Voting with the Mind of Christ #5: How Our Abortion Regime Works–And How it Doesn’t
Yesterday we noted that the Feds under Trump have raised Planned Parenthood funding to record heights, even as Biden is condemned for being “radically pro-abortion”. We also noted the many other ways in which Trump’s functional support for abortion and the GOP’s long history of dangling the carrot of Roe reversal makes clear that there is no “prolife” party.
As I noted here, because it matters more to the Cult what pols say about abortion than what they do, the Cult tends to live in the fantasy that when Dems offer pro-choice rhetoric, that somehow means that our abortion regime–which is 100% created (with Roe) and entrenched (with Casey) by GOP SCOTUS appointees–will become extra super duper turbocharged abortiony if a Dem is elected.
This is simply false. In fact, our most precipitous drops in abortion rates have consistently happened under Dem presidents–with small spikes under Reagan and Bush 43.
They reached their lowest point under Obama/Biden.
Under Trump, the trend seems to be downward, but with Planned Parenthood rates, they have gone up to the highest levels in 15 years…
…thanks to the generous funding his Administration and the GOP Senate approved without a peep.
In short, in the one place where Trump had the most power to affect abortion rates–funding PP–he has done his best to raise abortion rates and been rewarded with the biggest spike in 15 years. Good job, MAGA prolifers! And don’t give me the song and dance about how the Dems wrote the budget. The Bucks Stops with Trump. If he and and GOP were serious, they would act. They don’t because they aren’t. Lila Rose doesn’t lie to herself about that. The rest of the “prolife” cult should stop lying to themselves and everybody else about it too:
Of course, PP yells and screams about Trump and the GOP and Trump pretends to care about fighting PP. It is to the benefit of both Trump and PP that everybody buy the lie that he threatens them. PP gets to tell their donor base that they are DOOOOOMED by GOP hostility while Trump and the GOP get to maintain the lie that he is the Most Prolife President Ever and keep the MAGA Cult unquestioningly supporting him. This has been the kabuki since 1980 with every Republican Administration.
In the same way, the Dems rev up the pro-choice crowd with their side of the kabuki. As I noted at the link above:
Remember FOCA, the Freedom of Choice Act? Obama vowed that he would sign it into law on day one of his presidency in 2009. Prolifers freaked out. Then he was elected and you never ever heard of it again because it was all a gimmick to ensure the support of the Dem base. I repeat: Dems don’t have to do anything to “protect abortion” other than maintain the status quo Republicans are 100% responsible for creating. That status quo (have I mentioned it was established and entrenched by the GOP?) has already made abortion from conception till birth the law of the land.
Abortion does not somehow become more abortiony when a Dem is elected. They cannot turbocharge it. They do not go out and start making people have more abortions. They simply don’t do anything to prevent it.
That is the crucial point. Engrave it on your brain: ABORTION ON DEMAND HAS BEEN, THANKS TO THE GOP, THE LAW OF THE LAND EVER SINCE A GOP COURT WROTE ROE IN 1973 AND ANOTHER EVEN MORE GOP-DOMINATED COURT ENTRENCHED IT IN 1992 IN THE CASEY DECISION.
What that law says is not that the state can make somebody have an abortion, but that it will not stop them if they want to. This means, very simply, that there are no “pro-abortion” candidates. Rather, there is Biden who is honest about not wanting to stop women from getting abortions and Trump who lies that he wants to stop women from getting abortions while funding PP anyway. And, in fact, Trump pursues a policy that jacks up the abortion rate 40% in sub-Saharan Africa. If anything might be called “pro-abortion” and not merely “pro-choice” that would fit the profile.
What has been promised to prolife people for 40 years (when the GOP discovered that abortion was a fantastic wedge issue) is that the party that established this regime will, Real Soon Now, criminalize abortion again by making it illegal and that any and every evil that party wishes to commit must be supported by those who oppose the killing of unborn children till that day comes. What Dems have done for 40 years is say, “Let’s just leave it the way the GOP set it up.” They don’t have to do anything. Just keep the status quo.
