Archive for Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Giuliani takes pro-choice risk

May 15, 2007

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Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani picked the Friday before Mother's Day to tell students at Houston Baptist University that while he "hates" abortion and finds it "morally wrong," one must leave the ultimate decision to a pregnant woman. The young products of conception whose mothers chose to have them listened intently.

Giuliani is betting his post-9/11 image and economic conservatism will be enough to win him the nomination in a party that has not nominated a pro-choice Republican since Gerald Ford in 1976. It doesn't help that Giuliani also embraces the gay rights political agenda and stronger gun control.

Imagine a Democrat telling his (or her) party what Giuliani said in his Houston speech: "It we don't find a way of uniting around broad principles that will appeal to a large segment of this country : we are going to lose this election." Would the Democratic Party drop its zealous support of abortion on demand, or its religious zeal over global warming, or its commitment to higher taxes and bigger government? No way! Only Republicans are supposed to compromise their principles and ignore - as liberals do - 40 million-plus dead babies.

If Giuliani believes this, how does he explain Ronald Reagan's two terms and the presidency of once pro-choice, but then pro-life, George H.W. Bush? The consistently pro-life position of the current President Bush did not keep him from winning two terms.

There is only one reason to "hate" abortion and that is that it ends a human life after it has begun, but before it has a chance to reach its potential. People who hated segregation did not sit back and, because of opposing views, do nothing to stop it.

If Giuliani really hates abortion, he will propose steps to reduce their number. If he wants to split the difference on this most contentious social issue - maintaining choice while reducing the number of abortions - he could favor "truth in labeling" legislation similar to a federal law that requires information on bottles, packages and cans. Sophisticated ultrasound machines have been shown to contribute to a sharp reduction in abortions for abortion-minded women. Such a proposal would allow him a rarity in politics: to have it both ways.

Should Giuliani manage to win the nomination - still a dubious prospect given his social liberalism - and should he face Hillary Clinton in the general election, social conservatives would be faced with a choice. Giuliani has promised to name "strict constructionist" judges to the Supreme Court, which is where this issue will ultimately be decided. Would social conservatives be satisfied with such a pledge, or would they stay home and not vote, allowing Clinton to win?

One can be sure any judges Clinton names would have to pass an abortion "litmus test." No Supreme Court justice nominated by a modern Democratic president has voted pro-life, but several justices named by Republicans have voted pro-choice. It is no guarantee that electing a Republican president will produce pro-life justices, but it is a virtual certainty that no judge nominated by a Democratic president will disappoint the pro-choice lobby.

Here is the problem for social conservatives who view abortion as the ultimate issue. If they vote for Giuliani, can they ever "go back," or will their political virginity be forever compromised? If they vote for Giuliani and he makes good on his promise to name only strict constructionists, will they be closer to achieving their objective of stopping most abortions? Should they stay home and a Democrat wins and names two or three liberal justices, their goal of halting, or at least sharply reducing the number of abortions, may be pushed back for at least a generation.

Giuliani could offer a plan to substantially reduce the number of abortions, which might cut him some slack with pro-life voters. But voters also have a choice among other GOP candidates who are pro-life. If they're thinking about supporting Giuliani, they can wait until Giuliani tells them more.

- Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services.

Comments

prioress 7 years, 10 months ago

Here is the problem for social conservatives who view abortion as the ultimate issue.

This, Cal, is the heart of the matter. As long as the R's insist that the skygod bless all the zygotes, and that this principle drives public policy and private medical decisions, their party will struggle. The R's are not dead and gone, but they are crippled by this debate.

imastinker 7 years, 10 months ago

"There is only one reason to "hate" abortion and that is that it ends a human life after it has begun, but before it has a chance to reach its potential. People who hated segregation did not sit back and, because of opposing views, do nothing to stop it."

Very well put!

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

"The R's are not dead and gone, but they are crippled by this debate."

Your regard for life is all to manifest by the words you choose to make your arguments. Nice imagery of the procedure your arguments advocate.

Gulliani is a phoney. He was a wonderful cheerleader for New York on 9/02. Good fro him. But, what did he really do? He's pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-gay marriage, and liberal on every other social issue. The man shrugs off marriages as easy as the next fluzzie to come along. He is not the candidate to rally the conservate majority. Liberals would love for Guilliani to win the party primary because he has zero chance of winning a national election. Liberals won't vote for him because no matter how liberal Guilliani is, they will vote for their candidate. The republicans won't vote for him b/c he is a liberal in sheeps clothing. The only thing Guillian gets is the need to wipe out terrorists. McCain and Romney get that, but, are truer to conservative core values.

