Begging—and answering—the question

Begging—and answering—the question October 13, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s kickoff rally for his 2020 Presidential campaign

A few days ago I published a piece in which I explained how a Catholic may vote for Joe Biden, or any other pro-choice politician, with a clear conscience. Without violating Catholic Church teaching.

But it does beg the question, “Ok, fine, I can vote for Mr. Biden with a clear conscience. But why would I? Abortion—ending it, I mean—is important to me. Just because I may vote for a pro-choice politician does not mean I necessarily want to, or that it would be prudent to.”

This is an honest objection.

I have addressed this issue before. But between my piece on Sunday and Mr. Biden’s announcement this week of Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, now is a good time to revisit it.

The Dems, the GOP, and Roe

As I explained a year and a half ago, it is highly unlikely that Roe v. Wade will ever be overturned. The hard truth is, neither major party wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. Both major parties want abortion to remain legal. The only difference is, Republicans lie to you about it and Democrats do not.

Furthermore, abortion became legal in this country because of Republicans, and it remains legal because of Republicans. In two of the first states to legalize abortion—California and New York—the legislation was signed into law by Republican governors (Ronald Reagan and Nelson Rockefeller, respectfully).

In 1973, five of the seven justices who voted to legalize abortion in Roe v. Wade were Republicans, and the opinion was written by a Republican, Harry Blackmun. Two decades later, all five justices who voted to uphold Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey were Republicans.

Meanwhile, the U.S. abortion rate, which peaked in 1980 and held more or less steady during the twelve years of Presidents Reagan and George Bush, began a gradual though uneven decline beginning in 1992. It peaked once during Bill Clinton’s presidency and peaked again for most of George W. Bush’s second term.

Abortion and Mr. Obama

But the abortion rate shrank every single year that Barack Obama was president. By 2016, the last year of his presidency, it had plummeted to its lowest rate—11.8 abortions per 1,000 women— since 1973.

So much for the Republican lie, oft told in 2008, that Mr. Obama supported infanticide and wanted to expand abortion beyond what had been unimaginable before him.

There are many reasons why the abortion rate dropped so much during Mr. Obama’s presidency, but one undeniable reason is that he expanded the social safety net. And who was Mr. Obama’s point man in Congress, especially with the Affordable Care Act? Then-Vice President Biden.

The Democratic Party pledges to keep abortion legal. The Republican Party lies that it wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. Indeed, while Democratic presidents will always nominate pro-choice judges to the Supreme Court, the justices who provide the swing votes to keep abortion legal are always named to the High Court by Republican presidents.

The Antonin Scalias, Clarence Thomases, and Samuel Alitos? Cover.

Which is the real ‘party of life’?

Examined in this light, the Republican Party is really the party of abortion. Indeed, only in America can a party that lies about wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade while supporting the death penalty, unrestricted firearm ownership, torture, illegal wars, and most of the rest of the violations against life, the integrity of the human person, and human dignity listed in No. 27 of Gaudium et Spes still laughably call itself “the party of life.”

The Democratic Party ardently backs legal access to abortion and a woman’s right to choose, yet it is entirely in line with the Catholic Church on every other violation of life, human integrity, and dignity in No. 27. Plus, under Democratic presidents, the abortion rate declines.

The Democratic Party is the actual party of life.

So, vote Democrat—and for Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris—with a clear conscience. Not only because the Church tells you you may, but because it is the clear choice if you truly care about the unborn, and indeed all human life.

(Picture by Michael Stokes. See licensing information here – spd.)

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