What drives that system is We, the People. Only 20% of Americans want abortion on demand without apology. Only 20% of Americans want abortion outlawed. Meanwhile, 60% of Americans dislike abortion and find it morally objectionable, but also have absolutely no intention of telling women what they can and cannot do if they find themselves pregnant. Result: it is equally true at one and the same time that 80% of Americans think abortion unpleasant, morally repugnant, a tragedy, and something they would like to limit in some way and also that 80% of Americans have absolutely no intention of overturning Roe or criminalizing abortion. The eco-system of American politics has evolved to exploit that dynamic.
All of which means that, when it comes to abortion, every prolifer is being played by the GOP which no more wants to abolish the abortion regime it created than the Dems do. And when the MAGA Cult’s work is done, Roe will still be here, PP will be more highly funded than ever, and all the MAGA “prolife” cult will have to show for it is excuse-making for a criminal who gave us Pandemic that killed nearly all the American dead in World War II by Inauguration Day, means to abandon us to a “herd immunity” strategy that will kill hundreds of thousands more, handed troops over to Russia-paid bounty hunters, did his best to commit election fraud, tore children from their mother’s arms and disappeared them in a system rife with sexual abuse, murdered refugees by thirst in the desert, destroyed our standing in the world, injured NATO, adored authoritarian thugs, fanned the flames of racism, urged you to defend mocking the disabled and made Moon bases a priority while absolutely and totally ignoring the unborn because he knows his “prolife” base are such dumb suckers that he can spit right in their faces and they will still lie to themselves that he is the Most Prolife President Ever and burn up the next your years defending his filth instead of the unborn.
Meanwhile, the standard rejoinder is “So what?” Biden is pro-choice. Doesn’t that make him just as bad as Trump?
It might–if the sole question was “Should ending the supply of abortion providers be the one and only thing a Catholic voter should consider in this election?”
But it’s not. In addition to the issue of abortion supply is abortion demand. And in addition to the question of abortion are the 27 other things the Church teaches are crucial to the dignity of human life in Evangelium Vitae. And on nearly all of these issues Biden and the Dems come vastly closer to the Church’s teaching than the monstrously incompetent, life-denying freak show that is the MAGA cult.
“So you are saying we have to support the lesser of two evils?”
No. It is, in fact, morally impermissible to ever support any evils. But it is morally imperative to try to lessen evil.
To begin with, let’s be clear: Humans are not evils. Policies are evils. Acts can be evils. But persons are not evils. Even Trump, as vile as he behaves, is not an evil. He is a creature made in the image and likeness of God. So when we are speaking about greater or lesser evils, we are referring to the policies and choices of the candidates, not their persons. And Trump’s are clearly and obviously worse.
So what’s the difference between supporting a lesser evil and lessening evil? It’s the difference between saying, “Because I reject the evil of killing your mother, I therefore get to rape her” and saying, “Even though I cannot keep your mother from dying of cancer, I can at least keep the nurse from euthanizing her and keep her comfortable till she passes.”
It is never legitimate to vote for a lesser evil. So you don’t get to vote to support, say, torture on the grounds that you oppose mass murder. Nor can I vote for Biden because of his permissiveness about abortion.
But it is morally legitimate to try to lessen evil. So given a choice between two candidates who both functionally support our pro-choice regime, but one of whom competently oversaw the last epidemic and one of whom is guilty of the negligent homicide of 185,000 people while lying and grifting his way through it, it is perfectly legit to lessen evil by hiring the competent one.
Biden’s superiority to Trump on a host of issues, as well as his clear competence, obvious decency, and knowledge of how government works make him the obvious choice over Trump.
No, he is not perfect (and as I will argue later, it is the responsibility of those who support his election to oppose him in those places where he is wrong). But there simply is no comparison between the two candidates.
Of which more on Monday.