The Pro-Life vote: a clear choice

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Photo by Helen Maier

President Trump is not the face of the pro-life movement, nor am I claiming that he is. However, he is allying himself with the pro-life movement, so it is reasonable and expedient for the pro-life movement to ally with him, rather than its avowed enemies, including former Vice President Joe Biden. 

In a prior article, “Can someone be Pro-Life and pro-Trump?” author Conor Mulcahy references President Trump’s lewd and inexcusable record, citing it as evidence that he is not truly pro-life. 

Potential personal sins aside (not unlike King David of Israel, however uncomfortable the comparison may make us), it is the political record that matters most when considering a person as a statesman. In August of this year, for example, President Trump gave $35 million to the Federal Justice Department to provide housing and services to victims of human trafficking, which he called an “epidemic” and a “problem not talked enough about.” 

The author also argued that PresidentTrump poorly represented the pro-life cause for his statements about the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone and that President Trump painted those in CHAZ as “not like us.” But what language is appropriate to describe the law enforcement fighting the anarchists of CHAZ? They were not only rioters but separatists who seceded from the Union—similar to what happened when Democrats contested a Republican presidency in 1860. 

Enforcing law and order is the role of the executive, not somehow preventing a pandemic. How can deaths from a disease be attributed to one politician who is working hard to fight it, while deaths from hundreds of thousands of infanticides per year are not attributed to another politician, who is actively championing these deaths? 

All these accusations against President Trump are merely dodges and distractions from the central pro-life issue of abortion, which the author neglects to address even once. 

In April of 2017, for example, President Trump rolled back funding for Planned Parenthood, which the Center for Reproductive Rights criticized in an article titled, “Trump Administration Guts Funding to United Nations Population Fund,” a program whose work greatly consists of providing contraceptives and abortions around the world.

Similarly, he appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a Catholic Notre Dame graduate and law professor with eight children – one of whom has Down syndrome, and two of whom are adopted from Haiti. 

A CBS News article from Oct. 6, 2020, quotes Biden saying that if Justice Barrett attempted to overturn Roe v. Wade, “the only responsible response to that would be to pass legislation to make Roe the law of the land. That’s what I would do.” The same article goes on to state “abortion-rights supporters say that Biden’s position… is baseline for the Democratic Party.” 

It is curious that the author mentioned in passing that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the American Papal Prelate, stated that Biden is anathema, but did not expand upon this. This is not a new phenomenon in the Catholic Church: we excommunicate apostates, and by promoting the policies he does, Biden excommunicated himself.

Biden consistently holds a clear, public stance against Catholic teaching, which is truly inseverable from the dogma of our faith. 

No one needs to “proclaim” that one candidate or another is pro-life or pro-choice. I went straight to PlannedParenthood.org to see what they said: 

“As president, Biden would defend safe, legal access to abortion by establishing nationwide protections for abortion that would stand even if Roe v. Wade were overturned by the Supreme Court… Biden understands that Planned Parenthood plays a crucial role in the nation’s health care system.” 

“Biden has advocated for ending the Hyde Amendment,” a 1976 ruling which bans the use of federal funds (i.e. tax dollars) for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is at risk. 

“Donald Trump is the first sitting president in U.S. history to speak at the anti-abortion ‘March for Life.’”

 “The Trump administration wants to allow employers and universities to refuse to cover birth control on the basis of “moral” objections.” 

I concede that Trump is no gentleman and personally has a poor moral record. But bear in mind that we are electing a president, not an uncle. 

We ought to keep in mind our statesmen’s personal character; but what policies they have pursued and promise to pursue take precedence in making political judgments about them. 

As Planned Parenthood’s website states: “The choice is clear. Read the facts to see for yourself.” 

13 COMMENTS

  1. I think many people on this campus need to wake up to the fact that abortion is not the only important issue we should consider when voting. First of all, abortion rates are hardly affected by the President. When a Republican is in office the rate stays pretty stagnant, and when a Democrat is President it usually declines slightly (due to greater access to birth control…a very good thing). Secondly, overturning Roe v. Wade would not make abortion illegal, AND I would wager that it won’t even be overturned any time soon. We have had Conservative stacked courts before and still Roe has remained. The way to combat abortion is through educating and helping pregnant women who feel abortion is their only option. What not to do is claim women who have abortions deserve to go to prison for murder, a policy put forward by Trump.

    I would argue that moral character is absolutely a factor that should be considered alongside policy when electing a President. The President represents our country and is supposed to lead the American people and be a voice of reason in times of trouble. I think you would have to be delusional to think that Donald Trump has done any of these things. But, let’s focus on policy for argument’s sake. His push to abolish DACA is anti-life. Building a wall at the southern border is anti-life. Trying to restrict healthcare rights of millions of Americans by getting rid of Obamacare with no backup plan is anti-life. As I pointed out in my article last week, his climate policies are anti-life. Yes, Trump puts on a show for the Republicans, evangelicals, and other “Christians” that he is pro-life to garner support because he has no backbone to stand up for what he actually believes in. What about the violence that he incites and encourages because of his moral character?

