Monday, October 25, 2004

The 'pro-life' Kerry vote

Carrie asks, Isn't it Ironic....: "Many of my Christian friends (who are pro-life) are voting for John Kerry. When asked about how they can justify voting for a candidate whose voting record in the Senate clearly shows a pro-abortion stance (he voted against the ban on partial birth abortions and voted against legislation to enact a 'Lacy Peterson law' which would charge criminals who kill a pregnant woman with 2 counts of murder) my friends reply 'well, the president will never be able to overturn Roe v. Wade anyway, so I'm not going to make it a central issue'."

If the election were less important, I would be inclined to toss the observation into the large box labeled "Go Figure." But it is important. I don't think it's an overstatement that this may be the most important election of the past 50 years. And the right to life is part of why.

First, I agree with Carrie's--and my--pro-life friends that abortion is not going to be made illegal nationwide in the next four years, regardless of who is elected. I would like to see the unborn protected under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. That isn't going to happen, probably not even in my lifetime.

Nevertheless, there is a possibility that Bush will appoint the Supreme Court Justices who eventually overturn Roe v. Wade. There is zero possibility that Kerry will. And with several justices approaching retirement, the next four years with a Kerry pro-abortion litmus test will set the agenda for at least a couple of decades.

It's not a sure thing, and justices chosen by pro-life presidents, such as Souter and O'Connor, don't lead pro-lifers to optimism. Optimism is not necessary for hope.

And if Roe v. Wade is overturned, what then? More work. Because abortion will return to each state legislature, to allow, ban, regulate. Mississippi will look very different from Minnesota, and California from South Carolina, and Missouri will become a test case looked at by Montana. Oregon legalized abortion in 1969, and if Roe is overturned, pro-life Oregonians will still have a long road of argument, persuasion, activism and politicking. Welcome to government of the people, by the people and for the people.

But at least, if we have a president who believes in judicial restraint, in the original role of judges, we might get some who will let laws stand in the states where the legislatures write them, instead of finding a "right" to abortion in emanations of the penumbra surrounding the Bill of Rights.

Otherwise, we may as well disband the legislatures, fire the president and place crowns on the heads of the black-robed regents who know better than the voters what's good for us.

No comments: