No exceptions

By Tom Cardella
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 15 | Posted Nov. 1, 2012

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The most unexpected issue in the 2012 presidential campaign has centered around abortion. True, abortion always has been a hot-button issue in American politics. Pro-life and pro-choice forces always have battled and those battles inevitably wind up in the political arena.

Much of the controversy this time around has been kicked up by differences within the pro-life movement that surround whether to allow exceptions in the case of rape, incest and danger to a woman’s life.

The Republican Party jumped into the controversy with both feet when it included at its political convention, a pro-life plank in its party platform without the usual exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the woman. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney practically insured that the issue would remain alive by selecting Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate. Romney is for the exceptions; Ryan is for no exceptions. Both Romney and Ryan tried to blunt their differences on the issue. Romney’s views as president would trump Ryan’s views as vice president, they claimed. The Romney campaign wanted to concentrate on their strongest argument for replacing Barack Obama – the weak economy. Every time Romney got back on message, the no exceptions debate got back into the news.

U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) who is running for senator, floated his theory that rape survivors don’t need abortions because the secretions from a woman’s body prevent conception so long as it is “legitimate rape.” U.S. Rep. incumbuent Steve King (R-Iowa) deflected a question about abortion being an option for 12-year-old rape victims as if that never happens. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) denied the possibility of abortion ever being necessary to save a woman’s life because of today’s medical technology. As each of these statements made national news, the Romney campaign had to stop and address the controversial remarks. But it really hit the fan when the only candidate that carries Romney’s personal endorsement in his campaign ads, Indiana senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock indicated that God controls whether a pregnancy occurs, even in the case of rape. The method whereby conception occurs is besides the point, Mourdock said, as a life is a life. Romney, placed squarely on the spot, refused to withdraw his endorsement of Mourdock, while other prominent Republicans such as John McCain (R-Ariz) withdrew theirs. That Romney disagrees with Mourdock was all the Romney campaign could manage in response.

While Republicans tried to paint Mourdock as an outlier on the abortion issue, the plain fact is that not only is this the official position of the Republican Party, but also its vice-presidential candidate. Republicans loathe to be called on the issue because they know it can cost them votes.

Those who don’t allow for any exceptions involving abortion have logic on their side. If you believe life begins at conception, then it logically follows that all abortions are murder. Once you are on this path, it must also logically follow that not only a doctor performing an abortion is guilty of murder, but so is the woman having the abortion. No politician is willing to take religious purity that far, even Ryan.

The “no exception” debate within the pro-life movement illustrates the thorny thicket of turning the religious views of some into law in America where a diversity of beliefs exist. It is the reason why, no matter how imperfect the Roe v. Wade ruling, it is the best answer to the problem at this time. What seems perfectly consistent with their religious views to some, seems to others like having someone else’s religion forced down their throat.

It is ironic that Republicans, who profess such reverence for the Constitution, appear all too willing to blur the line between separation of church and state. Republicans, who like to quote the Founding Fathers extensively, willfully ignore that this country was founded by people fleeing religious persecution. It is no accident the Founding Fathers erected a constitutional barrier between church and state. It was erected to frustrate those that want to write their own religious beliefs into our laws.

Some may think that I am being unfair by pinning the problem on today’s Republican Party, but that party has only itself to blame. It has driven its moderates right out of the party, and with them went any sign of restraint on these issues. Yet at the same time, Romney realizes that the dark underbelly of his party is not freedom, but infringement of our personal rights. So Romney, the self-proclaimed “severe conservative,” is now running as a moderate. He is the wolf in lamb’s clothing. His right-wing base knows where his heart really lies.

As Barack Obama recently pointed out, the next president will likely get to shape the Supreme Court. It is not a scare tactic, but a fact relied on also by the other side. Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance because as the Supreme Court goes, so go your personal rights.

Contact the South Philly Review at editor@southphillyreview.com.

