The pro-life payoff?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Nov 10, 2004

Oh, good. It's just one week since we read the headlines about the re-election of President Bush, and already:

  • The likely chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has warned that the White House shouldn't expect confirmation of pro-life nominees to the Supreme Court.
  • A staunchly pro-life Attorney General has resigned, and the President has chosen a "pro-choice" replacement.

A week ago, most pro-lifers were jubilant. Now they are-- or should be-- worried.

But here's the point that I tried to make before the election: You can't say that President Bush has betrayed his campaign promises to the pro-life movement, because-- check it out if you don't believe me-- he never made any!

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: - Nov. 13, 2004 6:58 PM ET USA

    Two points: Ashcroft after he was appointed said that abortion was a settled issue. Maybe it is better to have Gonzales as AG than on the Supreme Court.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 13, 2004 6:45 PM ET USA

    Here in Massachusetts, with the most militantly pro-choice US senators in the USofA, the last three cardinal archbishops have openly courted Kennedy & Kerry and invited them to numerous functions. Can anyone quote one occasion when Cardinals Cushing, Medeiros or Law spoke out against any of these men? The same is true for our US Representatives. We have never had a truly pro-life president that I am aware of. Reagan and the Bushes talked the talk but always turned their backs on us in the end.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 11, 2004 11:39 AM ET USA

    The betrayal of the pro-life movement actually occurs closer to home. Our own bishops fete and appoint pro-aborts to positions in the Church. The pulpits remain silent. In doctrine the Church is pro-life, in practice pro-choice. Granted, Pres. Bush made no promises to the pro-life movement. Unlike Kerry, however, he made no promises to NARAL and the pro-death movement. And until we change the culture -- starting at home -- that's the best we can hope for.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 11, 2004 9:41 AM ET USA

    You can learn a lot from a dummy. Which one are we going to vote for next?

  • Posted by: Phil - Nov. 10, 2004 9:00 PM ET USA

    Dulcius, you're right. But Supreme Court nominees (and federal judges, who might someday become Supreme Court nominees) are vetted by the Justice Department, under the watchful eye of the Attorney General. And now we're asked to accept an AG who has already scuttled pro-life judicial candidates. It's not too soon to start worrying now. In fact, it's already late.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2004 8:53 PM ET USA

    The real test will be Supreme Court nominations. If we get solidly pro-life or "strict constructionist" nominations that Bush fights for, then he will have done what we sent him there to do. I suspect the president knows the real game is the Supreme Court and that the rest is just window dressing. If, however, he balks at naming and fighting for solid court nominees, then we will have been duped by another careerist who saw the presidency as the fulfillment of his personal ambitions.

  • Posted by: Stonewall - Nov. 10, 2004 7:56 PM ET USA

    Some people just never learn. They keep voting for those "pro-life Republicans" and once in office the Republicans just thumb their noses at those poor gullible pro-lifers.