Monday, October 17, 2016

Hillary Clinton is Pro-Life

If I were to tell you I think your decision to vote for candidates who do not support healthcare for all was immoral, how would you respond? Would you feel offended? Would you want to speak up and explain your stance? Would you absolutely disagree with me?

To be clear, I do NOT think your decision to support a candidate that doesn't have a healthcare for all plan is immoral. In fact, I'll assume your support of someone like Evan McMullin or Gary Johnson or Donald Trump (none of which have healthcare for all options) probably wasn't based on healthcare policy alone. It was probably based on a wide range of issues, and I respect that.

Yet I keep hearing my fellow faith friends say they can't support Clinton because she is pro-choice. I am told this one policy matter makes her immoral. It isn't a surprise to me that many of my faith friends are anti-abortion. What has surprised me is that this one issue seems to be the deciding factor for what makes someone a good candidate. If they are pro-choice, they are automatically disqualified.

Well, I am intentionally supporting a pro-choice candidate. Not only that, I am specifically voting for Hillary Clinton because I believe her policies make her the most pro-life candidate in the field.* I know that may sound shocking to many of my anti-abortion friends, so I thought I'd construct a blog essay where I try and explain this thesis. If you are interested, keep reading.

I don't expect my explanation of this belief to sway anyone. I am not writing this, nor did I invite you to read it, because I think I can change your mind. I'm simply constructing this essay because I believe it is important for my friends to understand why -- as an anti-abortion, faithful Mormon -- I am not limiting my scope of "what is moral" to a politician's stance on abortion.

First, I do not believe being anti-abortion makes a candidate pro-life. There are numerous Christian bloggers who have made this case far better than I am able. And while I believe most of my faith friends have already come to the same conclusion, I have to ask -- why then is abortion the first and final pro-life stance you consider when choosing a candidate? Why isn't it just as immoral to refuse healthcare coverage for a child once it is born?

If I am repulsed by the idea that we would suggest a mother abort her baby just because it has microcephaly, I am equally repulsed by the idea that we would tell that mother she will not have access to the crucial care needed to support that child's chances of survival after birth. I do believe denying health care coverage to anyone is just as immoral as being pro-abortion. I also recognize that this is my moral line to draw, and I do not try and convince other's that supporting a candidate who does not have a healthcare for all plan is somehow immoral.

I recognize there are many arguments for limited, private healthcare. I disagree with every single one of those arguments. More importantly, I do not label anyone as immoral for making those arguments. So why are we so quick to assume someone who is pro-choice is morally flawed?

Second, there is nothing Federal legislators or the President of the United States can do to limit access to abortion. Nothing. The Supreme Court decided this matter before I was even an embryo. The only real, meaningful solution is an amendment to the Constitution, and because I have never heard a Republican suggest this idea I cannot sincerely believe they are serious about their anti-abortion legislation.

I know many Congressional Republicans take the pro-life stance, but do not be fooled. It is simply lip service. When have they ever taken up meaningful, legitimate action? Never. They never have. Since Roe v Wade there have been moments when the GOP controlled Congress and the WH and they did nothing to create a lasting impact on the rate of abortion. In fact, Louisiana was recently recognized by pro-life groups as being the #1 state to reduce access to abortion, despite the fact that abortion rates rose by more than 12% since 2010! Why didn't pro-life groups give a reward to New York, who saw a 15% decline during the same time period? Shouldn't that give us pause? A state that works to restrict access to abortion sees an increase while a state that is strongly pro-choice sees a decline.

Finally, I believe curving demand is more powerful than cutting off supply. This is the most logical explanation for the differences between Louisiana and New York's abortion rates. The idea that lowering demand reduces supply is a law of human nature that applies to other moral perils as well. In the 60s our Nation started "a war on drugs." We made huge attempts to cut off the supply. Anyone caught with a supply of drugs, from the 60s until now, has been severely punished. Yet drug use is on the rise. Why? Take a minute and ask yourself why our efforts to attack supply have failed? Even worse, the kinds of hard core drugs people use today are much more dangerous than the drugs that existed in the 60s. Why?

The answer isn't that difficult. It's demand. Addiction has become epidemic, as a result demand has increased. But what would happen if no one wanted drugs? What would our nation look like if no one wanted to abuse drugs -- illicit, legal, or prescription? What would happen if no one wanted to end an unplanned pregnancy?

I support candidates who address demand, not supply. I do so because I believe this is the most humane and moral approach to our world's vices. I do so because evidence proves lowering demand is more successful than attacking supply.

Clinton has a policy outline for addiction treatment. If we lower the rate of addiction, we lower the rate of substance abuse. Clinton has policy issues that address our mental health crisis. If we treat mental health appropriately, we lower the number of people who self medicate. She has policy outlines to prevent unintended pregnancies. If we lower the rate of unintentional pregnancies we lower the rate of abortion. If we make abortion illegal there is no way of knowing if we lower the rate of abortion. In my view, policies that address demand are the only ones that will actually have a positive impact on the vices that plague our society.

I support these policies not only because of the mountains of research that prove they are more successful, but also because I believe they are a more moral approach than "law and order."

I support Hillary Clinton for President because her policies support the life of a child after it is born. I support Clinton because she is honest and realistic about the (lack of) Constitutional rights given to an unborn child. I support Clinton because her policies are proven to successfully limit the need for abortion. I support Hillary Clinton because I am pro-life, and she is the strongest pro-life candidate in the field. 


*After going back and reading this sentence I realized it was somewhat misleading. Jill Stein is more pro-life than Clinton -- simply because Stein is adamantly more anti-war than Clinton. However, Stein isn't polling above 1%, so I exclude Stein from being "in the field." Her low polling numbers make it statistically impossible for her to win a single state -- much less the election. 

1 comment:

Megan said...

AMEN! Well done!

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