Hillary Clinton is NOT the Best Choice Against Abortion, Part III

By: John D. Ferrer

In this third and final installment critiquing “Hillary Clinton is the Best Choice Against Abortion,” by Eric Sapp, we’ll now see how he makes his counter-intuitive case that pro-choice candidates are better than prolifers at reducing abortion (see, Part I and Part II).

Skewed Logic

Sapp uses some well-intended but skewed logic to develop his position. Prochoicers tend to promote social welfare programs that are supposed to ease the brutal effects of poverty on our nation’s most disadvantaged members. By reducing poverty, the theory goes, women are less likely to be pressured into abortion by their circumstances such as hunger, crime, low income, or joblessness. This theory sounds smart enough, on the surface.

Now it would be too involved for our purposes to try to prove that Democrat policies kill jobs, fostering government dependence and cultures of poverty. Republicans and conservatives clearly hold this position, and I tend to agree. But for now, I’ll just set this out as a proposal.

It could be that democrat-led “compassion initiatives” are more cruel than kind because the road to desolation is paved with good intentions. Compassion initiatives could include the expansion of food stamps and welfare coverage, federally funding free child care, living wage/raising the minimum wage, government housing, student loan forgiveness, federally funded abortion, unemployment benefits, the Affordable Care Act, etc., these tend to alleviate only passing symptoms of poverty while generating enduring cultures of poverty underneath. These sorts of programs aren’t run at the community or local level but instead by “big government” bureaucracy which isn’t equipped to respond to market forces, or correct against corruption and mismanagement, or to discern between people needing help and hucksters gaming the system. Moreover, these federal programs tend to replace local, community, and family support structures while fostering government dependence. The effect is people are less able to take care of themselves, or take responsibility for their influence in the community because they are suckling at the teat of the reining “Nanny State.”

Now I’m just putting that alternative social narrative out there for you to ponder. I’m not really making that case here. That’s one possibility. My main goal is to suggest that the left-wing narrative isn’t the only one out there. Many of the alleged “facts” that progressives, socialists, and Democrats interpret in their favor can be equally interpreted as cherry picking, prooftexting, statistical gymnastics, or what our grandparents might call “claptrap.”

We can however see, without digging too hard, that abortion and poverty rates are consistently high in predominately Democrat states. This fact runs contrary to the position Eric Sapp is taking.

The Two Big Indicators for Abortion

“It’s no coincidence that abortions go up when Republicans are in charge and down when Democrats are. The two biggest indicators a woman will have an abortion are that she is poor (75% of women who have abortions make less than $23,000 and half make less than $11,000), and had an unintended pregnancy (half of U.S. pregnancies are unintended, and 43% end in abortion).”

Sapp is right. It’s no coincidence because there’s no “co” in those incidents (see, Part II, and see below). We can also grant, at least for the sake of argument, that abortion rates tend to increase with poverty and unplanned pregnancy. But even with these admissions, we can still see something wrong in Sapp’s reasoning.

Permit me to illustrate. According to Sapp’s reasoning, which USAmerican States should we expect to have the lowest abortion rates? It would be States with the least poverty, or perhaps the most Democrat influence. However, according CBS News, among 25 states with the highest abortion rate, the top 12 are all “blue” (Democrat) states having voted for Obama in 2012 and 2008, and showing a blue trends before that too. The highest ranking “red” (Republican) state is Kansas, at 19.2 abortions per 1000 childbirths. The twelve states ahead of Kansas are (1) Delaware, (2) New York, (3) New Jersey, (4) Washington DC, (5) Maryland, (6), California, (7) Florida–a swing state, but not recently, (8) Nevada, (9) Connecticut, (10) Rhode Island, (11) Hawaii, and (12) Illinois. Their abortion rates range from 20.5 to a whopping 40 abortions per 1,000 births. Except for Florida, each of those States is a Democrat powerhouse; or what Republican presidential candidates would call a “lost cause.”