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Comments 1 - 15 of 15
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1. RussellCrawford said... on Nov 1, 2012 at 06:32AM

“It is not the conflict among pro lifers regarding exceptions to abortion that is the problem. The problem is that the pro life movement is imploding due to its failure to be supported by scientific law. Six laws prove that abortion in fact saves life and that pro lifers actually cause death. http://www.naturalabortionlaws.com http://www.facebook.com/naturalabortionlaw
It is a scientific fact that until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype the product of conception cannot be proved to be human or alive.”

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2. DanH said... on Nov 1, 2012 at 06:40PM

““Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. I had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled the Christians so that their religious fights would not endanger the peace of Society.” George Washington Letter to Sir Edward Newenham, June 22, 1792

The founding fathers knew that is why separation of church and state.”

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3. Phlem said... on Nov 1, 2012 at 08:53PM

“Me thinks RussellCrawford and DanH are the same writer.”

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4. Anonymous said... on Nov 2, 2012 at 02:08AM

“Oxymora as paradoxes.
"Six laws prove that abortion in fact saves life and that pro lifers actually cause death." Yo Dan, I bet you feel a lot more like you do now than you did a while ago.”

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5. DanH said... on Nov 2, 2012 at 03:05AM

“LOL I am not RussellCrawford I am a Christian and my Bible is normally no further than an arms length from me.
1.I don't try to argue using science with people the refuse to acknowledge science.
2.The fact that many Christians continue to falsely claim that the founding father created America as a Christian nation can be disproved using the founding fathers own writings.Here are a few more feel free to look them up.
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” John Adams, Treaty of Tripoly, article 11
“Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites.” Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia
“In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.”

“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.” James Madison, April 1, 1774”

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6. Noon, 1/20/2013 said... on Nov 2, 2012 at 09:51AM

“78 Days to GO!!!!”

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7. Sport said... on Nov 2, 2012 at 12:45PM

“So you're back, Noon. I see you changed your name out of shame. So the girls are still laughing at the minuscule size of your body part. LOL. Maybe your next post you can sign on as HalfInch. ROFLMAO!!”

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8. Sport said... on Nov 2, 2012 at 01:41PM

“Please ignore my post at 12:45, I am really an intelligent person, please believe me!”

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9. Noon said... on Nov 3, 2012 at 01:02AM

“OK, OK it's small. But my sister doesn't laugh at me.”

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10. Rockefeller Republican said... on Nov 4, 2012 at 06:05PM

“It's disheartening to me how the sons of two men I admired, George H.W. Bush and George Romney, turned out to be such ideological conservatives.”

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11. Tom Cardella said... on Nov 5, 2012 at 11:59AM

“To Rockefeller Republican--I share your disappointment (I thinky ou mean George W. Bush, not his father). I think in Bush 43's case, he was easily influenced by the neo-cons because of his foreing policy inexperience and his desire for revenge on Saddam. In Romney's case, I think he lacks any core beliefs and was willing to shift far to the Right to assuage the Tea party and win the nomination. The future of the Republican Party is not bright unless it can become more moderate, even if Romney wins tomorrow. The party needs to find a way to get Latino voters back into the fold and stop turning off blacks and college educated women. If not, it has no long term future because of changing demographics in this country.”

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12. James said... on Nov 6, 2012 at 01:07PM

“I voted today, for Romney, for Casey, and against nepotism in the fire department. That's 2/3 against the Inquirer's preferences and probably 2/3 against this columnist's. Is that enough to get me a job as Op-ed Contributor at the South Philly Review? I promise not to write a word about the Eagles.”

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13. Tom Cardella said... on Nov 7, 2012 at 11:51AM

“Try Human Resources, I don't do the hiring. But you're wrong again on your assumptions--I was with you on 2 out of 3.”

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14. Tom Cardella said... on Nov 7, 2012 at 12:12PM

“Hey Noon--just exactly why are you so so breathlessly awaiting some event in the next 78 days? Is there a big sale at Macy's in January?”

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15. Sport said... on Nov 7, 2012 at 09:50PM

“Tom, Noon's too busy trying to locate his equipment, so let me give you a clue:

1) It has to do with a ceremony.
2) It has to do with a person mentioned in your column.
3) It actually occurs the day before the public ceremony.”


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