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Message to GOP: Battle for Life, Not Its Destruction

illustration of a human fetus between the scales of justice

Tony Perkins By Friday, 24 May 2024 02:18 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Two years ago next month, the Supreme Court reversed the calamitous 1973 abortion rulings that led to the taking of nearly 64 million lives.

But what should have been the fulfillment of decades of effort to heal a blot on our national conscience has become a flashpoint of conflict. In the past 23 months, tens of thousands of infants have been saved in pro-life states — but perhaps two million more have been lost as the Biden administration and the abortion industry have combined to end all pretense that abortion is about health care and begun promoting do-it-yourself abortions by mail.

The Dobbs decision has given America a second chance. An opportunity to repent.

The times call for a new campaign for life, but instead, we see sign after sign of a retreat among our fellow Republicans on this defining issue. And now, there are rumors and reports of an organized campaign to weaken or remove altogether from the GOP platform language that insists every boy or girl in the womb has a right to life.

Having written a large portion of the last two Republican platforms and elected to the upcoming platform committee, I am involved in those conversations, and I am hopeful we will end in the right place.

But I want to be clear: The right to life transcends other political debates and the interests of any and all political parties and candidates. It is truly the right without which no other right has any meaning.

In his last speech before his death on April 11, 1865, Abraham Lincoln said, “Important principles may and must be inflexible.”

Advocates for the sanctity of human life want all political parties to embrace what our Founders declared as the first among the rights with which we are endowed by our Creator. On this, we are and must be inflexible.

To find our way forward in the 21st century, we only need to look back to America’s debates on slavery.

The Democratic Party once embraced “popular sovereignty,” which held that issues of profound significance, such as slavery, were private decisions for the plantation owner and his state. The Republicans of those days adopted three constitutional amendments to ensure slavery’s demise.

That Democratic Party was wrong then. And its ideology of “privacy” has been wrong for the past 50 years. To see abortion and assisted suicide as merely matters of private conscience is a cynical misreading of American history and a threat to the foundations of our American Republic.

The life issue is not a partisan one. We would, of course, like to see the party of Lincoln stand firm on what it has held as a matter of principle since 1856. We’d like to see it do so because it’s the right thing to do, and the party’s pro-life position has brought it more and more support from young people, African-Americans and Latinos.

From 1976 forward, the Republican platform has not only consistently affirmed the unborn child’s “fundamental individual right to life,” it has expanded its language to include issues from adoption and defunding of abortion providers to opposing cloning and supporting federal protections for infants born alive after induced abortion.

Likewise, abortion has not stood alone in these platforms, because the issue is transcendent in other ways, too. Attacks on human life have led to some of the most egregious assaults on the family and on religious freedom and conscience. To these the GOP has consistently said a vigorous “no.”

As the last four decades have now shown, when these principles are celebrated, the Grand Old Party prevails at the ballot box. When the messaging or the candidate deviates from these principles, failure is assured — look at the results in 1996, 2008 and 2012.

What are we to think when Republican leaders suggest reconsidering the party’s stance on the sanctity of human life, on constitutional protection for the unborn, and on a commitment that has lasted over half a century? That the Republican platform, for the first time in half a century, may sound a retreat on this core principle?

In such a situation, the alarm cannot be sounded too soon or too loud.

A single presidential election settles a country’s policy for four years. But our nation’s policy on the right to life is timeless.

To abandon it now, to adopt a platform that declares this issue of no national significance, that leaves the unborn completely exposed to dismemberment, cardiac injections, and poisoning in the womb, that sets the stage for a national policy of abortion on demand by a Democratic majority, would be a tragedy of historic proportions.

Let’s rededicate ourselves to this battle for true freedom — the freedom that celebrates life and refuses to destroy it.

Over the next two months, this battle will play out over a single document, the national Republican platform, but its object and prize are the soul of a nation. Let’s stir the spirit of the American people, of every party and persuasion, to rediscover the gift of life and our duty to uphold it in every sphere.

We must be inflexible on this important principle of the sanctity of human life — the future depends upon it.

Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council. He previously chaired the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Tony is the host of a nationally syndicated program, "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins." He is a pastor, Marine veteran, and former police officer. Read more Tony Perkins reports — Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The right to life transcends other political debates and the interests of any and all political parties and candidates. It is truly the right without which no other right has any meaning.
republicans, abortion
Friday, 24 May 2024 02:18 PM
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