Pounding the Table About Abortion

In the three days of “speechifying” that constituted the 2012 Republican National Convention, precious little time or rhetoric was devoted to the topic of abortion.  While Messrs Romney and Ryan (along with notable speakers including Condoleezza Rice and Marco Rubio) delivered rousing speeches certain to ignite the conservative base, the American people heard little from Republicans about the death toll of the unborn in America – a staggering number which tops 50 million and continues to climb.  Instead, the focus of Republicans this election cycle is on jobs, the economy, and the debt/deficit debacle.  It is on these issues that the President is most vulnerable, and these issues that are most pivotal to independents whose support is so critical to Romney’s chances come November.

One would guess that the Obama campaign would welcome the GOP’s neglect of social issues, but instead it has chosen to place abortion in the spotlight with ads berating Republicans for their stance on the issue.  Indeed, the President is showcasing his support for abortion in an unprecedented way.  According to an article by Baptist Press, President Obama’s is virtually the only presidential campaign to explicitly advertise a pro-abortion stance since the Roe v. Wade decision was issued in 1973.  The fact is, no one really likes talking about abortion, even those who are in favor of the practice.  You hear plenty of vague references to the profound importance of a woman’s “right to choose”, but most advocates of this “choice” prefer to maintain a 30,000 foot view of the issue, where pesky moral and ethical questions are easily deflected by grandiose rhetoric designed to appeal to feminists and their sexual consorts who wish to abdicate any responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

So what gives?  Is this just a diversionary tactic?  A lawyer himself, President Obama is likely aware of the strategy often embraced by attorneys in advocating their cases:  “When weak on the facts, pound the law.  When weak on the law, pound the facts.  When weak on the facts and the law, pound the table.”  Without much of a record to run on, it’s understandable that the Obama campaign is desperate to shift the discussion away from all matters fiscal, but why pound the table about abortion?  Why highlight support for a practice that kills one out of every four children conceived in America – one child every 24 seconds?  Why tout the embrace of a judicial ruling that has since been discredited as a legal fabrication based not in concrete law but upon subjectively interpreted “emanations” and “penumbras”?

Well, because our President is a hard core pro-abortion ideologue who has exhibited more hostility toward the unborn than almost any other elected official in America.  This is a man who voted against a law that would mandate life-saving measures for infants that survive abortion, and who famously stated that he wouldn’t want his daughters “punished” with a baby if one of them “made a mistake” and became pregnant out of wedlock.

With these new ads it’s clear that Mr. Obama is doubling down on the leftist rhetoric, attempting to fire up his base by appealing to issues that garner the most impassioned, emotional responses.  Since he cannot defend his record on jobs and has himself previously suggested that he should not be reelected if he fails to fix the economy in his first term, his only option at this point is to distract and obfuscate as much as possible.  Hence his manufactured “war on women” – a tactic based upon the assumption that subsidized birth control and the legal ability to destroy their progeny at will are the single most important issues to American women.

It is a sad state of affairs when the best thing an incumbent President has to commend to the voting public is a reckless disregard for the sanctity of human life and the embrace of a court ruling that has sanctioned the destruction of 50 million unborn children in the last 40 years.  What is equally sad, however, is that the Republican Party lacks the integrity and the courage to robustly defend their pro-life platform for fear of negative political consequences.

Right now it may seem like defeating President Obama in November is all that matters, but conservatives may find that the price of that victory comes at the cost of the Grand Old Party’s soul.

Ken Connor


Ken Connor is the Chairman of the Center for a Just Society. An esteemed attorney, Connor is affiliated with the law firm of Marks, Balette, & Giessel, a firm nationally known for its successful representation of victims of nursing home abuse and neglect.

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  • I guess we watched different Republican Conventions. The one I watch had a very prominent talk by a guy named Rick Santorum who said “I thank God that America still has one party that reaches out their
    hands in love to lift up all of God’s children – born and unborn ”
    There was a guy named Ryan who said, ” Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life. We
    have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world
    alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong
    to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats
    those who cannot defend or care for themselves.”
    I don’t think it was really necessary for Ryan or Romney to get up and site the number of children killed by abortion since Roe. We know where they stand. If not just listen to the DNC. They seem more than willing to tell you where Ryan and Romney stand on abortion.

  • ct

    I am confused by the stance of our Bishops (regardless of the whether it is a united stance or not), and the letters the USCCB has sent to Congress in opposition to much of the budget proposal that Paul Ryan submitted to the House earlier this year. Representing the USCCB and it’s committee’s for Domestic Justice and Human Development, and International Justice and Peace, respectively, Bishop Stephen Blaire and Bishop Richard Pates authored the letters.

