Stop Slogan-Voting. Stop Hate-Voting. Stop Being Manipulated. Part 4. I Vote Pro-Life = Slogan-Voting

Power corrupts. Lord Acton

You cannot serve both God and mammon. Jesus Christ

 I vote pro-life!

Pro-life people sometimes make this statement as if they were throwing down a gauntlet, or perhaps, ending an argument. Talk to them about the many nuances of grown-up politics and they will try to end the inevitable confusion by announcing emphatically, “I vote pro-life!”

The unhappy truth is that they can’t vote pro-life. “Pro Life” ain’t on the ballot.

All they have to choose from when they go vote is people. That’s why candidate ratings by pro-life groups have such power. Voters don’t have any other way to judge.

There is a strategy of sorts behind all these ratings. It’s two-pronged. The first goal, the one I am directly engaged in as a state legislator, is to elect legislators who will vote to whittle away at Roe v Wade gradually, to inflict a death of a thousand cuts on the killing machine. The second goal is to stack the United State Supreme Court with pro-life justices so that they will one day overturn Roe v Wade.

The first goal, the whittling away goal, is having an impact. But it’s reaching its practical limits. Supreme Court decisions that are designed not only to legalize abortion, but to ensure its availability, maintain a protective barrier around legal abortion. There are only so many ways in which we can whittle away at these decisions and remain within the law.

The second goal of stacking the Court is an utter failure, a debacle. After almost forty years, all it has given us is a court that found that life begins, not at conception, but at incorporation.

How did that happen? It happened because that’s what the people who appointed these justices wanted to happen.

Neither political party wants Roe v Wade to go away. Republicans would lose their vote-getting machine. Democrats would lose their money-raising machine. They need Roe v Wade, or at least the corporations who own them do, to keep us from considering what a lousy job both of them are doing of governing this country.

We are at a stalemate. We have been for forty long years. Pro life people engage in this Sisyphean struggle, laboriously rolling the electoral ball up the hill over and over again. Every time they do it, they let themselves believe that things will be different this time.

Republican legislators ardently support pro-life when they are out of power. Oklahoma Republicans fought like tigers for pro-life legislation when Democrats had the majority. They held legislators accountable for every squeak of a vote. They made speeches that sounded so sincere they would make a pro-life mother weep.

When they gained a majority in the House, they continued the fight against the Democratic Senate and the Democratic Governor. They were, once again, pro-life champions. But as soon as they won the whole thing — house, senate, governor, every office from top to bottom — they started killing pro-life bills.

They were careful at first. They only killed pro-life bills that didn’t count toward their pro-life-legislator rating from Oklahomans for Life. That way, they could still claim to be “100% pro life” when they campaigned.

Pro-life bills backed by organizations such as the Family Research Council and Americans United for Life bit the dust. These “100% pro-life” legislators killed every pro-life bill that didn’t affect the 100% rating that they used in their campaign ads.

They also passed pro-abortion laws. The worst I remember is a law that puts drugs that will induce chemical abortions, as well as date-rape drugs on the shelves in veterinary supply shops where anyone can buy them without a prescription.

As I’ve said in other posts, I knew that some of my colleagues were hypocrites. But I was still amazed by their arrogant bullying of their own supporters. That alone was enough to surprise me. But witnessing the way the pro-life activists sold out to them almost pushed me to despair.

I am certain that if a Democrat had tried to pass a bill putting abortifacients on the shelves where anyone could walk in and buy then, they would — and should — have been legitimately criticized for being amoral and pro death. I would have helped call them out. But almost no one would do anything when this amoral, pro-abortion bill came from the Republican leadership acting on behalf of a major “conservative” lobby.

One pro-life group did make a statement opposing the bill, but they were unable to maintain their stand in the face of the Republican leadership. The only pro-life voice that came out against this bill and didn’t back down was the Catholic Church.

The next year, these “100% pro-life” legislatorsabandoned the inconvenience of passing the pro-life bills that went on their pro-life ratings. They killed almost all the pro-life legislation for 2012, including over half the bills sponsored by Oklahomans for Life.

How did they get away with this? They did it the old way; behind closed doors, with secret votes, ruse votes on meaningless resolutions and procedural moves; the same way that pro-life bills have been dying since the 1970s.

Then, as has become standard practice with them, they forced the pro-life organizations who had supported these bills to back down, kiss Ceasar’s ring and apologize for trying to hold these “100% pro-life” legislators accountable for their actions. It was shameless.

How did this happen?

