Nov 14, 2005

An unpublished Letter to the Editor from last year.

Regarding Mr. Rod Dreher’s (Dallas Morning News Editoral Board member) waving the bloody rag (Partial Birth Abortion), he and I had an interesting exchange a few months ago. As an evangelical, born-again Christian, abortion is a serious concern of mine. As a Christian who sees Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount not just as proof of our sinful nature, but also as a Road Map to Peace, the death penalty and the burgeoning prison population are also serious concerns of mine.

In the mid-nineties, I almost decided to join the Republican Party based on their pro-life stand, but oddly enough it was the Partial Birth Abortion (PBA) fight that kept me away from them. Rod waves the bloody rag at John Kerry over his refusal to vote for the GOP’s partial birth abortion ban, and yet Kerry was willing to vote for the same bill, but using the wording the AMA requested (the same bill that President Clinton supported). That would have excused the procedure to protect the life and health of the mother, as the discretion of the physician.

Now, there are very poor statistics about PBA. The “Secular Left” claims it is an exceedingly rare procedure, only used in extreme circumstances, while the “Religious Right” claims that it is a far too common procedure, claiming the lives of hundreds or thousands of babies each year. And here’s the rub: if the GOP is right, and there are hundreds of PBA deaths every year, then the six years wasted since Clinton vetoed the original PBA bill, the one GOP wouldn’t compromise on, has resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths, victims of a political ploy to grab and secure power.

According to Christianity Today, abortions in America declined by almost 50% during the Clinton presidency. This wasn’t the result of anti-abortion laws, picket lines, or even abortion clinic bombings, but by the “springing up” economic conditions. As we have returned to the “trickle down” economic plans the GOP favors, I suspect we may also have returned to rising abortion rates. Abortion is primarily an economically driven decision for the poor and lower-middle classes. Barbara Bush has boasted that safe, legal abortions will always be available for the affluent (she said this in 1992 as she opposed and defeated a pro-life plank in the GOP platform that would have leaving the country to GET an abortion illegal).

I fear that the fact the GOP passed three tax cuts BEFORE addressing Partial Birth Abortion, and then only when President Bush began sinking in the polls, sadly shows where the GOP’s real priorities lie. The next time Mr. Dreher waves the bloody rag, I pray to God Almighty that he will see the blood on his own hands.

(This was a letter that I wrote to the Dallas Morning News during last year's Presidential Campaign that went unpublished. The News, however, expressed an interest in having me write a Viewpoints piece along these lines. I declined, either out of cowardice, or because discretion remains the greater part of valor.)

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