Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Why Pro-life/Pro-choice Doesn't Factor Into My Vote

Okay, it's time to clear the air.

Over the past many years, I've had opportunities to share with several people about why I don't use pro-life/pro-choice as a test on candidates. These have primarily been one on one exchanges with reasonable people that have asked. Most people are quick to make poorly informed decisions about my views because they would rather judge than ask.

I know that some think that I'm a heretic of some sort, or perhaps a Christian that has lost my mind. I have never said that I think that abortion is okay. And yet, I am often regarded as a pro-choice person and treated with the disdain reserved for godless reprobates.  Apparently, many people fail to realize that there are both pro-choice Republicans and pro-life Democrats.

But when it comes right down to it, it really doesn't matter.

We have been sold a lie that has lived for decades. Originally, it was pushed by the GOP as a divisive wedge and a huge money maker. I believe that the Dems have jumped on the financial bandwagon to keep the money coming in and the fight going on. In the end, either the candidates are ignorant of how our system works or they are manipulating the voters in order to get their money and their vote. Neither situation speaks well of their ability to govern.

Here's the deal:

The Supreme Court that made the Roe v Wade decision was made up of five Republican justices and four Democratic justices. The vote was 7-2, with one Republican and one Democrat in opposition. It wasn't a partisan issue. In the late 70s, the religious right began to champion the idea that the Roe v Wade decision could be overturned if conservative presidents would appoint conservative justices and the make up of the Supreme Court would change to the point that a reversal would be possible.

Unfortunately, THIS IS NOT TRUE!
There is no appeals process for a decision of the High Court!
A current bench cannot even re-hear an old case, much less overturn it.
The only way that it could be re-tried is if there is new evidence that might change the decision.

There have been decisions that were reversed when the decision of a later case rendered the previous ruling moot or reversed it due to changes in society. Others were reversed due to Amendments to the Constitution.
And that's pretty much it.

Even if the High Court is made up of nine far right, pro-life jurists, they could not simply choose to reverse the Roe v Wade decision.

You may have heard a clip from a previous debate when Gov. Romney was asked if he was President and Congress sent him a bill that would overturn Roe v Wade, would he sign it? The fact that he answered the question (or the fact that it was asked at all) shows a true ignorance of our system of law and justice. Congress can't send a bill that overturns the Constitutional rights as decided by the Supreme Court!

Electing pro-life legislators to write laws that overturn the decision or act in opposition to the decision is futile since they would be ruled as unconstitutional.

For pro-lifers that want to push legislation to limit abortions, you have to work within the confines of the decision. It doesn't matter if you disagree with the decision, it's all you have to work with. As medicine improves and viability moves earlier into the second trimester, laws should be pushed to restrict access according to the Ruling. This has been done on a few rare occasions and is the only real legislative answer.

Or you can push for a Constitutional Amendment.
You will need for 2/3 of the House and 2/3 of the Senate to agree on a proposal defining person-hood to send to the states for ratification. Thirty-eight of the fifty states would have to ratify it for it to become an Amendment.

When you consider that a person-hood amendment recently failed in Mississippi, I'd say it's a long shot.

I'm a realist.
I realize that this is as much a philosophical issue as it is a scientific or religious issue. The question is, When does the unborn child become an individual person with individual rights? I believe that if Christians want non-Christians to believe as they do, they are living a dream world. It is foolishness.

I choose not to waste my time on the futile arguments of the laws of the land and to share the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus. If you are a Christian that feels like pouring your money and time into the futility of electing officials that you expect to be some kind of religious leaders; have at it. And if you feel better for judging me, well ... go ahead, but you'll have to get in line.

I am not ignorant of the issues or how the system works. Within the Ruling--addressing the issues of poverty, providing birth control, providing birth options, and sharing the Hope found in Jesus; these are the ways to reduce abortions in the US. The real issue isn't whether abortions are legal or illegal. The issue is to keep them rare.

John <><

1 comment:

Mike said...

Very well said! (stands and applauds)