Not surprisingly, several of these high-abortion rate States also tend to be some of the wealthiest in the nation. Four out of the top five are democrat states on the list above: (1) Maryland, (2) Hawaii, (4) New Jersey, and (5) Connecticut.[1]

Eric Sapp is trying to distract his readers from the fact that Democrat states are high abortion states. It doesn’t matter if they are relatively poor democrat states like Florida (ranked 38th in Median income and 7th in abortion rate), or wealthy democrat states like Maryland (1st and 5th respectively). If Democrat policies actually kept abortion rates down, then the most Democrat states would have the lowest abortion rates. Instead, we find the opposite.

For conservatives, this reality isn’t surprising, it’s predictable. Abortion-friendly policies tend to generate more abortions. It’s not rocket science. People have more abortions when they live in places that excuse, defend, and even promote abortion as a “right.”

Abortion Ratio by Party
Source: http://shamelesspopery.com/abortion-rate-by-party/

Besides what we find at the state level, Sapp’s correlational case is weak at a federal level too. Joe Heschmeyer helps to clarify the issue in his article, “Do Democrat Presidencies Reduce the Abortion Rate?” He distinguishes the abortion rate (number of abortions per 1000) from the abortion ratio (abortions per 1000 births).

In the chart on the left we see a swift rise followed by a slightly erratic decline. Using numbers from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) he found the declining rate of abortion isn’t neatly connected to democrat presidents. Democrats presided over the early peak in the 1970’s (Carter’s presidency) and over two decline periods (Bill Clinton and Obama). Likewise, Republicans saw a swift incline when abortion was first legalized (which could be expected regardless of who was in office). And then there were two periods of decline under later Republican presidents (Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr.). Heschmeyer also found the same failed correlation when he looked at the abortion rate. Using Guttmacher and CDC stats (see below), he found that the abortion rate (number of abortions per 1000 women) has been steadily declining since it peaked (by rate and by ratio) in the 1980’s. The trend has been declining abortions for at almost 30 years now.

Guttmacher Abortion Rate
Source: Guttmacher at https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states

Remember also that there are some huge factors at play here regardless of the presidency.

The “free love” ethic of the late 60’s hadn’t tuckered out yet during the Nixon-Ford administration. The same goes for 2nd wave feminism at the same time. The Vietnam War also preoccupied people’s attention in politics and society for much of that period.

Meanwhile, the Republican party took over a decade after Roe v. Wade (1973) before reorienting their platform toward a unique and unified pro-life position, and that was not until after the arrival of the “Moral Majority” a.k.a., the “Christian Right.”[2] Before that time, Republicans were sharply divided, and deeply conflicted as a party on the abortion issue. For many undecided and moderate voices, they had only a vague sense of “social conservatism” and the speeches of Ronald Reagan pulling them toward the pro-life camp. In that period in the 80’s the Republican party was sharply divided between prolife conservatives and prochoice moderates.

Source: CDC at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db136.htm
Source: CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db136.htm

There was also the introduction of sonogram technology which, prolifers argue, fosters earlier bonding, empathy, and personal consideration for one’s child-in-utero. We could also add the effects of the Cold War, which suppressed confidence and optimism in family planning. And don’t forget the Internet-tech boom of the 1990’s and 3rd wave feminism around the same time.

Now I know of no way to correct for all the many socio-cultural factors that potentially influenced the birth rate and abortion rate over the whole history of legalized abortion in the United States. That sort of equation is too big to solve here. But I do know that Barak Obama’s record on the economy has been rocky, at best.[3] And it would be utterly foolhardy to attribute the current declining abortion rate to him.

True, Obama inherited a rocky economy following the housing market crash of 2008. But he has diven that careening into ditch after ditch after ditch. He doubled the national debt. He hasn’t had a balanced budget his entire term of office. He encouraged what’s called “quantitative easing,” or what teenagers might recognize as the “tree” theory of money (i.e., money grows on trees).

