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The vice presidential debate and abortion

by | Oct 5, 2018

By Dave Andrusko

Two years ago today, I wrote the following post which I put together the day after the vice presidential debate between pro-life Mike Pence and pro-abortion Tim Kaine. I do believe we need to remind ourselves each and every day what a difference it makes that we have a Donald Trump/Mike Pence team in the White House not Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine.

Pro-life Mike Pence versus Pro-abortion Tim Kaine

Last night pro-life Indiana Gov. Mike Pence made the case for life eloquently, sincerely, and with conviction. Tim Kaine played the “don’t you trust women?” card–the pro-abortionist’s ultimate ace in the hole–but cleverly segued into another separate set of issues at the end of his answer to muddy the waters.

Here’s the setting. Kaine and Pence were asked by moderator Elaine Quijano of CBS News, “You have both been open about the role that faith has played in your lives. Can you discuss in detail a time when you struggled to balance your personal faith and a public policy position?”

Kaine used the occasion to opine

I don’t believe in this nation, a First Amendment nation, where we don’t raise any religion over the other, and we allow people to worship as they please, that the doctrines of any one religion should be mandated for everyone.

(As if any of the candidates wants to “raise any religion over the other.”)

Pence used the question to discuss the sanctity of life which had not been addressed:

But for me, I would tell you that for me the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief that — that ancient principle that — where God says before you were formed in the womb, I knew you, and so from my first time in public life, I sought to stand with great compassion for the sanctity of life.

The state of Indiana has also sought to make sure that we expand alternatives in health care counseling for women, non-abortion alternatives. I’m also very pleased at the fact we’re well on our way in Indiana to becoming the most pro-adoption state in America. I think if you’re going to be pro-life, you should — you should be pro- adoption.

But what I can’t understand is with Hillary Clinton and now Senator Kaine at her side is to support a practice like partial-birth abortion. I mean, to hold to the view — and I know Senator Kaine, you hold pro-life views personally — but the very idea that a child that is almost born into the world could still have their life taken from them is just anathema to me.

And I cannot — I can’t conscience about — about a party that supports that. Or that — I know you’ve historically opposed taxpayer funding of abortion. But Hillary Clinton wants to — wants to repeal the longstanding provision in the law where we said we wouldn’t use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion.

So for me, my faith informs my life. I try and spend a little time on my knees every day. But it all for me begins with cherishing the dignity, the worth, the value of every human life.

Although interrupted by Kaine, Pence fleshed out his answer:

But here’s — there is a choice, and it is a choice on life. I couldn’t be more proud to be standing with Donald Trump, who’s standing for the right to life. It’s a principle that — Senator Kaine — and I’m very gentle about this, because I really do respect you — it’s a principle that you embrace.

And I have appreciated the fact that you’ve supported the Hyde amendment, which bans the use of taxpayer funding for abortion, in the past, but that’s not Hillary Clinton’s view. People need to understand, we can come together as a nation. We can create a culture of life. More and more young people today are embracing life because we know we are — we’re better for it. We can — like Mother Teresa said at that famous national prayer breakfast… [Kaine interruption]

PENCE: … bring the — let’s welcome the children into our world. There are so many families around the country who can’t have children. We could improve adoption… [Kaine interruption]

Because there is — a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable, the aged, the infirm, the disabled, and the unborn. I believe it with all my heart. And I couldn’t be more proud to be standing with a pro-life candidate in Donald Trump.

On the one hand, Pence offered a vision of creating a life-affirming culture, providing assistance to women with crisis pregnancies, fostering adoption, and building on the next generation which is increasingly pro-life.

On the other hand, Kaine reduces the deaths of one million unborn babies every year to “trusting women.” But as National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru observed this morning in a powerful post

“Why don’t you trust women to make this choice for themselves?” Because they’re not just making it for themselves; they’re making it for an innocent third party. We don’t “trust women” to make this choice for the same reason we don’t trust parents with the power to to kill their newborns, or their teenagers: because those children have a fundamental right to life. (Why doesn’t Kaine trust women to decide about infanticide?) Kaine is perfectly capable of understanding why pro-lifers don’t trust anyone with the power to kill unborn children. But he doesn’t want to engage their argument. He doesn’t want to explicitly deny that unborn children have legitimate claims to our protection: That would be too callous, and too obviously at odds with Catholic teaching. Instead he hides behind a useful but empty bit of rhetoric, even though it slanders millions of his fellow citizens and the Church to which he belongs.

Game, set, match to Mike Pence.

Categories: Politics Pro-Lifers