In October of 2010, a friend of mine running a field office for Meg Whitman (California’s Republican candidate for governor), asked me to help her with get-out-the-vote efforts in the days leading up to the election. So I joined her for a week, making phone calls, knocking on doors and doing last-minute outreach to the large Hispanic population in Orange County.
One afternoon, a middle-aged Hispanic woman walked into our storefront and, grabbing a dozen yard signs asked, “Meg Whitman is pro-life, yes?”
“No, unfortunately not,” I replied. [Whitman’s opponent, Jerry Brown, was also pro-choice.]
She dropped the signs where she stood and walked away.
I remember being shocked. What about Whitman’s positions on other issues — the economy? education? Wasn’t this woman interested in her platform on those topics?
Apparently not. And honestly, I couldn’t blame her. Some things are too important.
Hot-button issues like immigration, global warming and gun control dominate the current news cycle, but millions of Americans still choose their candidates based on their position on a single topic: the so-called right to abortion.
Almost every person I know who reluctantly supported Donald Trump in 2016 did so in the blind hope that he would appoint to the federal courts judges more sympathetic to the cause of life.
Despite Trump’s many failings and offenses, when it comes to judicial nominations he has delivered, and that alone has completely justified those otherwise difficult votes.
The Obama era taught us that, for better or worse, the policy whims of the executive branch can be undone, but the impact of the courts is lasting. That is why the make-up of the often ineffectual Senate still matters; it’s why Rep. Beto O’Rourke should not be elected to Congress’ upper chamber.
Of course, O’Rourke is pro-abortion rights, no surprise considering that the Democratic party has all but abandoned anyone who questions the wisdom of Roe vs. Wade.
But O’Rourke isn’t pro-choice in the manner of moderates like Meg Whitman or liberals like Joe Biden — personally pro-life, publicly pro-choice.
On the contrary, O’Rourke’s position mirrors that of Wendy Davis — extreme. Unfettered access to abortion on demand. He voted against the 20-week abortion ban and boasts a 100 percent rating from NARAL, the political arm of abortion supporters. In comparison, Biden’s rating fluctuated throughout his career, but never reached such heights.
To his credit, O’Rourke has been successful at striking a tone of apparent moderation. He seems willing to listen, to compromise. But the only views that are getting compromised are those of his pro-life supporters, falsely being led to believe that O’Rourke will create a culture in which abortion is “unthinkable and unnecessary.”
Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, founder of pro-life group the New Wave Feminists, wrote in the Dallas Morning News this week that she believes O’Rourke is willing to work with the other side to “start offering women better alternatives [to abortion].” I agree that women in crisis pregnancies need support and resources, such as those offered by numerous religious, conservative and pro-life organizations.
But she’s wrong to imply that government policies and increased services alone will reduce the number of women choosing to terminate their pregnancies.
The only way to create a culture where abortion is “unthinkable and unnecessary” is to begin with the premise that a woman’s right to choose does not eclipse a child’s right to exist; that all life, from its earliest moments, is deserving of support, respect and protection.
To believe that O’Rourke — whose record and platform exhibit a callous indifference to the unborn — would be willing to create that kind environment requires an effort of logical acrobatics incomparable to the pro-lifers who held their nose and voted for Trump.
Because a pro-lifer casting a vote for Beto demands compromise on the one thing from which all others flow: the fundamental right to life.
Some things are too important.
Sometimes, you just have to drop the sign and walk away.