The answer is easy, if you have the stomach for it. Republicans need pro-life voters when the two parties are close. That pro-life percentage can make a difference in a close election.

Once their hold on the electorate is established, the real owners of the party step from behind the curtain. Money, as they say, talks.

The pro-life issue is the vacuum that sucks in the votes for the Republican party. But the big money people own the party and most of them are either pro-choice or they don’t care. The little-known fact is that the governing boards of major Republican contributors such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Oklahoma State Medical Association overlap with the boards and supporters of secularist, pro-choice organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

Legislation limiting embryonic stem cell research or the harvesting of women’s bodies for eggs has repeatedly gone down in flames in the Oklahoma legislature, particularly in the Senate. The Chamber and the Medical Association, working together, have a 100% pro-death record for killing pro-life legislation dealing with either of these areas.

By now you may be getting antsy and a more than a little angry with me. “Is she trying to tell me to change my party? Does she honestly want me to believe that the Democrats are better?”

The answer is nope and nope.

Don’t change your party, whichever party you are in. And the Democrats are definitely not better.

What I want you to do for now is take the partisan blinders off and realize that there is no way you can go into the polls and “Vote Pro Life.” You have to vote for people, and some of the people you vote for will be liars.

No matter what they say at campaign time, very few of the people in either party care about the issues of life. That is the truth as I know it.

Don’t despair. There are things we can do. I’ll get to them.

It’s enough for today to know the equation. It’s a simple one:  I Vote Pro Life = Slogan Voting

  • Pieter Stok

    Thank you. You have shown me that there is still reasoned argument in American politics. It doesn’t often come across where I am.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Pieter, that’s one of the nicest things anyone has said to me a quite a while. Thank you.

      • Pieter Stok

        My pleasure!

  • davidpetersonharvey

    I really like what you had to say here. The overriding problem is a lack of moral conscience in our political arena. Unfortunately, it reflects a lack of moral conscience in our society as well.

    When I was newly married, my wife and I wanted to wait to have children. We talked about it and both decided that, if it were to happen, we would accept our responsibility and raise and love our child. Unfortunately, we needn’t have worried. Children have not happened with us.

    If citizens, business people and politicians were more responsible in their decision making, we would need less laws. This includes the responsibility citizens should embrace not to make reactionary voting decisions but to carefully weigh the options.

    Thanks for sharing your well-formed opinions with us.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I agree completely.

  • Steven Jeffries

    Very insightful and informative post Rebecca. I see a larger picture than before on this long-time issue of Roe V Wade, and pro-life in general. As a “Christ follower,” I support only His word and will concerning things in this world. I try to incorporate that even more so as I live my life.

    We are all “pro-choice” when it comes to following His ways!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Steven!

  • regan222

    Unfortunately, Rebecca, most issues in America face the same dilemma. We have become a One Nation Under Advertising. The party with the best spin wins. Ever since “I Like Ike” we have allowed our culture to be ruled by snappy sound bytes and bullet comments instead of well thought out and considered opinions because we are just too lazy to think for a moment about anything. Thanks for pointing it out. The tough part is figuring out how to change 100 years of ingraining and training.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Regan, changing things begins with you … and me … and each of us, one at a time.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

  • Durable

    Reblogged this on Durable Faith and commented:
    Disturbingly accurate

  • Ryan

    Fantastic post, Rebecca. What you say here is all too true, in my experience. I remember in 2008, a friend of mine being very excited at the prospect of John McCain “taking back the Supreme Court,” and I had to point out to him that at the time, 7 of the 9 Supreme Court justices were GOP appointees, but Roe is still the law of the land… it’s disheartening, but the first step towards fixing the problem is acknowledging the problem.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      This is exactly why I’m writing this.

      “it’s disheartening, but the first step towards fixing the problem is acknowledging the problem.”

  • InalienableWrights

    You miss the central point that murder and hence abortion is not a Constitutional power given to the Federal government by the States.

    Thoreau got it when he said:
    “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root, and it may be that he who bestows the largest amount of time and money on the needy is doing the most by his mode of life to produce that misery which he strives in vain to relieve. “

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I agree that the Supreme Court moved into the legislative arena and essentially created a large, far-reaching federal statute with Roe. Or, I suppose you might say that they re-wrote the Constitution and added their own amendment — and it was an enormous, rambling amendment.

      • InalienableWrights

        Jefferson did say:
        “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions (is) a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”

        and he did coauthor the rule of 98 dealing with this issue:

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          I don’t know too much about this, but I think — not know, but think — that Jefferson said this during the Aaron Burr treason trial. This Constitutional crisis was the point at which the Supreme Court’s supremacy (pun not really intended) in interpreting the Constitution was established as a practice.

