We don’t often get explicitly political at Secular Pro-Life. Our membership includes conservatives, liberals, moderates, and libertarians. We are Democrats, Republicans, independents, and members of third parties. Secular Pro-Life doesn’t endorse candidates. We occasionally report on elections and debate the virtues of single-issue voting, but that’s about as far as it goes.
But with Trump madness failing to subside, I feel compelled to say publicly: Trump as the GOP nominee, or (FSM forbid) the President, would be a disaster for the pro-life cause.
We need good Supreme Court nominees, and we know we won’t get them from any Democratic commander-in-chief. We may have some decent Democratic options in state-level races (thanks, Democrats for Life of America!), but when it comes to the top of the ticket, the abortion industry has a stranglehold on the party. So it makes sense that pro-life organizations urge us to vote Republican for president. In some years, it’s an enthusiastic endorsement; in other years, we’re asked to hold our noses.
If it comes down to it, I will refuse to hold my nose and vote for Trump. I have many personal reasons for this, but keeping my focus on abortion, here are three.
It’s not clear he’s even on our side. His positions on life issues are incoherent.
Take Trump’s statements on taxpayer subsidies for Planned Parenthood. In early August, he advocated a federal government shutdown to defund PP. A week later, he repeated the myth that abortion is a small part of what PP does, drawing praise from PP spokesman Eric Ferrero, but suggested that PP “maybe” should be defunded “if it doesn’t stop doing abortions.” At the end of August, he referred to PP as an “abortion factory.”
It’s worth noting that Trump used to identify as pro-choice. That’s not a deal-breaker by itself, necessarily; there’s nothing inherently wrong with candidates changing their minds on an issue if they can articulate good reasons for it and follow through consistently. Trump, on the other hand, just seems to say whatever he thinks his audience of the moment wants to hear.
His off-the-cuff blustering and insults will bite the pro-life movement in the ass. Preborn children need thoughtful, persuasive advocates. The pro-life movement is trying to sway hearts and minds on what many people consider a complex moral and philosophical issue, and we need to be able to articulate the pro-life position clearly and persuasively. Lives hang in the balance.
Trump is the opposite of clear or persuasive. Trump says ignorant, mean-spirited things all the time. When (not if) he does it on our issue, the abortion industry will have multi-million-dollar ad buys ready to go. Imagine Todd Akin times 100.
And finally, the biggest reason of all…
If Trump does oppose abortion, it’s for all the wrong reasons. Trump has amply demonstrated that he does not have much love for humanity. His deplorable treatment of women, Mexican immigrants, Muslims, and anyone who disagrees with him goes way beyond the realm of normal rough-and-tumble politics and into the realm of dehumanization. It’s one thing to argue that the United States cannot make adequate provisions to screen refugees from regions devastated by ISIS; it’s quite another to call for a national registry of Muslims, or for systematic assassination of anyone unfortunate enough to have a terrorist in their family.
Trump’s opposition to abortion clearly is not rooted in respect for the immeasurable value of human beings. Respect is not part of Trump’s moral vocabulary. What it is rooted in, only he knows in his heart. My money is on simple pandering.
Thankfully, the race is far from over. Once undecideds are accounted for, Trump’s position in the polls is considerably less impressive. He has no endorsements from any senators, representatives, or governors. And I can tell you that pro-life leaders are not gunning for Trump. The movement hasn’t coalesced around a single alternative at this early stage, but we don’t need to; any of the viable primary candidates would be better than Trump. So let’s shout a clear message from the rooftops.
PRO-LIFE AMERICANS: REJECT DONALD TRUMP. Reject him to pollsters. Reject him on social media. And above all, reject him in the voting booth. Do it for the babies.