The Democratic Party and the question of late-term abortion

ON THE SAME day that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam shared comments on a radio program, which were widely interpreted to imply the approval of infanticide (Jan. 30), fellow Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to attendees of the annual Council for Christian Colleges and Universities conference (CCUC), during which she quoted her favorite Scripture – which it just so happens, is not in the Bible.

For most of our nation’s history, faith, and more specifically Christian faith, has been a necessary prerequisite for a successful political campaign in most regions of the country.

Even in today’s increasingly secular age, Northam and Pelosi are no exceptions to this rule. Northam is a member of First Baptist Church in Capeville, Va., and Pelosi has publicly stated that she is a practicing Catholic.

“I believe that faith is so much of the support, not only the aspiration for many of us but the support that gives people hope,” Pelosi said during the CCUC event. “Faith has always been the strength of our country.”

But the object of one’s faith matters. And any group that champions the murder of human beings – born or unborn – cannot honestly claim faith in Christ.

There is a blatant ethical contradiction between Pelosi’s references to Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31-46 when speaking to a group of Christian educators and Gov. Northam’s comments regarding third-trimester abortions.

The frightening thing is that the Democratic Party platform has no problem harmonizing such disparate moral frameworks.

While Northam’s recent comments implying approval of infanticide dealt him a public relations nightmare, those of us who believe that children – born and unborn – are made in the image of God, should not have been surprised by his statement. Is infanticide really any different than aborting a child, especially one completely viable outside the womb?

Abortion has not always been a partisan issue, but it forever became one during the first presidential election following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which federally legalized abortion in 1973. In 1976, the Democratic Party solidified its position as America’s pro-abortion party, according to a 2018 Washington Post article by Stacie Taranto, titled, “How abortion became the single most important litmus test in American politics.”

Back then Democrats pitched abortion as an unfortunate, but necessary, healthcare reality. In 1996, Bill Clinton was the first politician to coin the term, “safe, legal and rare,” in referring to the intended limited scope of abortion, according to a 2018 Harvard Political Review article by Lainey Newman, titled, “Safe, Legal, and Rare: The Democrats’ Evolving Stance on Abortion.”

Abortion rights advocates did not want to be seen as proponents, but rather as concerned citizens with their neighbor’s best interest in mind. They endorsed abortion as something that would not exist in a perfect world, but that should be offered to women as a safe, last resort to unwanted pregnancy or medical emergencies threatening the mother’s life.

Oh, how things have changed.

“Those who once told us that abortion had to remain safe, legal and rare now have made it dangerous, imposed and frequent,” Catholic Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan wrote in a Jan. 28 New York Post op-ed.

Dolan appropriately referred to New York’s Reproductive Health Act, signed into law Jan. 22 by New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo as “ghoulish,” citing that it, “allows for an abortion right up to the moment of birth; drops all charges against an abortionist who allows an aborted baby, who somehow survives the scissors, scalpel, saline, and dismemberment, to die before his eyes; mandates that, to make an abortion more convenient and easy, a physician need not perform it; and might even be used to suppress the conscience rights of health care professionals not to assist in the grisly procedures.

“As if that’s not enough, instead of admitting that abortion is always a tragic choice and those life-giving alternatives should be more vigorously promoted, the governor and his ‘progressive’ supporters celebrated signing the bill. At the governor’s command, even the lights of the Freedom Tower sparkled with delight,” wrote Dolan.

Gov. Cuomo’s radical hostility towards Pro-life individuals and politicians is evocative of the sentiments of the Democrat Party as a whole and is not a recent development.

In 2014 he deemed people who support protecting the sanctity of human life, “extreme conservatives,” and unwelcome in New York, in an interview with Susan Arbetter on WCNY’s “The Capitol Pressroom” radio program.

Like Pelosi, Cuomo is a professed Catholic, even as he legislates in direct opposition to the Catholic Church’s teachings on many issues, most notably abortion.

“The gridlock in Washington is less about Democrats and Republicans. It’s more about extreme Republicans versus moderate Republicans,” said Cuomo. “Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. … Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? … If that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

Recent legislation to reform abortion laws in several states, including New York’s Reproductive Health Act, are “best understood as a reaction to … palpable fear that President Donald Trump will reshape the courts to oppose modern abortion jurisprudence,” wrote Alexandra DeSanctis in a Feb. 4 piece for The Atlantic, titled, “Democrats Overplay Their Hand on Abortion.”

If DeSanctis is right, Democrats across the country must be frightened by the prospect of President Trump appointing new, Pro-life, Supreme Court justices as the positions become vacant, altering the landscape of federally legal abortion in our country. This is far from a victory for the sanctity of life at this time, but it might be indicative of light at the end of the bloody, four-decade-long tunnel of legal abortion.

Gone are the days when those who are pro-abortion can argue that an unborn child is not a child. And this fact is made even more glaringly apparent when laws legalize abortion of children until the day they are delivered.

Not to mention that recent scientific advances in our understanding of human development back up what Pro-life people have always known.

“We believe in babies and moms, and we believe in science,” Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse said in a speech at the 2018 Evangelicals for Life Conference hosted by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission in Washington.

“We sit at a technological moment where people are seeing what happens inside a mom’s tummy as a baby grows and develops. You cannot deny that’s a baby when you look at a picture,” said Sasse.

The Bible is clear that all human beings are made in the image of God and science is increasingly building a case that human beings are human from the point of conception.

The sixth of the Bible’s 10 Commandments is, “you shall not murder” (Ex. 20:13, ESV). Taking the life of a baby in the womb, or moments after he or she is born, is murder.

If Democrats support murdering the most innocent among us, then they should stop calling themselves Christians.

Contact Caleb Yarbrough at caleb@arkansasbaptist.org.

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