Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"All or nothing" gets you nothing

Lisa Fabrizio explains why the anti-abortion position taken by Fred Thompson could actually save lives, while the alternative favored by Mike Huckabee would fail.
Short weeks after receiving the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee, Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson apparently ran afoul of some in the pro-life movement, when, in an interview on Fox News Sunday, he revealed that he does not support a Human Life Amendment (HLA) to the U.S. Constitution.

Can one be pro-life and not in favor of a Constitutional Amendment which seeks a federal ban on abortion? The easy answer is that one can and probably should be both. But at this time in our history, the amendment process is, sadly, a pipe dream. Imagine trying to get two-thirds of both houses of our Democratic Congress to even propose such an amendment. Then further fantasize that three-fourths of the states would ratify it in the present political climate. This is an all-or-nothing approach that in all probability would save no lives.

Thompson correctly points out that working for the repeal of Roe v. Wade, then making the fight a state-by-state process, is a much more realistic and feasible goal. A states-rights argument should not only appeal to federalists, but ought to be seen as the best current solution by all who cherish life. I'm with the folks who say that abortion is murder, and in this country, murder and its consequences have always been defined by each individual state. And this is where the battle lines must be drawn.

One reason is that dealing with state legislators would be easier than battling their federal counterparts who are in the grips of lobbyists and other special interest groups; the locals are closer to the people they represent and therefore more accountable to them. Another, and probably more important, reason is that the pro-death faction fears this route the most.

They know that, should the question of abortion descend from the dark tower of judicial tyranny and land where it belongs, in the hands of the people, their "cause" is in trouble. Most believe that we are only one pro-life presidential Supreme Court nominee away from this. Planned Parenthood's Laura Lambert called the Court's recent decision to uphold the Partial Birth Abortion Act (PBA) "a clear signal to those who seek to dismantle the 34-year-old decision that the court will be receptive to ever more intrusive efforts to limit access to abortion... This expansive approach to a state's right to restrict and limit abortion is one of the most disturbing parts of the opinion." [more]
It is difficult to resist the thought that at least a few of those who were initially enthusiastic about the Thompson candidacy - but who abandoned him for Huckabee - suffered from something analogous to the rebound effect experienced by a disillusioned lover. Thompson disappointed - and suddenly there was what seemed a credible and attractive alternative. The more I learn about Huckabee, the more difficult it is to believe that it was a well-considered move.

The American Spectator

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