    At a June 2012 meeting, other Bishops spoke out regarding the letters sent to the House:
    “There have been some concerns raised by lay Catholics, especially some Catholic economists, about what was perceived as a partisan action against Congressman Ryan and the budget he had proposed,”
    Bishop Boyea said in reference to the USCCB committee’s opposition to
    the House budget plan. “We need to be articulate only in principles, and
    let the laity make these applications … It was perceived as partisan,
    and thus didn’t really further dialogue in our deeply divided country.”

    “I’m not sure that we have the humility yet not to stray
    into areas where we lack competence, and where we need to let the laity
    take the lead,” he added. “We need to learn far more than we need to
    teach in this area. We need to listen more than we need to speak. We
    already have an excellent, fine Compendium [on the Social Doctrine of
    the Church].”

    Echoing Bishop Boyea’s comments, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of
    Kansas City said that the committee is “at times perceived as partisan”
    and needs to consider the principle of subsidiarity, which has been
    “neglected in past documents.” Archbishop Naumann added that solutions
    that place emphasis in enrolling people in government programs have been
    “tried for decades” and failed.

    “We need to talk about the debt and the real seriousness
    of that debt,” he continued. “Sometimes we’re perceived as just
    encouraging the government to spend more money with no realistic way of
    how we’re going to afford to do this.”

    So, are the Bishops united in their repudiation of the GOP’s VP nominee, or not? If the answer is yes, then I respectfully agree with the dissenting Bishops, that perhaps they may not be qualified to judge the dangers that the continued economic decline and budget deficit represents to every person, poor, rich, or middle class, in this country.

    If the answer is no, that the Bishops are not, and were not, united in the language of these letters to the House, then why in the world were they sent? Why cause all this speculation, and confusion, amongst Catholics who are simply looking to their leadership for clear and concise direction in the upcoming election? I am not undecided, my faith firmly guides my politics. But I look around and see so much indecisive rhetoric coming out of even the USCCB itself, it appalls me.

    Depending on your sources of information, including but not limited to many so-called “Catholic” media outlets, you would be hard pressed to find an interview or article that clearly articulates where the USCCB stands on the re-election of the most pro-abortion president in this nations great history.

    Of course I do NOT expect the Cardinals, Bishops, or other religious, to dictate to us whom we should or should not vote for. But, simply put, if they would just be CLEAR about the stance of the Church AGAINST abortion, FOR marriage between one man and one woman, and FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, and make it clear that THESE ARE THE SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES THAT THE CHURCH WILL NOT RELINQUISH, then perhaps US Catholics will get the message and choose what is necessary to further the Church’s mission in this country. For crying out loud, I have Protestant friends and colleagues whose pastors are telling their congregation that they must get behind and support the Catholic

    Church in it’s endeavors to secure religious liberty!

    Our Bishops need to stand up, and loudly and clearly counsel Catholic’s in this United States of America to support LIFE, MARRIAGE between a man and a woman, and RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, and they should do so without caveat’s or unnecessary enumerations.This edict should be read in every Catholic church in this country, and soon.

    On another note, it does not sit well with me that our Bishops are comfortable issuing reprimands to the House regarding how many Federal tax dollars should be allocated to feeding, housing, and clothing the poor. Christ gave that job to the Church…

  • chaco

    God knows what He’s doing; He’s luring Democrats to become bold about their social issues stance; thereby, making the lines of distinction brighter (see Rom. 1: 24-32). [I laughed my ” petootie ” off when there was so much press about them removing the word God & Jeruselum as Israel’s capitol from their platform, that they had to put them back in.] “A house divided cannot stand.” ; Democrats have to come across as one thing while being another

  • droodlebug

    I whole heartedly agree with CT & Terry. Well said on both counts. The USCCB has been overstepping it’s bounds on economic policy and understating the life issues. When was the last time the USCCB circulated anything that widely regarding the caustic effects of contraception on our culture. I think the church has conceded too much of the care for the marginalized to Govt. programs. Aren’t we supposed to be the leaven in the dough? Why would the Princes of the Church in the USA discourage one of their own flock, Paul Ryan, a recognized expert in the area, for pointing out the insolvency of having inefficient govt continuing to throw money at a problem that at its core really is a moral issue. Maybe if the Princes got back to the basics and left the economic issues to the experts our decaying culture might turn around quicker.

  • Cheryl Dickow

    For Catholics who feel there is no distinction between the candidates and their stance on abortion, or have not heard the term “non=negotiable” in reference to abortion, there is a very good article here

  • ct

    Cheryl, I read the article and was pleased with it’s content. If you have the time, please go to the article link, and check the comments section. There is a comment there from RJ Caroff, who wants further clarification and qualification about the “non-negotiables”. I know that there are many Catholics who do not understand why there is a need for Doctrine to be non-negotiable, and it’s unbending truths are part of what keep the Catholic Church alive and relevant 2000+ years later. It is frustrating to me that so many Catholics are so uninformed regarding Church doctrine, and so dangerously confused about Catholic social teaching. Again, if you are able to comment to RJ Caroff, many thanks.