Why not Trump/Pence? Donald doesn’t have a pro-life track record, even a little bit. On Meet the Press in 1999, Trump said, “Well, I’m very pro-choice” in response to a question about partial birth abortion. Later that year, he stated, “I believe it is a personal decision that should be left to the women and their doctors,” to the Associated Press. “I support a woman’s right to choose, but I am uncomfortable with the procedures,” he wrote in his book The America We Deserve in 2000. Even more concerning, a few years later during an interview with shockjock Howard Stern, Trump talked about how his first response to Marla Maples’ surprise pregnancy with one of his children was “what are we going to do about this?” In other words, he felt like he should have the right to consider abortion, so why believe now that he thinks other Americans shouldn’t?
Yes, he chose Pence, which to some demonstrates that he’d choose pro-life judges too. But I think all it means is that he’ll pick someone who will help him win pro-life votes. I believe both candidates are opportunistic (who in politics isn’t?) but, in Donald’s case, I’m convinced this shows up in his newly minted pro-life stance. He knows it’s what’s necessary to win conservative votes. Because he has no political track record, we can only go by his words, which are inconsistent, unreliable, and highly subject to change based on what’s politically convenient for him.
Less than a year ago, in a remark that defies his supposed pro-life stances and also smacks of nepotism, he said he thought his sister would make a “phenomenal” Supreme Court justice. Nevermind that she, Maryanne Trump Barry, declared partial-birth abortion to be a constitutionally protected right in a decision she authored as an appellate court judge. Even more recently, this past April, on Face the Nation, he said the laws on abortion are set and should stay as they are. Does this sound like a pro-life candidate, even on the topic of abortion?
(Lest I sound as if I’m ignoring Hillary’s pro-choice record, I assure you I am not. I expect that anyone reading this is well-versed in her public statements over the years. I’m just pointing out, like this article does, that if you’re looking for a genuinely anti-abortion candidate, then Trump isn’t your guy any more than Hillary is your girl.)
But it’s on the other pro-life issues that I find Trump the most lacking and Hillary the far superior candidate. In other words, my stance isn’t a choice between the lesser of two evils. I’m not simply voting against Trump. If so, I’d be abstaining on principle (which is a valid choice, no matter what some may argue) or considering a third party candidate. I don’t consider it morally appropriate to vote against someone; in my personal convinctions, I must be able to vote for the person I choose on the ballot. So if I were a NeverTrumper and a NeverHillary, then I’d choose someone else or abstain. Those are viable options, even if someone tries to bully you into believing they aren’t. But I find enough I can affirm and identify with in the positions and record of Hillary Clinton, so my stance to be with her isn’t based in an opposition to Trump. Aside for abortion – which I do care about deeply – I see the Democrats as the party that champions other pro-life issues more effectively and consistently. This is why I changed my registration to unaffiliate with any party several years ago, after having been a Republican for years, based largely on my abortion stance.
What other pro-life issues? you ask. Well, if we call ourselves the pro-life movement, then we’re not just anti-abortion, right? I spoke at the Evangelicals for Life conference in DC back in January, and plenty of the speakers addressed issues beyond abortion. I was one of them, talking about the lives of people with disabilities. Starting with that group, here are 10 ways in which I find the Democratic nominee more pro-life than the Republicans…