    Regardless, it seems at this point that the American people have spoken through their vote to cleanse our country of the moral stain that is Donald Trump, including his abhorrent policies, and elect a moral leader with empathy, compassion, and good policy.

  2. Good thoughts! I have some responses to them as well. Would you like to publish an article, or would you like me to respond here?

  3. Trump is a terrible person, Biden is a pedophile. Watch this and tell me it is not creepy: https://youtu.be/5XqF4wA-dco
    Who cares anymore? They are both corrupt and sinful people. Presidents are put in place to give us an idea of choice. We have no rights, no choices, and our votes do not matter: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_of_Japanese_Americans. They can throw us in camps whenever they want; YOU ARE OWNED. To assume that someone who got rich off politics and who takes money from corrupt foreign governments has “empathy, compassion and good policy” is evidence of brainwashing. The only thing you should support it positivity and unity, and then hope you do not get killed because those in power do not want that. Also, have fun “celebrating” with the other liberals in enormous rallies because COVID is, or not, dangerous?

    • Paul,
      XD I appreciate your jaded and honest assessment. I had been waiting on Isabel to get back with me, but since I suppose she has no stomach to continue, I’ll leave the last word with you.
      Best, and God bless

      • Dominic,
        As an English major, I have been very busy recently writing final papers and turning in all my assignments. In addition, I do not get notified when my name is mentioned or someone responds to my comments and as I have many more important things to be doing, I do not actually check the comments on your ridiculous article on the daily. I checked back sometime around November 9th and saw your non-response asking me in what manner I would like you to respond. I said what I wanted to say and the ball was in your court to choose how you wanted to respond, but instead you left no response. I would have thought if you had had a stomach, you would have simply responded to what I had said on this thread. So you can imagine my surprise when I checked back on the site today to show your article to a friend and talk about its ridiculousness, only to find you responding to another commenter (whose comment was equally if not more ridiculous than your article) that I am the one who has no stomach to respond. What was I supposed to respond to? You said nothing in your comment. I am very willing and open to discuss more. I can guarantee that there is no shortage of incompetence in the Trump administration that I could bring up in favor of my argument. When you finally muster the courage to respond to me, let me know, and I will gladly respond back.
        Best and God bless,
        Isabel

  4. By sheer mathematics it is virtually certain Trump has ordered many — possibly hundreds– of abortions himself.

    Trump publicly boasted of having admonished his wives of the moment for not having aborted his two youngest children, because the pregnancies had “ruined their figures.”

    He has frequently boasted of rampant sexual promiscuity over the last 55 years (since he was 18). He has stated quite emphatically that he does not use contraception, pregnancies are the “woman’s problem.” Court documents from his frequent cases involving pregnancy indicate he has frequently urged or ordered his sexual targets to undergo abortions.

    The idea that Trump is some kind of pro-life hero is beyond preposterous.

    • Agreed! He is neither a pro-life hero nor is he pro-life at all. There is even footage of him from the 90’s saying he is pro-choice!

      • Dear Isabel,
        Donald Trump did not run for president in the 90s. People’s opinions change with time, and yes, with social climate – even, or especially, politicians. Joe Biden is no different. Saying Trump is Pro-Choice because of something he said back in the 90s is like saying Lincoln was pro-slavery because he once said “if I could preserve the Union by freeing all the slaves, I would do it. If I could preserve the Union by freeing none of the slaves, I would do that. And if I could preserve the Union by freeing some of the slaves, and leaving others in bondage, I would do that.” Both context and time matter. And more recently than his statement in the 90s, Trump has actively and publicly supported the Pro-Life movement. (If not, why was Planned Parenthood asking its supporters to vote for Biden over Trump, as they did on their website, as I cited? 😉

        • I mean if you’re okay with someone who flip flops on their opinions constantly then Trump and the Republican Party are for you…

          • Dear Isabel, 
            Do you think that Joe Biden has been perfectly consistent in his 40 year political career? In 1994 Biden supported the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which in January 2019 he admitted he regretted, saying “I haven’t always been right.” Biden also regrets his support of the 1988 Anti-Drug Abuse Act. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/us/politics/joe-biden-on-the-issues.html 
            In the 1970s, he opposed school-busing aimed at desegregation. In the 1990s, he voted to outlaw gay marriage. https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-biden-senate-record-controversies-20190318-story.html 
            In any case, I’m sure you actually believe political parties can change with time. Nobody wants to support the party of slavery.