What doesn’t work in your household, supposedly works for the federal government. The government, under Obama, printed money at unprecedented levels (quantitative easing). Instead of adding buying power (contrary to what teenagers may think), this effort just added more paper money. It deflated the buying power of our currency, inflated the cost of living, and effectively punished everyone who has been responsible with their money. Quantitative easing is a slick way to lower interest rates on debt, including the national debt, but since it artificially suppresses interests rates, it discourages long term savings and investing. This is how the Federal Reserve was able to keep their interests rates so low for so long. This effort also served to encourage people to get loans from the bank to pay off debt and start businesses. It’s a “spending-based” model instead of a “savings-based” model. Under Obama, the people who’ve been responsibly avoiding debt by saving up for retirement, or a rainy day fund, they all get shafted. Some even argue that Obama’s money-printing policy has facilitated the most lopsided wealth transfer in national history in what Michael Gray calls “the great fleecing.”

Under the potential Hillary administration, we have no great reason to expect her to turn a corner and stop the fleecing, whether by quantitative easing or other measures. Her record shows even more overt “pay to play” tactics where her supporters pay into her campaign and garner privilege and favor in return.

Also under Obama, the S&P credit rating for the U.S. declined for the first time ever. Obama’s stimulus packages had only contentious or negative effects. And numerous employers testify how the impact of Obamacare led to restructuring their workforce for more part time jobs, to avoid having to pay for healthcare for their full-time employees. The result has been a meager trade between unemployment and vastly expanded underemployment.

Which Party Saves the Day?

Eric Sapp goes on to say,

“Want to guess which political party is more effective at reducing poverty and unwanted pregnancies? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not the “pro-life” Party that in this last Congressional session alone fought to cut medical care for poor mothers and children, food programs for kids, and contraception coverage and access for women.”

Here Sapp commits a classic mistake, assuming that Democrat “answers” to all poverty problems are the only possible answers. Conservatives and Republicans can argue that those “answers” aren’t even answers, but I’ll suspend that claim for the moment. I’ve run into the problem a lot myself. Progressives and political liberals often seem unable or unwilling to imagine how locally based solutions could ever do better than “big government” solutions to things like poverty and abortion.

If Sapp is going to make his case, he needs to show that democrat “compassion initiatives” like food-stamp programs, contraception coverage, and subsidized medical care for the poor are substantial long-term solutions to poverty and or abortion. He has not proven this case, nor come close. And he’s not shown any sincere effort to engage Republican and conservative alternatives which emphasis family and community based solutions to poverty and abortion.

Meanwhile, conservatives can counter that democrat-led “compassion initiatives” are (in large part) hopelessly bloated, inefficient, corrupt, and impersonal so they become indiscriminate money pits of government dependence. Compared to the Democrat narrative, a better alternative would be to find ways to liberate communities and families to address their own needs by reducing tax and regulatory burdens, creating business friendly and job friendly market-places, and perhaps even releasing government funds to private and local charities (religious and non-religious groups having equal access) so that the people most impacted by local poverty are the most empowered to do something about it. Even if Sapp doesn’t agree with these measures, it’s foolhardy to pretend that they don’t exist or that there’s nothing that democrats can learn from serious community-based solutions.

Of course we can add that, whatever Sapp may say about poverty and correlate abortions, the states that oppose abortion strongest at a policy level have the fewest abortions. This is why South Dakota, which is considerably more impoverished than New York, sees 11% of pregnancies end in abortion compared to New York’s 54% of pregnancies ending in abortion.

What if Roe was Overturned?

“One final point. Let’s assume the impossible happened and Roe is overturned — leaving each state to decide if they’ll allow abortions. Only about 10% of abortions take place in states with legislatures that have seriously tried to limit abortion. So if abortion was outlawed in all those states, and no woman crossed state lines to get one, the most overturning Roe would achieve is a 10% reduction in abortions. Compare that to nearly 40 years of data showing that we would save more than three times as many unborn children by cutting the number of poor women in half. Increase contraception access, family leave, and improve pre- and post- natal healthcare, and we’d cut abortions by 50% or more.”

