It is no secret that the majority of Americans are very uncomfortable with abortion.
Pro-choice politicians are aware of this and, even though most of them have no personal objections to the wholesale slaughter of the unborn, they also understand that they would be committing political suicide if they allowed themselves to be perceived in this way.
Their response has been to fight to keep the legality of abortion totally unencumbered, while simultaneously doing whatever it takes not to be identified with the act of abortion. They have perfected the ability to look a national TV audience in the face and angrily object to being labeled “pro- abortion” and claim that they “don’t like” or “are troubled by” or “don’t believe in” abortion, while knowing that the next day they will be doing whatever it takes to block even the most innocuous restrictions on abortion. Most of these people will even support the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions.
This strategy is transparently dishonest, but it has been effective mainly because the American media has obediently played along with it. Meanwhile, the pro-life politicians we help elect often turn out to be only marginally better. This problem exists because every time someone runs for public office, we ask about their views on abortion and then give or withhold our support based on that answer. Although this seems to be a natural approach, the truth is that a politician’s position on abortion is meaningless.
A politician’s position on abortion is meaningless.
Again, even the most slobbering pro- abortion politician will tell you that they are against abortion. You can even find practicing abortionists who say they are opposed to abortion.
If you think I am off base for saying that a politician’s position on abortion is meaningless, consider this: if you went into a state penitentiary and interviewed every rapist incarcerated there, you would find that a significant number would agree that it is wrong to rape someone. We also know that a certain percentage of these same people would rape again if released. So obviously, what they “believe” about rape does not affect their actions and, in the end, that’s all that matters to the victims. That same dynamic applies here. What politicians “believe” about abortion doesn’t help the unborn until it becomes action that protects their lives.
Of course, we will never completely eliminate the problem of politicians who deceive us during the campaign and then betray us once they are in office. But we can significantly reduce the potential for it by asking the right questions up front.
So what ARE the right questions?
We need to realize that the issue is not what politicians think about abortion, but what they think about the unborn. What we need to start saying to these people is, “Look, we have no interest in your position on abortion. We don’t care what you feel or think or believe about abortion. We only want you to answer two simple questions. First, do you agree that the unborn child – from the moment of fertilization and in all circumstances – is a living human being entitled to have his or her life protected by law just like every other living human being? Second, if you say that you do believe that, will every action you take as an elected official be consistent with that viewpoint?”
Their response will tell us everything we need to know. Anyone who answers the first question with anything other than an unqualified “Yes” is either not pro-life or has no clue what it actually means to be pro-life. That is not someone we can count on. As for the second question, we instantly dismiss any candidate who mentions “reducing the need for abortion” or “lowering the unwanted pregnancy rate” or “creating a culture of life,” et cetera. We have to make it clear to America’s politicians that we may have been willing to settle for that sort of political gibberish in the past, but those days are over.
Our Litmus Test
The next thing we need to do is let these people know that we are going to be single-issue voters. This idea that we should not have litmus tests is nonsense and, in fact, there are many perfectly legitimate reasons for litmus tests.
For example, a candidate could be honest, qualified and right on most issues, but if he said that women should not be allowed to own property, or that African-Americans should not be allowed to vote, or that taxes on the middle-class are too low, you can be assured that those would be litmus tests.
For the pro-life movement, abortion should always be a litmus test. Our political message should be that candidates who are wrong on the slaughter of helpless children cannot be right enough on every other issue to make up for it.
If we intend to be more than a paper tiger on the American political landscape, that is the standard we have to demand of our politicians. This applies even when the offices they seek are unrelated to abortion. If it is true that abortion is the intentional execution of helpless children, then it is also true that those who support its legality are not morally qualified to hold any political office.
We should also remember that most politicians start their careers by running for lower offices, and it will always be easier to defeat them at that point than as sitting United States Senators with national name recognition, major party backing, and millions of campaign dollars in the bank.
This article is a segment from the book, Siege. Author, Mark Crutcher, shares potential danger zones for the pro-life movement and provides a look at the battle ahead.
Order your copy of Siege for just $12 here on our website or by calling us at (940)380-8800.