By Tom Cardella
You don’t have a lot of causes. Not a lot of things get you going. But one thing you know is that you hate abortion. It’s your issue above all. The one issue that can sway your vote. You’re not afraid to call abortion what it is — murder. And that’s why you voted the way you did in November 2016. You held your nose when you pulled the lever. Even closed your eyes and paused a moment after you cast that vote. Trump is not your cup of tea is what you told your friends. Too impulsive. Too crude. You would have preferred someone else with pro-life views. But you never vote in the primaries and Trump was your only choice if something were going to be done about abortions. He promised to appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court. And now he’s delivering. So, you close your eyes to the other stuff.
You don’t want to see women jailed for having an abortion. You just want them stopped before they have one. Maybe these women can be talked out of it. You know some of them have what they think are good reasons for having their pregnancy terminated. But we can take care of unwanted children. Care for them. Nothing justifies murdering them.
You ignore what the other side says are inconsistencies in your position. If abortion is murder, some say, how can you allow exceptions such as in the case of rape or incest? How can you only hold the medical profession responsible for performing abortions and not the women who seek them? But you consider yourself compassionate. That argument doesn’t appeal to you.
You don’t like the economic arguments of the other side either. Who IS going to care for the unwanted children born into the world? You’ve never been able to square the fact that the same Republican Party that professes to be pro-life, cuts the very programs that would help support children who came to the world in unwanted pregnancies. You argue that couples who want children and can’t have them will adopt them. But the reality is there are not enough of these couples. And the horror stories about foster care are something you can’t read without cringing.
There are the arguments about the influence of the Catholic church whose stance against contraception is ignored largely. Birth control pills aren’t safe, they say. Neither is the morning-after-pill. But is it the health of the woman or of the fetus that is the real focus of concern? The rhythm method seems like a punch line to a joke to you and your friends. Abstinence is a recipe for marital disaster. Statistics appear to indicate that the birth rate among Catholics is about the same as the rate for non-Catholics. So, it seems fair to conclude that the anti-contraceptive policies of the Church are ignored by most of the faithful.
While you have resolved the abortion question in your own mind, pro-life organizations are not above making doubtful medical claims. Planned Parenthood is a convenient bogeyman for the Right. The organization’s centers are portrayed as abortion mills. Its many other women’s health services ignored. The statistical claim that 94 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services are devoted to abortions has no basis in fact because no one, including the organization itself, keeps statistics on how many recipients of its services are pregnant.
Posters keep popping up these days claiming that a heartbeat can be detected in a fetus after just 18 days. Most reputable medical organizations such as the Mayo Clinic indicate it is 6–1/2 to 7 weeks before a heartbeat can be detected. And the picture on those posters depicts a fetus closer in size to 12 weeks, not 18 days.
Pro-life politicians proudly proclaim their conservative credentials. But conservatism is supposedly based on the idea of LESS government. Unobtrusive government. Yet there can be few instances more obtrusive than the idea that is the Government, not the individual woman, who should decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term.
You ignore the inconsistencies and bogus medical claims. You claim the moral high ground. Your motives are pure. You undoubtedly have good intentions. But the road to Hell is paved with lots of good intentions. What are the consequences of an America where all abortions are banned? We know what America was like before Roe v. Wade. The rich still were able to get abortions. The poor headed for back alleys. This is a diverse nation that sometimes seems held together by the silk thread of compromise. Blow up the compromise and you might like what you see even less than you do today.
You voted on the one issue. In so doing, we have elected a president who does not share your essential moral values. In your heart, you would never want your kids to grow up like him. You wouldn’t want to leave your daughter in the same room with him. The same argument that you made when Bill Clinton proved morally unfit.
You can’t trust this president to tell the truth. You don’t trust his finger on the button that could trigger a nuclear war. But you rationalize. You tell yourself, you have this noble cause you believe in.
As chaos reigns in the White House, the price of your noble cause gets higher each day. A lot of us think the cost is too damn high.
(You can view or listen to Tom Cardella on MONDAY NIGHT KICKOFF at 6PM streaming on wbcb1490.com or broadcast on 610 AM. And follow Tom on Facebook.)