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Is Waiting For a Constitutional Ban on Abortion Really Pro-Life?
The Southern Ledger ^ | November 18th, 2007 | Steve Gill,

Posted on 11/18/2007 5:27:53 PM PST by Josh Painter

When the nation’s largest right to life organization endorsed Fred Thompson last week it sparked some criticism of his pro-life record by his disappointed opponents for the Republican nomination. Thompson produced a 100% pro-life voting record during his eight years in the U.S. Senate, yet some in the pro-life community were dismayed by the National Right to Life endorsement decision and see him as “squishy” on the issue. He believes Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overturned, but he has also expressed doubts about whether a Constitutional ban on abortion is practical or politically feasible.

Consistent with his Federalist principles, Thompson prefers to allow the states to apply restrictions on abortion should Roe v. Wade get overturned. It is that viewpoint that has evoked outrage from those who claim Thompson’s approach is actually a pro-abortion position.

-snip-

Given the opportunity, there are perhaps thirty states that would impose restrictions on abortion that could dramatically reduce the numbers of unborn babies killed each year... But the practice would come to an end, or face reasonable restrictions, in many places.

The bottom line is that the Thompson approach would actually save lives while the “we won’t save anybody until we can save everybody” plan will result in hundreds of thousands of abortions each year that COULD be prevented. So, which approach is really MORE pro-life? I suspect that the unborn babies in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and numerous other states where voters would support restrictions on abortion would support Thompson and his Federalist approach…if they could. The fact that the nation’s largest pro-life organization sees the practical, and life saving, value of an incremental approach to abortion policy should be applauded rather than utilized as a political wedge to divide pro-life voters.

(Excerpt) Read more at southernledger.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: fredthompson; gop; nomination; prolife
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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Fredipedia - the definitive Fred Thompson quick-reference

The Fred Thompson War Room - Fighting back for Fred!
1 posted on 11/18/2007 5:27:56 PM PST by Josh Painter
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To: Josh Painter
Excellent point.

The liberals have gotten themselves where they are today through incrementalism.

Thompson's federalist approach is constitutionally sound, and it would probably save more babies faster than trying to get a constitutional amendment through -- which can take years and years, even in the best of circumstances, and if opposed by a political faction it may take forever.

So (especially given his 100% voting record) it seems to me that calling Thompson's position pro-abortion is not just a stretch, it's an outright lie.

2 posted on 11/18/2007 5:32:18 PM PST by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: AnAmericanMother

“probably save more babies faster”
Excellent point.


3 posted on 11/18/2007 5:34:00 PM PST by dynachrome (Immigration without assimilation means the death of this nation~Captainpaintball)
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To: AnAmericanMother

“So (especially given his 100% voting record) it seems to me that calling Thompson’s position pro-abortion is not just a stretch, it’s an outright lie.”

quite a twist of logic there


4 posted on 11/18/2007 5:38:00 PM PST by driftdiver
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To: Josh Painter
It's worth noting that Abraham Lincoln's response to questions about the Dred Scott decision was, "We believe it was wrong and will work to get it changed."

We shouldn't have to amend the Constitution every time the Supreme Court botches a decision.

5 posted on 11/18/2007 5:48:19 PM PST by JoeFromSidney (My book is out. Read excerpts at http://www.thejusticecooperative.com)
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To: Josh Painter

Are there any MittWits left to make this into a big argument? If there are, they’ve been awful quiet today.


6 posted on 11/18/2007 6:02:45 PM PST by perfect_rovian_storm (John Cox 2008: Because Duncan Hunter just isn't obscure enough for me!)
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To: Josh Painter

Is it Pro-Life?

It is if you’re settin’ the stage for the repeal of the laws and court decisions that allow baby killings.

But not if you’re just sittin’ on your hands doing nothing.


7 posted on 11/18/2007 6:07:55 PM PST by papasmurf (sudo apt - get install FRed Thompson)
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To: AnAmericanMother; Josh Painter

Returning the abortion issue to the states is actually a good idea because the states have an important role to play in the amendment process. Any amendment must be ratified by three fourths of the state legislatures before it becomes law.


8 posted on 11/18/2007 6:16:11 PM PST by steadfastconservative
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To: Josh Painter

Great article. It’s a cop out for a candidate to say, “I’m for the HLA” when in reality the President has no role whatsoever in amending the Constitution. That’s like being for apple pie and motherhood. Great, but what are you going to do about it? Republicans have been “for the HLA” for decades, and where has it gotten us? At least Fred has a plan that might actually work.

Fred’s federalist method, given half a chance, will drastically reduce the number of abortions in this country in a way that being “for the HLA” hasn’t.

It also opens up the debate in all 50 states and lets pro-life forces bring the issue to the forefront of peoples’ minds. The specifics of abortion are not something people want to dwell on. Open up the debate, run ads, get the issue out there, and make people confront their consciences. I think we’d likely end up with at least 30 states banning abortion outright with several more restricting it. Then the next logical step would be to use those states as a platform from which to push for a Constitutional ban.

Being “for the HLA” is a great political soundbite, but, pragmatically, it hasn’t worked. Returning the issue to the states will.