  5. “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” Abraham Lincoln
    “If abortion is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” St Mother Teresa

    Dear Isabel and Jayson,
    I did not respond directly to your comment because I was wondering if you wanted to take it into print, as my article was a response piece in the first place, and because it would allow more people to read, and you’d get paid a sweet $10. I should have known that you would not be notified, but at the same time I had no other way to reach you. And when Paul provided the political absurdist/nihilist perspective I figured that was an amiable way to let the debate end. As you and Jayson are not satisfied, I am glad to continue.

    Whatever incompetence you will find in the Trump administration is tangential to the main topic which, I remind you, is the Pro-Life cause. You and Jayson can even talk about his poor moral character and personal actions, but that will not actually challenge my arguments. Remember, I granted these things when I made the King David connection, with his eight wives, as well as his at least ten concubines. My argument was never that he is a pro-life hero, but that he is an ally to the Pro-Life movement in his policies, something you neglected to address. Do you know how politics work? When you say he’s “putting on a show” for evangelicals, Republicans, and “Christians,” you’re referring to building a coalition. Also known as working together, which is all I am claiming Trump is doing (as before, I invite you to read Planned Parenthood asking people to vote for Biden).

    Certainly abortion is not the only issue on the table; I won’t even try to convince you that it’s the most important either. While you failed to address abortion political policies, you talked about the environment and immigration. These are important issues, and I see you even wrote an article back in October, “Climate Change and the Election: Vote for Action.” I can stand with you on the importance of protecting the earth and being good stewards of God’s creation. But when you attempt to attach the environment to the Pro-Life cause such that it’s more important to vote to protect the trees than the babies, then we have found the line where we disagree. So if you voted for Joe, very well – just don’t try to claim it was a Pro-Life vote.

    If you meant that lower abortions rates is a good thing then I whole-heartedly agree. But if you mean that birth controls are a good thing, then I will remind my Catholic audience that contraception is a mortal sin, let alone unhealthy to the female human body – so no, not “a good thing.”

    As for Roe v Wade being threatened, I mean, I’ve been getting advertisements from PP to “Save Roe,” so apparently they feel threatened. I know that overturning it alone will not ban abortion nationwide; we have a long way to go in that fight, and the state level matter as much as the national. But by golly, the trend of which states are fighting abortion and which are defending it look pretty darn partisan to me.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/qz.com/1627412/these-are-all-the-states-with-anti-abortion-laws-signed-in-2019/amp/

    And I absolutely agree we need to care for women who feel abortion is their only option. If you want to help them, then now that you’ve cast your Pro-Choice vote, I invite you to head over to LetThemLive.org, with whom I’ve been working for nearly two years, to sponsor mothers have have abortions scheduled for financial and desperate reasons, another vital part of the Pro-Life movement.

    Best and God bless,
    Dominic Dybala

  6. The President does not control abortion laws, the states do. There are now 6 pro-life justices on the Supreme Court because of Trump, and even that will likely not overturn Roe v. Wade. So to say that you are willing to overlook the countless human rights violations that Trump perpetuated and supported so that he could do something about abortion, is to me absurd. I am continually perplexed why so many people on this campus are willing to be so vocal about abortion and then so silent about immigration, the Black Lives Matter movement, LGBTQ rights, protecting our children from gun violence, and yes, Climate Change which is absolutely a pro-life issue. If we don’t “protect the trees” (which is a gross oversimplification of the myriad climate issues going on) then the planet would become uninhabitable and not only the babies, but literally all human beings will die, and I’d say that’s a pretty important life issue. You’re allowed to be upset about abortion AND also be upset about all the other human rights issues going on in this country and around the world. But being upset ONLY about abortion and ignoring the rest is not the right move.

    Republicans always say they want to reduce abortions, but all they do is introduce legislation to make abortions harder to get and not actually get to the root of the problem which is why do so many women feel like they could not have a child either because they can’t afford it or don’t want to see the child go through our broken adoption/foster system or simply don’t want the child? Republicans don’t want to give free access to birth control, but birth control is our best weapon in combatting abortions. Birth control can be unhealthy for SOME women who have special circumstances or health problems, but for the majority, it is not unhealthy to the female body. And you can’t have it both ways where you don’t want women to take birth control, but also don’t want them to get abortions. Birth control is a mortal sin for Catholics, okay then don’t take it if you’re Catholic, but don’t try to restrict others’ access to birth control, who are not Catholic and don’t see it as a mortal sin, because that leads to more unwanted pregnancies and therefore more abortions.

    We need to lure women seeking abortion away from abortion and toward practices of safe sex using birth control, and if they are already pregnant, giving them free access to health care to support them while they are pregnant, making the adoption/foster system stronger and better, and convincing them that the child they are carrying deserves the right to life. That is the way to reduce abortions, not by electing a racist, sexist, fascist bigot who is devoid of empathy and compassion for human life. Republicans need to stop trying to make abortion illegal and start trying make abortion unthinkable and a last resort.

