The events of this year’s March for Life week have been particularly illuminating for the state of America’s abortion conflict.
On Tuesday, our president filled his State of the Union Address with lofty, self-righteous rhetoric about “respect[ing] human dignity,” telling “every child … your life matters,” a “better politics” where “we debate without demonizing each other,” and how “surely we can agree it’s a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows.” Of course, this was all patently insincere, coming from a man who routinely demonizes pro-lifers and our motives and favors partial-birth abortion, late-term abortion, starving newborns to death after botched abortions, taxpayer funding of abortion, and denying the people and their elected representatives the right to vote on abortion at every level of government.
The next day, House Republican leadership scrapped a vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which had been scheduled to coincide with the March. GOP Reps. Renee Ellmers and Jackie Walorski, reportedly backed by Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Ann Wagner, publicly objected to a perfectly reasonable reporting requirement for the bill’s rape exception and privately fretted that “social issues just aren’t as important” to millennials. To so abruptly scuttle the late-term abortion ban on such petty grounds when they knew how much both the bill and its timing meant to the movement has renewed suspicion that the ostensibly pro-life party has neither the moral fortitude nor the political competence to truly fight for the unborn.
So on one side we’ve got unified absolutists committed to getting results for their constituents by any means necessary, wholly unconcerned with any notions of mercy or moderation, and on the other we’ve got bumbling empty suits who can’t even put up a fight against the most brutal variety of child-slaughtering.
The War on Women defamation failed spectacularly in 2014. Late-term abortion on demand is a fringe position. Dig beneath whatever pro-choice platitudes are pre-loaded into the teleprompter, and Obama gives little indication that he’s ever had to substantively debate it.
Democrat House leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer won’t even answer the most basic factual questions about the issue. And on the rare occasion that a real pro-life Republican does cross-examine a pro-abort, as Rick Santorum famously challenged Barbara Boxer, the latter come across as evasive monsters.
Yet the GOP is still scared of this issue. Republicans can’t imagine beating these guys in a perception battle.
Yes, the House passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act instead, which is a good and necessary bill, but one that doesn’t quite put the full extent of pro-aborts’ radicalism on the record, which the 20-week ban would have done. And yes, they’ll probably reschedule the late-term abortion vote before too long, but Senator Lindsey Graham is already talking about dropping the rape exception’s reporting requirement, meaning the exception that was already made to appease abortion moderates will turn into a full-blown loophole which will all but gut the bill’s effectiveness in saving any lives.
By now, the Republican establishment’s MO is unmistakable: do the bare minimum necessary to persuade pro-life voters they’re on our side, then fold at the first sign that protecting life would involve actual effort. The writing was on the wall back in September, when the House voted to continue appropriating tax dollars for Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare (a vote that would have actually made a difference by denying Obama the money before it reached his desk and therefore couldn’t have been undone with a simple veto). Oh no, don’t worry, party apologists assured us, it’s just temporary. We’ll put up a real fight after the election, when we have both chambers of Congress. Well, now it’s January and Republicans have the Senate. Where was that real fight we were promised?
The key lesson pro-lifers should take away from last week’s events is that future Marches for Life shouldn’t march on the Supreme Court; they should march on Congress. The movement’s biggest enemy is no longer activist judges, but the pathetic excuse for leadership that lets the federal government’s inhumane, unconstitutional, and undemocratic status quo remain largely unchanged year after year.
If the GOP as a party truly had the will to fight prenatal mass murder, if they even considered getting results for pro-lifers half the priority that the Democrats do for pro-aborts, the judiciary would have ceased to be an obstacle years ago. The public support, the arguments, the ideas, and the tools are all there; what our elected representatives lack is the will to use them.