Which candidates are pro-life?

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Jan. 21, 2004
Tomorrow, on the 31st anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision in the Roe v. Wade case, pro-life Americans will commemorate the occasion in various ways, from the giant March for Life in Washington, D.C., to smaller marches, rallies and religious observances in cities and towns across the country.

As we look back on what we have accomplished over the years, we can point to certain restrictions and regulations of the practice of abortion that have come about due to the dedication of individuals and groups within the pro-life movement. As we look ahead, we see a future in which the life issues expand way beyond abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide—a future in which the fate of the human embryo will be decided and in that decision will rest the fate of humanity. The measuring sticks of trimesters and viability are out the window. We have reached a place where the core of what it means to respect and protect innocent human life is upon us. We must summon the political will to prevail!

Pro-life Republicans should expect candidates to have a consistent position on the right to life. If we are to create a future society in which every innocent human life from its inception, whether through natural or unnatural means, is respected and protected from assault or injury, we must elect public servants who do not justify the deliberate and intentional killing of an unborn child at any stage of development for any reason.

To that end, we urge pro-life citizens to educate themselves to the positions of those seeking their votes on Election Day. Too many politicians get away with splitting the difference. On the one hand, they say they are pro-life, and on the other, send a signal to the pro-abortion crowd that they are really no threat to legal abortion after all.

A recent case in point comes from one of our supporters who provided us with a statement on abortion from the campaign web site of Jack Ryan, (http://www.jackryan2004.com/issues/issueslist.asp?p=325) who is running for the U.S. Senate to replace Peter Fitzgerald, a solid pro-life Senator from Illinois, who is stepping down. Mr. Ryan says, "I believe that life begins at conception. It is an undeniable medical fact that a baby’s heart begins to beat around 22 days from conception, around the same time their spinal column and nervous system begin to form, and the liver, kidneys and intestines are beginning to take shape. Not protecting these innocent children is unconscionable." He goes on to say that he will "fight for the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death."

But then Mr. Ryan sends a different signal. He says, “Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Henry Hyde share my system of beliefs that abortion should only be allowed in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at stake.” The glaring inconsistency of this position is amazing, and unfortunately, it is an inconsistency that is commonly expressed by politicians and often accepted as sufficient by pro-life voters! It is impossible to believe in the “sanctity of human life from conception until natural death,” and at the same time justify abortion for rape or incest or any other reason.

We must send a loud and clear message to candidates that we will not grant them pro-life status unless they earn it with a publicly stated position that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed—no exceptions—no compromise!

If legal protection of the right to life is to be restored in the United States it will take a majority of Members of the U.S. House and Senate who will exercise their powers under the U.S. Constitution to withdraw jurisdiction from the Courts over these matters. If legislation is to be enacted recognizing that unborn babies are persons under the law, it will take Congressmen and Senators and state legislators who are unconditionally pro-life to do it. If men and women with the dedication and commitment necessary to make these things happen are to be elected it will take pro-life leaders and individual voters who will no longer settle for second best.

[Editor’s Note: According to his many pro-life speeches and statements during his congressional career, and his answers to the RNC/Life Candidate Questionnaire, Rep. Henry Hyde does not justify abortion under any circumstances.]

Republican National
Coalition for Life

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