into the arms of Missouri, or at least the ELCA. Well my spouse has not been moved as I have. So, here I sit … in a Baptist pew. Pastor reads “do this in remembrance of me” and I say to myself “this is my body …”

  • http://watersblogged.blogspot.com Bob Waters

    I feel a little better learning that Bethel is a Baptist school. Despite the doctrinally dubious materials a lot of us in the LCMS used in Confirmation class, neither Luther nor Lutherans believe in consubstantiation. Funny how everybody else thinks we do, though.

    In any event, I think I’ll stick with the polka and my Hacker Pschorr Alt. I’ll leave the ganja to Leo.

  • kerner

    I kinda liked it. If for no other reason, it was fun watching white Baptists from Minnesota trying to rap.

  • brian

    this was not by students from bethel university!

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