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Can pro-lifers ever support Democrats again?

Posted By Jill Stanek On 03/24/2010 @ 12:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

I’m proud to be a Republican, but I’m pro-life first.

After making a couple observations about two years ago, I decided to work harder at being a nonpartisan pro-lifer.

First, it seemed to me Republicans were taking our support for granted and had wasted political capital, particularly when they owned all three branches of government from 2000-2006 (save for the 17-month Jeffords Senate flip blip).

Second, I thought Rahm Emanuel gave us an opening in 2006 when forced to recruit pro-lifers to run in conservative districts so House Democrats might win back the majority. Could we germinate life in the Party of Death?

Thereafter I bolstered Democrat pro-lifers whenever I could in my writing. It was hard, but I tried to catch ‘em being good.

Then health care happened, and the importance of Democrat pro-lifers became more apparent than ever before. We were on the brink of advancing abortion to an extent not seen since the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The Supremes made it legal; socialized health care would make it much more available through regulations and much more affordable through public funding.

Republicans in the minority were basically helpless to stop it, but could the small Democratic pro-life band of brothers and sisters?

It was at this point I wrote two blog posts I now regret – “Remain calm about Nelson” and “Remain calm about Stupak.” A proverb I knew but cast aside in hope: Never “remain calm” about any politician.

I encouraged pro-lifers to maintain faith in the two most prominent Democrat pro-lifers in the health-care battle, Sen. Ben Nelson and Rep. Bart Stupak, despite the mixed signals they sent.

We all now know Nelson blinked fairly quickly, and Stupak blinked five months into it. There were others, but these were the front men.

Both men betrayed the pro-life and Christian groups they had been working with. Nelson disallowed both Nebraska Right to Life and the National Right to Life Committee from viewing his 11th-hour compromise health-care language, and Stupak turned away from those whom he had just said he sought advice, the United States Council of Catholic Bishops, the NRLC and the Family Research Council. All three, as well as every other pro-life/pro-family group, urged him to reject the compromise pitched to him, a worthless executive order by the infanticide president.

And we knew immediately it was worthless. The morning after health care passed in the House, Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood, gleefully wrote in a press release the soon-to-be law of the land would “significantly increase access to reproductive health care.” That’s all we need to know.

Which brings me to today. I have some new observations.

First, having now labored 14 months under a trilateral pro-abortion authoritarian regime and seeing what damage can be done, I pine for days of even the status quo – when public funding of human embryo and cloning experimentation were held at bay, as was public funding of international abortion groups; when annual pro-life appropriations riders like the Hyde Amendment were never in doubt of renewal; when we didn’t have to worry about what new pro-abort schemes were constantly being hatched in every department of everything in Washington, D. C.

I’m also now more aware of the nefarious capabilities of Democrats in power to get their way. So I appreciate how difficult it must have been dealing with those same out-of-power Democrats to accomplish even meager goals like passage of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, Partial Birth Abortion Ban and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.

Sure, Republicans could have done better. But they have the backing of a pro-life platform and a pro-life majority. Quite the opposite is true of their counterparts.

It’s quite sad that a handful of pro-life Democrats have done what almost appears to be irreparable damage to themselves. Their pro-abort leadership knows they will ultimately choose party over principle.

And so do we.

I say “almost” because there was another handful of pro-life Dems, not in the spotlight, who stood strong.

These included Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski, who ironically represents the district where my former employer, Christ Hospital, is located.

Christ Hospital, as most know, aborted late-term babies alive and let them die in a soiled utility room.

Lipinski’s father, Bill, was his pro-life role model. As a congressman in 2000, he co-sponsored the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, ironically the same legislation state Sen. Barack Obama opposed on the state level.

So there is a poetic reminder that hope never dies. There is still a remnant of principled pro-lifers in the Democratic Party. This week just saw the wheat separated from the chaff.

So I’m still going to try to catch ‘em doing good.


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