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

Abortion, and the reasonable protection of human life in gestation, has nothing to do with religion. The logic of protecting the must vulnerable and weak of our species goes much deeper than religion. It just so happens that religions tend to agree with the logic. This supports that religion is rooted in logic and reason more than it is given credit for.

logicsound, you are probably opposed to the war in Iraq. Most likely this opposition, while sincere, is rooted from a view that it wastes human lives and resources. 3,000 some odd soldiers have died in Iraq. Yet, you support abortion which terminates hundreds of thousands, if not millions of human beings in gestation. Taking into consideration infant mortaility rates, and miscarriage rates, that still reflects well into the hundreds of thousands of humans in gestation terminated every year. You may say back, we'll you have no moral footing to make such an argument b/c soldiers are dying in Iraq. The difference is, no human fetus makes the choice to terminate their life. A fetus is so defenseless that it cannot even put up a struggle. A soldier on the other hand voluntarily took an oath to serve in the armed forces, a soldier has an opportunity to use his / her skill intelligence to resist the assailant. If a soldier really wanted to, they could break their oath and refuse to serve. Your arguments inescapably commit you to the ethic that a violent act perpetrated on something becomes more ethical proportionally to the defenselessness of the victim. On the extremes, the argument admittedly looks reasonable if camoflauged with clever arguments. In practicality, the logic of your ethic is perverse. Don't blame religion with the perverseness of your ethics when it is due to flawed logic.

mom_of_three 7 years, 10 months ago

If you outlaw abortion, you take away a woman's rights to her own body. I don't think I could ever have an abortion, but I am not going to take away someone else's right to choose.
And as much rhetoric as it could be on Guiliani's part, it sounds like he understands the actual issue.

drederick_tatum 7 years, 10 months ago

blah blah blah abortion evolution stem cells gay people the solar system dinosaurs WHO CARES?

All you pro-life people need to learn that there are pro-death people who believe in it just as religiously as you do. Death to America, death to England, death to Israel, death to the Sunnis, death to the Shiites, death to the Kurds, death to India, death to Ethiopia, death to Europe, death to Pervez Musharraf, death to the hypocrites, death to the cross and Jewish star, death to the Vatican, death to Mt. Zion, death to the West, hell even Mickey Mouse is preaching it in Hamas propaganda films. And I'm a lot more worried about how many people THEY kill every year cuz those people are already alive. And most of them want to stay alive. The radical British imam clerics say stuff like "You love being alive, we love to die! So don't mess with us!"

The Bible predicted it all if you'd been paying attention. Certain prophet by the name of Zecheriah saw the Quran about 1000 yrs before Muhammad did, and God told him what it really does. Read chapter 5 for the smoking gun then you can keep reading or go back to hear God warn Zeke about a reverse/alter-ego of the prophet Joshua taking over and uniting all Israelis enemies under the Babylonian moon god. That woman in the basket is what initiates Revelation sequence, when the False Prophet and King of Babylon decide to open it. I think it might symbolize the big black moon rock in Mecca

jonas 7 years, 10 months ago

"He is not the candidate to rally the conservate majority."

Yes. The best reason to vote for him I've heard yet.

acg 7 years, 10 months ago

prioress, I love your use of the phrase "sky god". It totally cracks me up!

I liked Guiliani before, now I like him even more.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 10 months ago

To those who are pro-life, stand strong. Ours is the noble cause. Ours is the worthy fight.

Roadkill_Rob 7 years, 10 months ago

"The Bible predicted it all if you'd been paying attention. Certain prophet by the name of Zecheriah saw the Quran about 1000 yrs before Muhammad did, and God told him what it really does. Read chapter 5 for the smoking gun then you can keep reading or go back to hear God warn Zeke about a reverse/alter-ego of the prophet Joshua taking over and uniting all Israelis enemies under the Babylonian moon god. That woman in the basket is what initiates Revelation sequence, when the False Prophet and King of Babylon decide to open it. I think it might symbolize the big black moon rock in Mecca."

Of course, the Bible predicted all of it! Wow, talk about reaching. Anyone else see that this is fictional crap? When did frogs fall from the sky in all of this?

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 10 months ago

Cal et al. seem convinced that any abortion kills a human being.

What is the convincing evidence? Why do these people think that human life begins at fertilization? What about cloning by nuclear transplantation, which would bypass fertilization. Would these embryos not be human?

Where in the bible does it say that human life begins at fertilization?

Please explain your reasons for believing that human life begins at fertilization, or shut up and quit being stupid and ignorant.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 10 months ago

Those who compare the fight to end slavery with the fight to end abortion are seriously misguided.

First, slaves were people, human beings, walking, talking, feeling, thinking, people. Human embryos are not human beings, are not people. They are little balls of cells with no nervous system or tissues of any sort. One could make arguments that a third trimester fetus is a person, but to call earlier embryos "people" is just ridiculous. This comparison dishonors and trivializes the fight against slavery.

Second, in the abortion debate, it is the women who are the people, the human beings, whose rights to self-determination and sovereignty over their own bodies is threatened.

In this regard maybe the abortion struggle is similar to slavery, except in the exact opposite way that anti-abortion social engineers would like to think.

jonas 7 years, 10 months ago

Wow, what? Haven't you ever seen arrogance before? If this is a first time, tell me where you live, cuz I'd like to move there.

drederick_tatum 7 years, 10 months ago

actually I was watchin something on the History Channel about Bible disasters the other day. It said every single plague except the last one could been one humungous chain reaction of mother nature. It would be unlike anything we've ever seen but it could potentially have all been caused by the Nile flooding with red algae which carries anthrax. Enough of it would kill all the fish and then theres no predator for the frogs, so the next spring you have like millions of tadpoles all hatching cuz no fish would eat the eggs.

They should figure out some way to test it on Mythbusters

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