          That aside, I’m not clear as to what you are suggesting in practical terms. The Supreme Court rules, and it is the law. At that point, the solutions are either statutory, (depending on what the ruling was) a Constitutional Amendment, further appeals to the Court, or anarchy. Agreement doesn’t enter into it.

      • InalienableWrights

        Hmm my reply that was posted here never made it to press. Guess I need to start making copies of things. :-)

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          InalienableWrights, I just saw these two posts. I’m not going to allow the first one because of the language you use. Don’t use vulgar language, especially when you are talking about Jesus.

          I know this kind of language is commonplace, but I just don’t want it on this blog.

          If you will re-word your post, cleaning up the language, I will allow it.

  • neenergyobserver

    Reblogged this on nebraskaenergyobserver and commented:
    On parts one and two of this series I, with input from “The Peanut Gallery”, has added extensively and republished. Not this time, this stands on its own. The only note is that Rebecca is here talking about the anti-infanticide campaign but, it is no less true for any other single issue voters out there.

  • Rebecca Hamilton

    Thank you for this re-blog and all the others. I’ve come to count on you.

  • servusfidelis

    Sounds like the majority of the career politicians have sold their souls for money and votes. Why doesn’t that surprise me?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      The sad part is that they don’t have to do this. It is entirely possible to hold elected office and do what’s right.

      • servusfidelis

        You made me change my title for the countdown to the election from: Will You Vote Pro-Life? to Will You Vote for Integrity? It seems more in keeping with your excellent points in this post.

  • unbornwordoftheday

    It is good to be aware from the inside that not all politicians who say they are pro-life are – this is true in either party.

    We of course have seen that same thing on the Democrat side of the aisle for years.When push came to shove pro-life Democrats would vote with their party if their vote was needed to defeat a pro-life or pass a pro-abortion measure. Otherwise they were ‘allowed’ to vote pro-life (when their vote had no real consequence).Now more so then ever!

    In California where I live – we have seen the Democrat party purged of any pro-life politicians. Not so in the 80′s when we first moved here – the Senate pro-tem leader David Roberti was a great champion of the unborn. He even spoke at Right to life dinners. My husband met with him a number of times to discuss pro-life legislation. But now to be a Democrat politician in this state- you need to be pro-abortion.

    Here is a great example: Jerry Brown (now gov of CA) stated early in 1988 after returning from working with Mother Teresa that “the killing of the unborn is crazy” and he said his work with the dying “gave me a different perspective on the whole question of abortion.” He said he could not support abortion after spending time “confronting and protecting the lives of the suffering with not as high a quality of life as a three-month fetus that is healthy and has potential,”

    By December of that year when he was running for Party Chairmanship he had changed his tune even stating that he probably was for the state paying for abortion (I believed he had been taken to the woodshed).

    Of course big name politicians like Al Gore, Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton all changed their minds about abortion to conform to their party platform. They put political ambition above any values they may have once held ( or they were pro-life when it was expedient and when it was no longer expedient they changed).

    Yes, there are fake pro-life Republicans but the Democrat party has left the pro-life movement no choice!

    One more comment about Mitt Romney. A friend of mine in Massachusetts says he was becoming pro-life during his governorship in Massachusetts. He was vetoing and pushing pro-life policy during that time. His is not an election year conversion. Also wonderful and integral people like Mary Ann Glendon (who teaches law at Harvard) have come out saying he is in fact genuinely pro-life (she has had the access to him to ask questions as well as been in Massachusetts during his tenure).

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      You’re right about the Democrats. They were more or less pro life in the 80s and have moved into their current pro abortion attitude during the intervening years. What you describe; people changing their opinion to suit the party leadership, is what I saw Republicans do here in Oklahoma when they began killing pro life bills. What made it worse is that the pro life groups who got them elected were actually afraid of them, I think because they didn’t have anywhere else to go. I’m not advocating for either party.

      FWIW, most of the dems here in Oklahoma have tried mightily to purge me from the party. Others, notably organized labor, have supported me. They paid for this by being attacked and reviled by the rest of the party, and they held firm. I’ve been a lightning rod on the pro life issue here in Oklahoma BECAUSE I’m a Democrat, a woman, a former pro choice advocate AND I stand up on the issue to the point of crossing my own party — or the other party — when they work against life.

      From what I’ve seen, almost everyone, of both parties, will do what their party wants if the pressure is great enough.

