No one at this point in the 2016 presidential race offers pro-life voters much reason to cheer. The GOP platform speaks for them unequivocally, but it’s not on the ballot. The Republican nominee is, and he’s been wobbly on questions important to the pro-life movement, whose mind he clearly doesn’t share, his formal identification as a recent convert to the cause notwithstanding.
The Republican party first introduced an anti-abortion plank into its platform in 1976. Except for Reagan and, one could argue, George W. Bush, Republican presidential nominees in the past 40 years have tended to be not so much pro-life champions as good soldiers, curtly affirming their support for the right to life (punting, Ford objected to Roe v. Wade on procedural grounds, maintaining that abortion law was a matter for the states) and that was that. It’s been good enough. If you’re pro-life, Republican diffidence on the issue is preferable to straightforward Democratic support for the wrong side.
Even for some pro-lifers resigned to that state of affairs, Trump is a bridge too far, however, and a rickety one at that. George Weigel, Robert P. George, Albert Mohler, Russell Moore, and other conservative Catholic and Evangelical intellectuals who are unwavering in their commitment to the pro-life cause oppose Trump vigorously. He poses several grave difficulties. Each by itself is enough to disqualify him in the view of many traditional conservatives, but pro-lifers who are single-issue voters are boxed in: By their reasoning, no offense that the Republican nominee commits, and no degree of unpreparedness or wrongheadedness that he demonstrates, can change their decision as long as he and his opponent have checked the boxes marked, respectively, “pro-life” and “pro-choice.”Read the rest of this op-ed HERE.
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