Here Sapp is playing a bit of word game. What does “seriously tried to limit abortion” mean? Every state has abortion limitations in place from before and after Roe v. Wade. As long as he doesn’t specify what “seriously” means, then he can adjust the goal posts at leisure to make sure that any rebuttals fall short.

Let’s suppose along with Sapp, for the sake of argument, that only about 10% of abortions were halted by overturning Roe v. Wade. Would prolifers be justified in surrendering their case because only 100,000 babies were saved that year? Perhaps that number sounds small when you drop the zeroes and add a percentage sign, 10%. But when we realize that 10% of roughly a million abortions yearly since 1973 is 100,000 lives saved, that now becomes a really big deal. Would I support that sort of measure? Heck yeah I would! Saving one hundred thousand lives would be a huge victory. Saving lives is what prolifers are all about!

Nine men who told women what they can and can't do with their bodies.
Nine men who told women what they can and can’t do with their bodies. (c) 1973. Source: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/7-powerful-quotes-from-jane-roe-of-roe-v.-wade

Sapp’s next claim is just bald misrepresentation. He suggests that 40 years of data show that, compared to Republican plans, 3x’s as many unborn children would be saved by Democrat plans cutting poverty in half among destitute pregnant women. But then he suggests that Democrat intentions are somehow proof that their federally 95-10 Initiative would actually achieve that goal.

Contrary to Christmas Sweaters from Grandma, it is not the thought that counts. Good intentions do not good policy make, not by themselves at least. We need realism, wisdom, and good hard data before we can draw up policies that will actually work. Good intentions are but a puff in the winds of change.

Before criticizing Sapp’s use of this document, I want to commend Him and other pro-life democrats who support this document as they are supporting such non-partisan and bi-partisan goals as adoption, informed consent, toll-free crisis pregnancy helplines, required sonograms, and safe-havens (for surrendering children for adoption). I see no big problem with about 2/3rds of the document.

The other third of this document however suggests big-government answers to women’s poverty where, as a conservative, I’d suggest local, community, and family solutions would be a better answer overall. Sapp err’s by acting like democrats are the only one’s concerned about poverty. I strongly disagree and counter that democrat programs tend to inhibit job growth, business start ups, per capita income, and they remain largely indifferent or even hostile to families and churches. Like many democrats, he seems to think there’s a money tree that can just pay for all these programs for reduced college costs, free government assistance, and so on.

Here our disagreement is not over whether poverty is an issue. Poverty is an issue. Nor is our disagreement about whether struggling young mothers need lots of support. Obviously they need lots of support. The problem is that Sapp and other pro-life democrats are addressing a symptom and not the cause. These federal programs aren’t fruitful, long-term solutions. They don’t produce wealth that can be reinvested in that poor family. But you know what does produce wealth that can be reinvested into poor families? A husband and father. And do you know what best mobilizes husbands and fathers to be responsible upstanding men of the community? Churches and community-base organizations.

Admitting some oversimplification, she doesn’t need to marry the government, she needs to marry a man. And not just any man, a good man. Obviously that’s not everything, but that’s an important something that Sapp and other democrats consider too politically incorrect to mention. Sapp’s solutions are distant, impersonal, and short-term. But historically, the most reliable solution to the struggling young mother’s poverty is not simply money but family. She doesn’t need merely secular ideology. She needs a faith community. Cultures of poverty aren’t changed with money, but with mentoring. Poverty isn’t solved with handouts, but with homes. She doesn’t need more government in her life, she needs a stable and safe community, with vested family members, trusted friends, and church or community support groups. And she needs a governmental system that’s protecting her freedoms not propping up ghettos with federal-dependence programs. If she’s really struggling, no amount of government funding is going to make her feel loved, make her feel safe, her make her feel strong enough to care for this child. She needs people nearby, not pro-life democrats far away in DC doling out programs paying her to stay unmarried.

