The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

2010: The year of the pro-life woman

That’s the idea behind this op-ed piece by Ramesh Ponnuru in the New York Times:

When President George W. Bush signed the bill banning partial-birth abortion in 2003, supportive legislators gathered around for a photograph. All of them were men. Nancy Pelosi, then the House minority leader, called the image “a slap in the face to women across America.”

My fellow pro-lifers winced at the picture — both because it offered Ms. Pelosi a political opportunity and because it reflected an enduring political weakness of our movement. American women are just as likely to be pro-life as American men, but few pro-life women have gone into politics.


The Gallup organization recently concluded that “abortion polling since the mid-1970s finds few remarkable distinctions between men’s and women’s views on the legality of abortion.” It has found that 48 percent of American women consider themselves pro-life, while 45 percent consider themselves pro-choice.

There are many millions of pro-life women, but there are only 13 in the House. The Senate has no pro-life women. Even Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Texas Republican who votes with pro-lifers on many issues, says she favors Roe v. Wade. All of the women who have served on the Supreme Court have supported Roe, too.

Pro-life women have not even found representation among Republican first ladies, all of whom in the post-Roe era have been pro-choice. One reason that Sarah Palin’s nomination for vice president in 2008 was so immediately polarizing is that she instantly became the most prominent pro-life woman American politics has ever produced.


Sarah Palin is about to get some company. Two pro-life women won Republican nominations for the Senate this week. A Tea Party favorite, Sharron Angle, and the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina are running for the Senate from Nevada and California, respectively.

A third pro-life woman, Susana Martinez, became the party’s nominee for governor of New Mexico, and a fourth, Nikki Haley, a South Carolina state legislator, is expected to be a gubernatorial nominee in her state. If they win their primaries, Kelly Ayotte, the former attorney general of New Hampshire, and Jane Norton, the former lieutenant governor of Colorado, will also be pro-life Senate candidates in November.

Check out the rest here.

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Regina Faighes

posted June 14, 2010 at 10:54 am

As the pro-life movement gains more female advocates in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of both the national and state levels of government, it should become apparent that abortion is not a woman’s health issue. As a pro-life woman, I cringe whenever this form of legalized homicide is referred to as such!

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posted June 14, 2010 at 12:33 pm

It would be nice if some of these candidates were to propose constructive legislation making it easier (better said, ‘possible’) for a poor woman to keep an unplanned child and, for the gubernatorial candidates, to propose less restrictive adoption rules.
That is an area in which we all should be in agreement.

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Bible lover

posted June 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm

1. According to the Hebrew Bible (cf. the legislation in Ex.), a fetus is property, not fully-formed human life. Destruction of a fetus is a tort, not murder.
For Catholics, however, it is not the Hebrew Bible which is authoritative, but the (Latin) Vulgate, which is an admixture of the (Greek) Septuagint and the (Hebrew) Torah. On the verse in question, the Septuagint reading – which the Vulgate follows- differs appreciably from the Hebrew Bible.
Remember: God did not speak Latin or Greek to Moses at Sinai, but Hebrew.
Secondly, how many of you “pro-life” types out there believe that children should be given presents at Christmas? Fine. Therefore, how many of you have gone out and purchased gifts for ‘unborn’ children? None, I imagine. Hypocrites!

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posted June 14, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Don’t think calling people hypocrites fits the blog guidelines.
Other than that, it is a rather bizarre post.

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posted June 14, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I do think Bible lover raises a valid point.
Many Christians and Jews, myself included, make this distinction regarding a foetus.
Unfortunately, many Christians – on all sides of the debate – have a ‘take no prisoners’ response towards working with anyone who does not agree with them completely on all aspects of the matter.
This is not a theocracy, should the temporary swing towards absolutely forbidding all abortions succeed, we can be sure that this will not resolve the matter. The conflict will continue and, eventually, the pro-choice faction will gain the legislative upper hand once again. Only to, yet again, lose it eventually.
Let us work together on those points upon which we agree. There can never be a final, satisfactory answer to this matter without America becoming some form of dictatorship.
When someone on one side of the matter extends an open palm and receive a punch in the nose in return, it does not bode well for that which we all desire:
An end to unwanted pregnancy.

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Bible lover

posted June 15, 2010 at 3:16 pm

“Conservative” : you describe my posting as “bizarre” ? An epithet is not an argument.
What are your grounds for rejecting the clear meaning of the only verse in the Torah (or even in the New Testament, for that matter)
which directly addresses the issue of the fetus?
Don’t quote the poetic musings of Jeremiah or Psalms, since poetry, by definition, is hyperbole. Moreover, it was commandments that were given at Sinai, not dogmas, so clearly it is the legal format which is normative for Scripture. Even Jesus said “do this,” NOT “believe this” in his name and memory!

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Regina Faighes

posted June 16, 2010 at 10:34 am

Anyone who has ever attended a baby shower has gone out and purchased gifts for unborn children!

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