I am an abolitionist. I want all induced abortion abolished. I do not think there should be “exceptions” for rape or incest, as if we could “except” those little humans’ lives because they were conceived in a horrible situation. Punish the rapist, punish the child molester, but don’t punish the child. That makes no logical sense. In the limited number of cases where the death of the child results from trying to save the life of the mother (e.g., tubal pregnancy), I pray Kyrie eleison. The parents have a heart-rending decision to make, and they need God’s mercy in Jesus Christ, especially if they feel guilty about the choice they make. That’s where I stand, because I believe the Son of God entered His mother’s womb as a fertilized egg, a zygote, an embryo, a fetus. What He assumed, He has redeemed. And our callous disregard of human life, our discussion of it as “the rule” and “the exceptions,” is foolish and destructive. It becomes even more ridiculous when those (especially politicians) who claim to be pro-life are subjected to continual questioning about what “exceptions” they would allow to their positions, when the pro-abortion lobby wants no exceptions whatsoever to its unlimited abortion license, and is never questioned by the media about this hypocrisy. When was the last time President Obama was asked whether he believed there should be any exceptions to his parroting of Cecile Richards’ position that abortion is a fundamental human right?
So I want abortion abolished. Even the difficult decision that has to be made when the doctor says it’s your life or the baby’s is a result of sin corrupting and poisoning God’s good creation. One day, this will happen, when all things are made new, when every tear shed for lost children will be wiped away by the finger of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. But this is not that day, and I highly doubt that the day will will come in these United States when abortion will once again be either illegal or socially condemned (although I will vote and pray and work within my vocation for that day). The fact is, if pro-life candidates for the presidency do not play the silly little exception game, and if they do not say they will allow, at least, exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother (as the litany goes), they will not be elected. Politics, for better or worse, is compromise. No compromise, nothing gets done. A truly pro-life candidate being elected president is about as likely as a pro-life Democrat securing his or her party’s nomination.
So what’s an abolitionist to do? There are essentially two positions (especially as I survey my pro-life friends’ Facebook posts): 1) make the best of a bad situation and vote for the candidate who will defeat the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history; or 2) vote for a third-party candidate who is truly pro-life. At this point I am in the first group. I do not trust Gov. Romney to do much substantial work in turning back the culture of death, but I also do not think he will hasten it on. If this were a truly open election, and the Constitution Party (read their excellent platform here) had even a slim chance of having its candidates elected, I would vote Goode. But since that’s not going to happen, I can’t help but think that those who vote for a third-party candidate are simply trying to salve their own consciences. They can say, no matter who is elected, especially if things get worse, I had no hand in that. But if they take their votes from the support of the less immoral (and politics always has a twinge of the immoral about it) position to support what they view as a wholly moral position, they do, in fact, end up supporting the status quo. I know the electoral college enters in here, but if enough people vote one way, the electors almost always vote the way the people of that state vote. So votes do matter practically, even if they wouldn’t have to theoretically. And that means that practically those who vote for a conservative third-party candidate are essentially voting for the liberal or progressive main party candidate (usually the Democrat). And those who vote for a liberal or progressive third-party candidate are essentially voting for the conservative main party candidate (usually the Republican). If you want to deceive yourself that your vote is clean because you didn’t vote for the “lesser of two evils,” go ahead, but I’m not convinced. This is the system we have, good or bad, and we really only have a single choice when it comes to the presidential election. When it comes to local elections, we have much more control, and we are also much more likely to have truly pro-life candidates to support. In NW Minnesota, we even have a pro-life Democrat!
I’m an abolitionist, but this year I’m forced to vote for a presidential candidate who is not. Because I will take a little promised progress (and maybe even a surprise SCOTUS nomination!) over a guarantee of Planned Parenthood’s political arm running the country. And I take solace in the fact that Cecile Richards and her NARAL and NOW counterparts are scared witless by the thought of a Romney/Ryan Executive Branch. No compromise on my abolitionist principles; compromise to gain any available political advances. That’s the way it goes in the civic realm. But also no compromise within the Church’s proclamation of the Law of God against taking blameless human life, along with the Gospel of God in Christ that all sin is forgiven and there is mercy for all at the font and altar. Politics are one thing; the Gospel is another. They intersect, but they are not the same, and they are not run the same way. Vote for Romney/Ryan, and don’t give the enemies of life and religious freedom another four years to carry out their designs–all the while recognizing that politicians will never accomplish all (or even the majority) of their promises. (Of course I’m hedging my bets; how could I not? Trust not in princes.) I’m voting for the devil I may not see, against the devil I can clearly see. I welcome your attempts to convince me otherwise.