Sapp’s “liberal logic” here is sometimes called the “social net” theory. If only Republicans and Conservatives would admit the economic factors that push women into perilous situations where they are stuck with an abortion then, so the logic goes, these heartless conservatives would agree with liberals in supporting a government funded “social net” to keep women from ever getting to that desperate place. This social net theory is the basis of Sapp’s whole argument and it’s a common theme woven throughout a great many progressive, democrat, and even socialist platforms. But in this case, Sapp’s greatest drawback is that it’s just not true. The states with the biggest social nets, like New York, California, and the New England states are wealthy, with tons of government support programs; their social net are enormous, almost as big as their abortion rates. Poverty is not an adequate predictor for explaining the incidence of abortion. It’s only one correlating factor. The more reliable predictor for high abortion rates is liberal-abortion choice policies that float around democrat legislators like the stench of death.

Lastly, Sapp seems to act like he knows what the landscape would look like if Roe v. Wade (1973) were overturned tomorrow. We can guess about some of it, but frankly, it would be such a free-for-all at the state level that we have to expect that every state would revisit and reevaluate their abortion laws. We cannot tell how that would play out. We just can’t. We’re guessing. There could be pro-life marches around the country. There could be feminist riots in the streets. There could be democrats doing hunger fasts (for about a day). There could be Civil War. There could be nothing much happening except a steep drop in abortions and an amiable shift in the collective conscience of the American people. Any of the above could happen.

Emotional Appeals

“So if you really care about protecting the unborn, where should you put your time and how should you vote?

Elections matter, but there is something deeper at stake here. When the woman was caught in adultery, Jesus didn’t buy a “go and sin no more” bumper sticker. He put himself between the woman and the righteous and angry crowd.

Seven out of 10 women who have an abortion already have kids. They are desperate, alone, scared, probably ashamed, and without options. Pro-life slogans won’t change that reality. Being duped yet again into voting Republican will only create more women like that. What those women — and their unborn children — need are Christians with the courage and faith not to repeat the political folly of the last forty years.”

Having critiqued Sapp’s argument so far, we can answer his rhetorical question, and he won’t like the answer. We obviously should vote against Hillary.

In spite of grandiose and clever argumentation explaining we need to support liberal abortion-on-demand policy to help save babies, we are left wondering, why won’t he just support a general ban on abortion? We could amend and edit it to allow for accommodations for bipartisan support (pro-life Democrats and pro-life Republicans). He seemed to suggest above that overturning Roe v. Wade could, theoretically, save up to 100,000 children-in-utero yearly. That’s a good start. Why doesn’t he just grant that point and then keep all the other democrat ideas in place?

Compared to the abortion issue, all the other debates about federal jobs programs, stimulus packages, minimum wage laws, and government assistance are secondary issues. If Sapp is more pro-life than he is Democrat, then I don’t see what is keeping him from supporting bipartisan restrictions on abortion, up to and including overturning Roe v. Wade. I don’t see why he’d speak so spitefully against Republican bills and Republican plans, as if we are somehow enemies on the issue of saving babies. If he’s really concerned about poverty, then he could acknowledge and dialogue with Republican proposals on reducing poverty. If he’s really concerned about reducing abortions, then he could acknowledge and dialogue with Republican proposals to that effect, especially the non-partisan and bi-partisan proposals like the “fetal pain ban” or the “partial birth abortion ban.”

The fact is, however, Sapp is not terribly interested in claiming pro-life victories that might destabilize or detract from the Democrat platform. He’s allied himself with the Democrat party and is trying his hardest to make that alliance fit with his pro-life sentiments, even if he has to contradict his conscience to do it.

