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The Exception Makes the Rule
"Pro-Life With Exceptions" A Contradiction in Terms
 
When will legal abortion be ended in America? When will the hearts and minds of the American people be turned toward a culture of life, rather than the existing culture of death? When will elected officials exercise the political will to do what is necessary to overturn Roe v. Wade? When will our government protect and defend the right to life of every innocent human being, no matter how small, no matter how imperfect?

Those things will happen only when the conviction, the action, the policies and the laws match the rhetoric. They will happen only when the pro-life movement, its leaders and its supporters, speak with one voice, with no exception and no compromise.

For more than 29 years millions of us have done whatever we could on many fronts to restore respect for life in our country. Nearly 50 million dead babies and wounded mothers later, we are still no closer to our goal of legal protection of unborn babies, whether they reside in the fallopian tube where they begin the journey toward birth, the womb, a petri dish, a liquid nitrogen tank, a cloning laboratory, or a research facility.

Year after year, we observe the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade. This year, President Bush issued a proclamation, as have other Presidents before him, declaring Sunday, January 20, 2002 as "National Sanctity of Human Life Day." It says that "the right to life itself" is chief among the rights on which the American republic is founded. It says, "Unborn children should be welcomed in life and protected in law." Wonderful words, except for the fact that there are millions of babies who are not welcome and are at risk for death by abortion because they have no protection under the law.

The AP reported on January 20 that, "Mr. Bush called on Americans to Ďreject the notion that some lives are less worthy of protection than othersí . . ." A noble thought, and one we share, but how will that happen when the President himself has never said that he would do anything to try to overturn Roe? How can that happen when he, and many politicians in the Republican Party have clearly said that abortion can be justified in some cases? How can that happen when President Bushís own position contradicts the proclamation? Indeed, he supports "exceptions" for babies conceived through rape or incest, a view that deems those babies "less worthy of protection than others." How can that happen when the President and others in power think abortion is justified if the motherís life is in jeopardy, when todayís medical science and technology make it unnecessary to ever kill a baby to save his motherís life? How can it happen when Laura Bush, First Lady of the land and the person closest to the President joins his mother, Barbara Bush, in saying that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned?

Beyond that, how can protection of the right to life be restored when important leaders in the pro-life movement endorse as "pro-life" politicians whose commitment and actions do not match their rhetoric? How can it be restored as long as grassroots pro-lifers donít demand, in exchange for their support, that candidates take a position on innocent life at every stage of development that leaves no room for "exceptions" or compromise? After all, itís one thing to prefer a less-than-perfect candidate who is running against a pro-abortion activist like Bill Clinton or Al Gore. But itís quite another to pronounce him or her PRO-LIFE in big headlines, giving the false impression that the candidate intends to actively pursue our goals. While it appears that hearts and minds are changing, albeit slowly, in the end it will be public policies and laws that will restore respect for life in America. As long as pro-lifers are willing to bestow the "pro-life" mantle on politicians who truly are not, abortion, deadly experiments on human embryos, human cloning, and yes, infanticide, will remain legal.

The exception makes the rule. And so, we pray for unity in the pro-life movement. The politicians will say and do what they think they must to get our support. The outcome is our responsibility. If we are to succeed in this our Godly mission, we must demand of them total respect for all innocent life - no exceptions, no compromise.


Republican National
Coalition for Life


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Republican National Coalition for Life    Box 618    Alton    Illinois 62002
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