It is tempting to be so distracted with what you dislike and even hate about your party's nominee that you allow it to become all there is to see. In my last post, "Romney is Nice, But No President," I argue that having a President who will protect the lives of people in this country from slaughter by either terrorism or abortion is the chief consideration in the coming election. For others, because the abortion battles have continued for so long with seemingly little benefit having come from them, it is tempting to become discouraged and perhaps even cynical. What difference does it make who is in the White House, a pro-life Republican or a pro-choice Democrat? Abortions continue either way. In response to my abortion concern in choosing the next President, Richie says this in the comments:
With a supposedly pro-life president, a supposedly pro-life congress, and a 5-4 advantage on the Supreme Court, what exactly was done to curtail abortion? The court question is a little dicey (which way would Kennedy or O'Connor go), but the GOP held Congress and the Presidency, and they did nothing. I consider abortion to be the most shameful (ongoing) episode in American history, but it's a little disingenuous to act like the pro-life views of the next President are going to make a difference in overturning Roe v. Wade. I just don't see either party doing much to end (or increase) abortion. It's much safer to keep the status quo, and be "pro-life" or "pro-choice" and not do anything about it....Obama, Clinton, McCain, Romney, or Britney Spears, there will still be babies being murdered in 2012. Abortion is legal because Americans want abortion to be legal. I'm too young to be this cynical, I think....
Well, let me encourage you with this. There are two ways in which it makes a difference who is President and who controls Congress as far as this matter is concerned. First, Republican Presidents since 1981 have passed executive orders forbidding the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. Our economist friends tell us that when you subsidize something, consumption goes up. A Democratic President will open the fire hose of public funding for abortions and little ones will die in significantly greater numbers as a consequence. (Republican Presidents have also cut off funds for abortions overseas.)
My second point goes by two names: John Roberts and Sam Alito. You have not seen a dramatic difference as result of the appointment of these two men to the Supreme Court because one of them replaced a conservative and the other replaced a moderate. The next two retirements are expected to come from the far left end of the bench: John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Replacing these two jurists even with moderates would bring a dramatic change not only on abortion questions, but as increasingly horrific practices (as if partial birth abortion weren't horrific enough) come before the high court for decision. See, for example, "An Entirely New Kind of Social Evil."
The legality of waiting periods makes a practical difference in the number of babies who are allowed to live. The legality of parental consent laws, the legality of requirements that women be informed of the nature and consequences of having an abortion--these make a difference. That is why abortion advocates hate them with such passion.
There is a lot of good that can be accomplished short of overturning Roe v. Wade. But I have hope that we could see even that.