His citation of the Bible story of the “Woman Caught in Adultery” (John 8:3-11) and his emotional appeal after that aren’t helpful but manipulative when you realize that Jesus was the opposite of a Democrat big-government program. Jesus wasn’t acting as a representative of the Roman Republic, or even the Jewish Sanhedrin. He was acting as a personal, local, and loving solution. He didn’t marry her, of course, but he did embody the church in her life and set her free from the shackles of sin and lift her into a life of liberty. There was no welfare check, no student loan forgiveness program, no government funded daycare program. No, he restored her to fellowship in her local religious community where real people can extend a real hand of service to her.

Concluding Thoughts

I have to commend Sapp for maintaining a prolife stance as a democrat. That can’t be easy. He must face terrible pressure to conform to the prochoice platform and flow along like the other barnacles, another sycophant on the Planned Parenthood ship. I also congratulate him for trying to align his faith and his politics. It seems stretched from my perspective, but I fully admit that Jesus isn’t a Republican (he’s not a Democrat either, He’s a Theocrat). So there’s room for fellow Christians to disagree over politics and parties.

Sapp’s core claim however is not only wrong, it’s dead wrong, literally. There are thousands, perhaps millions of babies lives at stake here, and he’s basing his whole case on a massive correlational fallacy. He acts like the decline in abortions during Bill Clinton and Obama’s presidency was their doing instead of the Republican majority congress in both cases who were making and passing the bills and the budgets. He’s giving credit to government expansion programs, as if those were the real cause of reducing abortions when instead the 334 state-level bills passed since 2011 are the far clearer factor.

Moreover, he’s bluffing about his own hand. This 95-10 Inititative is an interesting read, and prolifers on both sides of the aisle can agree with a lot it, but no votes for Hillary will be counted as votes for the the 95-10 Initiative or for pro-life Democrats. If Hillary is elected, there is little if any chance that the 95-10 initiative would ever be more than a pretty piece of paper. Pro-life democrats are too small a minority to be factor in machinations of the Democrat party. Voting for Hillary is not a vote for the pro-life platform but instead it’s a vote of support for solidifying Roe v. Wade long into the future, repealing the Hyde Amendment, reducing and repealing restrictions on abortion. Voting for Hillary is a vote of support for her to nominate the next 1-3 supreme court justices. Voting for Hillary is a vote for the democrat party platform, staunchly supporting Planned Parenthood, staunchly opposing abortion-restrictions, and it makes no mention of “safe legal and rare.” Safe, legal, and plentiful is far more profitable for the campaign moneybags pouring from Planned Parenthood into the Democrat party. The history of abortion legislation consistently testifies that pro-choice Democrats rule their party and stand guard against all Republican efforts to dignify and protect the lives of babies.

To Trump or Not to Trump

Sapp’s original intent was to sway potential voters away from Donald Trump and into the Hillary camp. But even if he failed to make a solid case for Hillary, conscientious objectors are still justified in refusing to vote for either candidate. Trump is the only pro-life candidate among the top three, but he doesn’t have a long or proven pro-life record. And he has plenty of other drawbacks leaving many voters unconvinced about whether he would be the flag-bearer for any pro-life legislation or if he’d instead be another compromised politician who won’t speak up for the voiceless.

With Hillary’s camp however, Sapp’s tortured statistics and fact-twisting are what we’d expect for a salesman at a death camp. Voting for Hillary offers no great promise to reduce abortions but instead bodes ominously the other direction. The abortion rate has been declining over the last few years but with the degree of Hillary’s allegiance to Planned Parenthood, her feminist platforming, her promise to repeal the Hyde Amendment, and even her support of late term and partial birth abortion, together with her apparent willingness to work around the law and congress to get things done, I wouldn’t be surprised if another Clinton presidency would increase the abortion rate once again. The evidence suggests she would do everything in her power to stymie the current pro-life momentum we’ve been seeing at the state level these last five years. Polling data suggests that millenials and new liberals are shying away from the hard-line abortion-choice position of the Clinton camp. Many of them could side with a non-establishment Republican like Trump, or vote for Gary Johnson for want of a president who isn’t mired in scandals. Hillary does not deserve a vote from any serious prolifers.

