The Pro-Life Movement After Trump: Can We Get Along?
Matthew Anderson
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What I would like to see is many pro-life leaders stop acting as if it’s winner-take-all when it comes to presidential elections. There is more to be done for the pro-life cause than to elect a Republican who may or may not have the chance to put a pro-life justice on the Supreme Court. That justice may or may not actually be pro-life once they are on the court. And even if that justice actually is pro-life, they may or may not have the opportunity to do anything to restrict abortion. It may be that it would require multiple justices who are pro-life to change the law, but then the next president turns out to be a Democrat, and so we are back to square one. The “Christians must vote for a Republican because of the Supreme Court and abortion” argument is quite flawed. The many unknowns mean that focusing all our energy on electing a Republican president means that we aren’t necessarily fighting other battles where we may actually win. Most of the country (63%) opposes overturning Roe v. Wade [http://www.pewforum.org/2013/01/16/roe-v-wade-at-40/]. At some point, we Christians need to realize that we have lost this particular battle, but could win the war in other ways. Specifically, state laws are being passed in many cases that restrict, but do not abolish, abortion. Making birth control more widely available will reduce unwanted pregnancies and potential abortions. Crisis pregnancy centers, adoption agencies, and other community-based organizations can provide support to women who might otherwise get an abortion. We can advocate for policies to support families, such as paid family leave, expanded access to health care, affordable childcare and preschool, etc. (which I can’t help but point out that these policies are generally Democratic ones). And we can try to change the conversation about abortion so that we do bring new allies into the movement, as are described in that Slate article you cited. I have been surprised recently to find that the pro-life movement is more of a big tent than I realized, with many secular folks in our corner as well for reasons that are quite different than the ones that Christians consider. With this election, I think we are moving away from traditional divides, such as Democrat vs. Republican [David Brooks has an interesting article on this: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/09/opinion/time-for-a-realignment.html?_r=0] and maybe the camps that typically supported pro-life or pro-choice will shift as well. We need new allies. And if the pro-life movement = the Republican party, then we are not going to get those allies.
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