9 posted on 11/18/2007 6:18:33 PM PST by LadyNavyVet
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To: Josh Painter

No, it’s not. Frederalism will save babies, tilting at windmills for an impossible-to-obtain HLA won’t.


10 posted on 11/18/2007 6:31:31 PM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Conservatives - Freedom WITH responsibility; Libertarians - Freedom FROM responsibility)
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To: Josh Painter
Hello,

Excellent article, and absolutely right. The Left got a hold on this nation over many decades. They didn’t reach this point overnight. We will not be able to reverse the damage done by the Left overnight.

Let’s do, today, what we can to improve the situation. Then, tomorrow, we will be able to do more. The next, even more.

MOgirl

11 posted on 11/18/2007 6:40:42 PM PST by MOgirl (Prayers for my Mom. (Your prayers must be working, she is doing much better!!))
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To: AnAmericanMother

“Thompson’s federalist approach is constitutionally sound, and it would probably save more babies faster than trying to get a constitutional amendment through”

I believe Thompson is not against a Constitutional amendment, per se. I think the kind of amendment that he would support would remove abortion from federal jurisdiction, while it want not, on its own, make federal “pro-life” mandate. I agree with that approach, from a constitutional and federalist perspective and I believe that social conservatives, primarily protestant and Catholic Christians, would achieve many gains (against abortion on demand), in the states, if federal courts, and particularly the supreme court could not intervene. I think an amendment that simply ends that intervention would serve everyone well.


12 posted on 11/18/2007 6:47:54 PM PST by Wuli
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To: Wuli

I agree.

Anyone willing to look at the 10th Amendment should agree that abortion should never have been a federal issue in the first place.


13 posted on 11/18/2007 7:00:46 PM PST by guinnessman
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To: Josh Painter
In the current pro-life abortion debates, there is too much emphasis on changing the law, and not enough emphasis on changing minds. If enough minds are changed, the law will eventually follow. If abortion is somehow made illegal without changing those minds, abortion will be soon be legalized again.

The most important thing is to convince young women that abortion is immoral, so they make the right "choice." What matters is the fetal body count, not the ideological purity of presidential candidates.

I wonder if pro-life films save more fetuses than pro-life politicians. A film is able to promote the pro-life message in a way that actually changes minds.

By the way, this business of calling Thompson/Giuliani/Romney "pro-abortion" is factually wrong and anti-Republican. None of them wants for abortions to occur, and I very much doubt that electing any of them would increase the fetal body count.

14 posted on 11/18/2007 7:18:51 PM PST by TChad
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To: Josh Painter

The Republican Platform:

As a country, we must keep our pledge to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence. That is why we say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation to make it clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.


15 posted on 11/18/2007 7:24:04 PM PST by EternalVigilance (Our God-given rights, and those of our posterity, are not open to debate, negotiation or compromise!)
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To: TChad
None of them wants for abortions to occur

Neither does John Kerry:

"I oppose abortion, personally. I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception." - John F. Kerry

16 posted on 11/18/2007 7:26:00 PM PST by EternalVigilance (Our God-given rights, and those of our posterity, are not open to debate, negotiation or compromise!)
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To: JoeFromSidney

>>We shouldn’t have to amend the Constitution every time the Supreme Court botches a decision.<<

I’ve been thinking about this.

I believe there is a right to privacy but that it does not include the right to kill your child. (tempting though that me be after the age of 15). Since the right to privacy lives in many parts of the Constitution and congress can’t simply change one part, the Supreme Court needs reverse Roe v Wade. There’s really no other way to clean up the judicial precedents set by the Court in Roe, if you believe like I do.

Now, a different conservative might disagree with me. He may think privacy is not one of the non-enumerated Federal rights. He might need more than simply reversing Row to feel a win - He may feel the Supreme Court needs its scope reduced in one of the two legal ways - law or amendment.

I don’t think its so much that I’m right or that he is right but rather point our points of view are both reasonable depending on whether you think privacy is a Federal right.


17 posted on 11/18/2007 7:29:30 PM PST by gondramB (Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.)
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To: EternalVigilance
As a country, we must keep our pledge to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence. That is why we say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed

This was never the law, anywhere in the US prior to Roe v. Wade, nor in any other common law country.

Abortion has never been punished as murder - never, nowhere.

What you are trying to do is very difficult, because it has never been done.

18 posted on 11/18/2007 7:36:41 PM PST by Jim Noble (Trails of trouble, roads of battle, paths of victory we shall walk.)
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To: Jim Noble

That’s been the Republican platform since 1984.


19 posted on 11/18/2007 7:37:29 PM PST by EternalVigilance (Our God-given rights, and those of our posterity, are not open to debate, negotiation or compromise!)
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To: EternalVigilance
That’s been the Republican platform since 1984.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

Have they done anything about it?

Why do you think that is?

20 posted on 11/18/2007 7:43:11 PM PST by Jim Noble (Trails of trouble, roads of battle, paths of victory we shall walk.)
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To: Jim Noble
Why do you think that is?

Because they lack vision.