If you are a prolifer reading this then please, I implore you, don’t buy into the liberal myth that the best way to save babies and protect women is by opening the doors even wider to the most deadly house of horrors in human history. Abortion is the most deadly crime against humanity in world history, by far. You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. I mean that quite literally. The death-toll from abortion-on-demand exceeds all other holocausts in human history, natural or man-made. And if we side with Sapp and like-minded progressives feigning pro-life reasons for a Hillary-vote then we just don’t take abortion seriously. The scope of this modern holocaust deserves serious attention matched with principled action. We have not time for simplistic myths complicit with the Clinton camp.

End Notes

[1] Alaska ranks #3 in terms of wealthiest states, but has a mid-level rate of abortion compared to other states, somewhere between 11.1 and 12.7 abortions per 1000 childbirths as of 2012. Alaska, however has had rates as high as 16 per 1000 in 2005. There have been stiff questions from critics over the alleging false information and refusal to disclose required information about their abortion practices.

[2] The Republican party has always had pro-lifers in their midst. And they may have even been a majority, albeit a “silent majority” for many years. But the stated platforms of the Republican party were conflicted and obstructionist on the abortion issue. For example, the 1976 Republican platform has this to say about abortion:

“The question of abortion is one of the most difficult and controversial of our time. It is undoubtedly a moral and personal issue but it also involves complex questions relating to medical science and criminal justice. There are those in our Party who favor complete support for the Supreme Court decision which permits abortion on demand. There are others who share sincere convictions that the Supreme Court’s decision must be changed by a constitutional amendment prohibiting all abortions. Others have yet to take a position, or they have assumed a stance somewhere in between polar positions” [under, “Women,” 18 August 1976].

The 1976 platform clearly fails to satisfy any of the key tenets of a contemporary prolife platform. To be fair, many people weren’t quite sure what was involved in abortion at that time, or they were unclear of the science. Or abortion was such a new and untested phenomenon (as far as they were aware) they didn’t have a clear since of its full impact.

By the time of the 1980 Republican Convention , the party had become more clearly prolife, but still openly admits division within the party on this issue.

“There can be no doubt that the question of abortion, despite the complex nature of its various issues, is ultimately concerned with equality of rights under the law. While we recognize differing views on this question among Americans in general—and in our own Party—we affirm our support of a constitutional amendment to restore protection of the right to life for unborn children. We also support the Congressional efforts to restrict the use of taxpayers’ dollars for abortion. 

We protest the Supreme Court’s intrusion into the family structure through its denial of the parent’s obligation and right to guide their minor children.” [under “Abortion,” 15 July 1980].

Not till the 1984 Republican Platform is the Republican party finally and fully united on abortion.

“The unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We therefore reaffirm our support for a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose the use of public revenues for abortion and will eliminate funding for organizations which advocate or support abortion. We commend the efforts of those individuals and religious and private organizations that are providing positive alternatives to abortion by meeting the physical, emotional, and financial needs of pregnant women and offering adoption services where needed.

We applaud President Reagan’s fine record of judicial appointments, and we reaffirm our support for the appointment of judges at all levels of the judiciary who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.” [under “Our Constitutional System,” 20 August 1984]

[3] For a friendly review of Obama’s economic record see Richard S. Carroll, “How Obama’s Economic Record Stacks Up,” [Online], Bloomberg (6 Sept. 2016), at https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-09-06/how-obama-s-economic-record-stacks-up. Carroll gives Obama about an average grade compared to presidents in recent history. Obviously, many of Obama’s critics would disagree that his policies had any real positive impact on the economy.

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