      Thanks for the information about Romney. I wasn’t aware of this.

      • unbornwordoftheday

        Thanks for your comments – it is good to be aware that Republicans as well as Democrats can be duplicitous on this issue. I hope I didn’t offend you with my comments – I just wanted to give a bit of history why long time pro-lifers vote R.

        Thanks to you for taking the heat – something that Jerry Brown and a lot of big name politicians could not do. I am sure it is very difficult. I admire you for it.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      You didn’t offend me at all. I agree with you. Thank you for your love for the unborn. I respect it deeply.

    • InalienableWrights

      Another post has failed to materialize. I am perplexed….

      While I am here let me say how wonderful it would be if Christians had as much reference for the born as they do for the unborn. From their actions it seems they have nothing but disdain for the born.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        This is the only post I’ve gotten. Try again and let me know if it doesn’t go through.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        I found a post of yours in spam and told the computer it wasn’t spam. Now I don’t know where it went. I’ll try to answer it if I ever see it again.

        • InalienableWrights

          Thanks Rebecca :-) Will try to do most of this off blog now that I know your email.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        FWIW, I found quite a few posts in spam. All the others appear to actually be spam, including the porn sites.

        Fortunately, WordPress is evidently really good at filtering these out since I never saw them until I looked in the file.

    • InalienableWrights

      Not to be rude – but we all need to wake up and realize that the abortion issue is but one of many. many. many. evils that politicians are involved in. Both parties promise to implement the communist manifest and to steal from your neighbor to give you things. How can any christian vote for either party?

      “Voting for the lesser of 2 evils is still voting for evil and is the same as if you committed the evil yourself. Morally the same as if you hired a hit man, a thief, or a rapist.
      For the life of me I do not understand how a Christian could vote for either of the 2 flavors of evil that we are offered.” ~JT

      Have you not figured out that we really don’t have a government? Just puppets controlled by the bankers. (The only people that [CENSORED & NOT SURE WHY] off Jesus Christ) Getting vetted at Builderburg, doing mock sacrifices at the Bohemian Grove, taking orders from the council on foreign relations.

      Our government runs one of the largest child sex rings on the planet. It was documented in a book by ex senator John W. DeCamp. Read the Franklin Coverup:

      Live in denial if you wish. Your children will curse you for doing so, and I don’t think the creator will be too happy with you either.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        Thank you for making the change in wording!

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    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you for the re-blog!

      • julian

        Well, hearing you, as an insider, say it is actually pretty encouraging. Now that it is becoming so painfully clear, we can quit holding our breath for political saviors.

  • Dominic

    Many good points, but parties aside, when one candidate is a supporter of unlimited “abortion rights” and the other is not, there really is no choice left. Catholics ought to be free to vote for the most moral candidate, whatever party that might be. That is perhaps the best point of this article. What we as Catholics ought to do is pressure both parties to only present candidates who reject all of the intrinsically evil attacks on life and human dignity — as Carl Anderson has suggested — and then for the first time in a long while we’d have a real choice, something we rarely have right now (Here “unbornwordoftheday” is exactly correct). But we have to be extremely careful because in the present context at least in the Presidential election there is a virulently pro-abortion candidate that Catholics may not support if they intend to remain in good conscience, and we don’t want to run the risk of pretending otherwise, or saying the 2 are more or less equivalent — they certainly are not. Notice I haven’t mentioned his name, and I bet everyone still knows who I’m referring to don’t they? Yes it is deplorable we aren’t offered better choices, but it would be just as deplorable to be blind to the moral choice staring us in the face inescapably. Perhaps the biggest shame is that one party, rare exceptions aside, has virtually disqualified itself (“the party of death”) when it comes to the most common and important deal breaker — induced abortion.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Dom, you absolutely “get it.”

      “What we as Catholics ought to do is pressure both parties to only present candidates who reject all of the intrinsically evil attacks on life and human dignity — as Carl Anderson has suggested — and then for the first time in a long while we’d have a real choice, something we rarely have right now (Here “unbornwordoftheday” is exactly correct). But we have to be extremely careful because in the present context at least in the Presidential election there is a virulently pro-abortion candidate that Catholics may not support “

  • Larry

    Hi Rebecca,
    You are saying what some of us have realized over the years. The Republicans are not serious when they claim to be pro-life. We will not get a “political” resolution to abortion on demand in the USA.

    The Republicans are also frauds as to being “fiscal conservatives” or wanting smaller government. Many of us do not vote because what difference does it make. As the French say “the more things change, the more they remain the same.”

