No longer on the agenda

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Jan 20, 2004

Did you hear what Pres. Bush said about abortion in his State of the Union address?

Neither did I.

Twenty years ago, a Republican president would always make at least a perfunctory reference to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision. But the decision endures, and now GOP leaders have given up the fight.

Pres. Bush did say that if the courts keep pushing same-sex marriage, the American people might seek a constitutional remedy-- eventually. Experience suggests otherwise: that if the courts keep pushing, the GOP will eventually acquiesce.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Jan. 21, 2004 10:43 PM ET USA

    Ok, go beat the confused old nag still pulling the load if it makes you feel better. Will it change a vote? Judy B has the only currently effectivbe tool to change hearts. But how about trying someting different? My proposal for a PL Caucus could work by putting real pressure. It would marshal all PL friends, Rep, Dem, Ind. I'm over the hill and picking up speed. It is a serious idea that needs a younger person to build, manage and advertise it. It is feasible. Dean proved something did'nt he?

  • Posted by: Phil - Jan. 21, 2004 4:31 PM ET USA

    Benbernie, I think I got your point first time. Every politician I've ever met responds to pressure from supporters and constituents. So why not put pressure on politicians who are pretty good, and try to make them really good. And why must criticism of Republicans = support for Democrats? In November, I'll vote for the candidate whose views are most congenial. Until then, I'll advance my own views.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 21, 2004 3:28 PM ET USA

    In 1997 at the Republican National Committee there was a proposal to not fund any Rep. Candidate for office who opposed the ban on Partial Birth Abortion. The 2 sponsors of the ban in Congress, Henry Hyde,and Rick Santorum voted against this resolution. It was then that I left the Republican Party. Since 1980 support for life and the overturning of Roe Wade has been on the Rep. Party Platform, and the words have bought off all the Pro-life organizations with the exception of Judy Brown's.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 21, 2004 1:38 PM ET USA

    Phi, I think you missed my point. Gop is still ProLife but not all. Shaking a finger at them does nothing but give Dems a reason to continue pro death voting. My proposal for an apolitical registry of PL voters is sincere. Lots of Cath. Dems/Reps who would vote PL if they didn't think they were throwing a vote away. Just need to give people a way to do it successfully. CWN is not proper vehicle but a PL computer geek could do it? Simply a big growing neutral list could become a powerhouse?

  • Posted by: Phil - Jan. 21, 2004 11:16 AM ET USA

    Benbernie, please don't telll me that if I prod Politician A to be consistently pro-life, I'm helping Politician B who is consistently pro-abortion. That's a red herring. If the GOP is truly pro-life, then Republican pols won't mind being held to their word. And here's an illustration: Sen. Santorum, who is quite good on life issues himself, raises money for other GOP candidates who are thoroughly pro-abort. Should he? Shouldn't we encourage him to be more consistent?

  • Posted by: - Jan. 21, 2004 10:25 AM ET USA

    Let's start a real list at CWR of all people, Rep or Dem, who would vote for a real, particular, Pro-Life candidate if deemed truly electable by an honest committe representing all pol. parties. Ric Santorum and (?) might Chair it. We might call it the "National Pro-Life Caucus". It could be copied right down to the Precinct level. When enough voters register parties will take notice. Then no throw away-votes on otherwise unelectable persons. I am serious. Computers make it possible. Why not?

  • Posted by: - Jan. 21, 2004 10:11 AM ET USA

    So we should vote for all those candidates who are honest enough to endorse Roe, etc.? So we would be better with Al Gore? So we should not vote? Or perhaps we should all write in a vote for Pat B. or Allan Keys? I will if if a whole lot of other people promise to. In the meantime, lets not bash the only pro life Party we have by giving comfort to the seamless garment airheads who wont even shake their finger at a pol with money to pass out.