    I really have nothing else to say because the guy you’re defending is not only lost the election, but also incited an insurrection at the US Capitol–which was an attack on the sovereignty of this nation–because he is a child who refused to concede the election; he will go down in history as our worst ever president. It is like saying, “well yeah that fascist dictator who supports white supremacy is bad…but he’s against abortion, so I’m willing to overlook the rest.” You are on the wrong side of history, my friend.

  7. Considering that you and I have gone on this far, I think it clear that we firmly believe what we do (we both wrote articles on them after all), have believed so for some time, have both done a lot of research, and are not going to change each other’s minds in this dialogue. In any case, a debate does not demonstrate who is right, but who is more eloquent/can muster more supporting facts. Thus, I think it imprudent for us to continue, though I have enjoyed it, and I hope you have as well, and I further hope others read and learn from it. That said, I do have some thoughts on your last post. 

    I quite agree about the important role individual states have in determining policies and laws in the country. But neither of us pretend that the federal level is not important (every fourth November shows everyone believes it is, haha). And as I pointed out, the states leading in Pro-Life bills are generally Red. And I don’t know how likely Roe v Wade being overturned is, but again, Planned Parenthood is asking for donations to “Save Roe,” so evidently they at least feel threatened. 

    Regarding overlooking things Trump has done, that is prioritizing, and you do it with Biden too (unless you agree with everything he stands for); we just have a different order of priorities. 
    I believe gun rights can protect men, women, and children. Yes, guns kill people, but we have been killing each other long before we have had guns – in fact, guns are equalizers (say, for a given woman who would be at a physical disadvantage against a given man). This isn’t an article about the 2nd Amendment so I’ll leave it at that, but I invite you to read some stories about gun carriers who stopped shooting as they were beginning. 

    I absolutely agree that any and all forms of racism is abhorrent to both social justice and God. Unfortunately, the founders of BLM are self-proclaimed Marxists, and while most of its members and people who participated in its protests surely are not Marxists, it is still rather a Marxist organization. (If you feel like I’m using that term as a blanket insult, you did the same with “fascist,” which I will get to. I also invite you to watch Jordan Peterson’s video “I’m a Marxist and a Christian.”) Thus, while their main objective of combating racial injustice is noble and good, some other objectives of theirs are not. (I do not accuse every BLM supporter of being Marxist, anymore than you accuse every Trump supporter of being Fascist.) 
    I have to admit that I don’t know as much about the climate, immigration, or homosexuality so I will be silent on those matters here. I do admire those on the Left who passionately care about these issues, and I believe the Right would do well to be more environmentally conscientious.  

    Regarding sexuality, I agree that the adoption and foster systems want improving, and I further agree that more needs to be done for the Pro-Life cause than banning abortions. I still don’t want contraception to be an option though. I just don’t want people to fornicate, which may be idealistic, but we are talking about ideals (neither of us are writing up bills or plans, although we could open another discussion for “nuts and bolts”). It is a mortal sin for everyone, even if they don’t recognize it. God’s Laws are for all His children, even those who don’t even believe in Him. Again, I wholeheartedly agree with you that we need to strive to change the culture and make abortion unthinkable, not just laws and make it illegal. 

    I never said I like Trump, and I don’t. His bombasticy and political inexperience were weaknesses that undermined his term (let alone his checkered personal record, which I concede, and staunch resistance from across the aisle). But democracy does not prove who is right, only who is able to better advertise himself. The rule of the many can be just as wrong (or right) as the rule of a few or even one. And unless you believe it is best that Trump was president 2016-2020, then you actually agree with me on this point. 

    Now, you’ve used “fascist” as an insult twice. This isn’t an article on political science, theory, or history, but, as a History Major, I laughed at that, as well as the line accusing me of being “on the wrong side of history.” I am actually preparing to write my senior thesis on Fascism! Stalin and Mao each killed more than Hitler, and there have been Fascist movements (see Franco in Spain and Dollfuss in Austria) that supported the Catholic Church, while every Communist movement that I am aware of has been atheistic. Going back to the origins of the terms “Left” and “Right” in the French Revolutions, the Right supported a Church active in public life, and the Left supported removing and even abolishing the Church. I won’t write more here because I believe it to be tangential to what was our main point, but here is a link to George Orwell’s writing on “Fascism,” and another to an essay on Fascism in WWII, both of which taught me a lot and I think you might appreciate as well. https://youtu.be/05FFux4uPd8
    https://youtu.be/qdY_IMZH2Ko 

    You are welcome to share further thoughts you have on the matter, though I would like to wrap the discussion up. I recognize that previously I may have been using more vinegar than honey, for which I apologize. Thank you for challenging my article, and I wish you well on all your English major endeavors! 

    All the best and God bless, 
    Dominic Dybala

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