    Thanks for your essay.

  • julian

    “Neither political party wants Roe v Wade to go away. ” That has become more and more clear over the past decade. Now the charade has gotten so absurd that the Obama campaign is running ads that Romney wants to end abortion. No one on either side believes it but every one continues to act as if it’s somehow true.
    Somehow, somewhere the abortion crisis will have to end because a society simply can not sustain the impact of terminating one out of every 3 or 4 children that are conceived. I’m convinced that this travesty will come to an end but I don’t have the faintest guess at what the final catalyst will be in ending it and I’m fully prepared to be surprised. I will however, be shocked if it even remotely involves some heroic political move. I suppose that political parties will only act to get out of the way of when it comes to ending mass legalized abortion, when it is clear society can and will no longer bear it.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Julian, I’m not sure how events will transpire, but I believe as you do that we can not go on this way forever.

  • Dr. Dom

    Arkenaten says contraception’s the clue to solving the abortion problem. In a way he’s right, but not the way he advocates. For the strongest single factor operating to increase the demand for induce abortion is the use of contraceptives. Not only is this true historically, but scientifically, culturally, and in every other way. The “contraceptive mentality” is rarely discussed anymore mainly because the entire society, almost, is contraceptive, and so a true alternative mentality isn’t even imagined.

    Abortion is sought by those who de-link the natural bond between sex and fertility by unnatural means, and then find themselves progressively the enemy f their own fertility, and eventually, the child itself.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Douglas (Arkenaten) the truth is that contraception is already freely available. I don’t know about South Africa, but here in Oklahoma, you can buy it off the shelves in many different stores, no questions asked. The problem most definitely is NOT the lack of availability of contraception. One problem we’re facing is that people keep repeating these canards as if they were solutions rather than slogans.

      • Arkenaten

        Er….Is it me or are you talking to yourself? Where are my comments?
        Free Speech? Yeah….right!

  • The Storyteller’s Apprentice

    Thanks so much for your stand on pro-life issues. I agree that it is not the politics that must change so much as the people whose hearts need to change.
    Thank you also for stopping by my blog. I appreciate your encouragement.

  • Tom Hoefling

    I only vote for candidates who can sign the following resolution, and keep it:

  • Rev. Katherine Marple

    You are singing the song of the Ohio Repubs that killed TWO KEY PROLIFE BILLS in lameduck (because they ‘did not want to upend all of THEIR prolife work) “They were careful at first. They only killed pro-life bills that didn’t count toward their pro-life-legislator rating from Oklahomans for Life. That way, they could still claim to be “100% pro life” when they campaigned.” Ohio Right to Life did exactly the same thing as Oklahomans for Life – they held Repubs hostage for their ‘rating’. Saw it with my own eyes. I have a letter from a Repub Senator that told me her side of why she would NOT back HB125; same song, different day. Ohio Right to Life was key in killing HB125 since its ‘conception’. I had terse emails from their exc dir and he would NOT budge, it was not prolife enough for him to save 96% of unborn Ohioans per year. Ohio Right to Life also would NOT back Personhood after they emphatically said they wanted to skip over HB125 for Personhood. Prolife Repubs? YEAH RIGHT. I’d say don’t get me started, but ya did :)

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      This has also happened in Oklahoma.

  • Ted Seeber

    I can’t be pro-life and be for American Democracy- at all.

    To be my form of pro-life is to be anti-choice. It is to believe in an objective morality that gives all power over life and death to God. Doctors are sometimes the hand of God in this. Mothers cooperate with God in giving birth. But that is the extent of our involvement. We don’t mix the genes. We don’t create human beings without God. And we shouldn’t take control of our own deaths.

    That is profoundly against democracy in general. And as proof, I offer that democracy has given us such anti-life institutions as the armed forces, the death penalty, abortion, euthanasia, and the Stock Market.

  • Dave

    The problem is that you are wrong. Contraception actually causes more abortion.

    Contraceptive use leads to an increase in abortion for two main reasons:
    First, contraceptives fail a certain percentage of the time. A 5% failure rate means that 5% of the couples using a certain method will be pregnant at the end of the year. But since use of contraception changes their thought process, such that they now think it is “unfair” or an “accident” that she got pregnant, there is the need for abortion as a backup option to solve the “problem.”
    Second, the use of contraceptives gives a false sense of security that leads to much higher rates of sexual activity. The result is more “unplanned” pregnancies and hence more abortions.

    Here are a couple of links:

  • Arkenaten

    Who’s wrong?