"Without a vision, My people perish." - Proverbs 29:18

21 posted on 11/18/2007 7:48:01 PM PST by EternalVigilance (Our God-given rights, and those of our posterity, are not open to debate, negotiation or compromise!)
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To: EternalVigilance
Neither does John Kerry:

Good for him.

22 posted on 11/18/2007 7:49:59 PM PST by TChad
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To: Josh Painter

I’ve posted this in a couple of places and it doesn’t seem to get much more than a yawn, even though it’s kinda-sorta an incremental approach.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1908148/posts?page=125#125

I believe a fetus is a human being who deserves protection under the law from being killed.
***I do too. That fetus deserves protection extended by the state.

I do wonder if it is biblical to extend “full” protection to a fetus? I.e. when a man hurts a pregnant woman, he’s expected to pay an eye for an eye & a tooth for a tooth. But if the unborn baby is killed, the price is not the same.

Perhaps it is time to consider a 3 (or even 4) tiered system of protection.

Tier 1: Living, viable, late term baby which will not be aborted unless the life of the mother is at stake.

Tier 2: Living, not-yet-viable pre-born human who should have the right to protection and life and a safe womb to which it can attain viability. Cannot be aborted unless there is an open rape case associated with the pregnancy or the life of the mother is at stake.

Tier 3: Living, early stage, not yet viable pre-born human for whom we do not extend the rights of life in this society because of a historical snag where we once considered such tissue not to be a baby. We as a society thought it was best to consider it a private decision. I personally do not believe in Tier3 abortions, but I can understand that there are many who think it is a “right to choose” at this stage. It may be time to consider a program where the woman declares her pregnancy and intent to abort. Our societal function at this point would be to provide a family that is willing to adopt this baby and to put up this woman for 6-8 months in a safe environment so the baby can grow and maybe the woman can learn some life skills. If our society cannot muster the forces necessary to save this baby, the woman has the sickening “right” to abort this pregnancy. Time for us to put up or shut up.

With a 3-tiered plan in place, women would stop using abortion as a means of birth control. Millions of lives would be saved. We would extend the right to life to every human that we have resources to save. Unfortunately, if we cannot put up the resources to save the Tier3 babies, we still would have this horrible practice staining our nation’s soul.

125 posted on 10/08/2007 1:43:20 PM PDT by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq — via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.)
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23 posted on 11/18/2007 7:52:23 PM PST by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq — via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.)
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To: EternalVigilance
Because they lack vision.

No, it's because they lack the votes of the people to sustain their alleged position contained in the party platform.

24 posted on 11/18/2007 7:53:51 PM PST by Jim Noble (Trails of trouble, roads of battle, paths of victory we shall walk.)
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To: Jim Noble

Nah. The problem is that most of them are like many of the people on this site. They like to call themselves pro-life, but aren’t willing to contend for the right to life if it costs them anything personally. And God forbid that the personhood of the unborn, and what that means, should inform their choice of candidates for public office.


25 posted on 11/18/2007 8:03:33 PM PST by EternalVigilance (Our God-given rights, and those of our posterity, are not open to debate, negotiation or compromise!)
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To: Josh Painter

“Is Waiting For a Constitutional Ban on Abortion Really Pro-Life?”

Pro life? Yes.

Practical? No.


26 posted on 11/18/2007 8:06:53 PM PST by Grunthor (Liberals need to be reminded that The Holy Bible is more than just God’s opinion.)
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To: jellybean; Politicalmom; girlangler; KoRn; Shortstop7; Lunatic Fringe; Darnright; babygene; ...
PING!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Fredipedia: The Definitive Fred Thompson Reference

WARNING: If you wish to join, be aware that this ping list is EXTREMELY active.

27 posted on 11/18/2007 8:21:38 PM PST by Politicalmom (Of the potential GOP front runners, FT has one of the better records on immigration.- NumbersUSA)
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To: Grunthor

So, you don’t think FRed’s proposal will work?


28 posted on 11/18/2007 8:26:15 PM PST by papasmurf (sudo apt - get install FRed Thompson)
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To: gondramB

I do actually disagree that there is a ‘right’ to privacy. Where do we extend this right? Where do we stop it? If you’re dealing drugs, you’re committing a crime. But if you’re doing it in your bedroom, it’s not? Well, if we’re going to be consistent in how we apply these laws, that would be the case. Your bedroom (or your home) would be your private realm and you’d have a ‘right’ to privacy there.

All of it opens a huge can of worms.

There were other decisions leading up to Roe that helped build the case for a ‘right to privacy’. The Griswold vs Connecticut decision is where the ‘right to privacy’ first came into play involving birth control. That was where the ‘penumbra’ argument first reared it’s ugly head. Again, if you apply this ‘right’ to other things, you come up with things that just plain don’t make sense.

I stand with Hugo Black and Antonin Scalia. There is no right to privacy ANYWHERE in the Constitution.


29 posted on 11/18/2007 8:37:20 PM PST by perfect_rovian_storm (John Cox 2008: Because Duncan Hunter just isn't obscure enough for me!)
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To: Josh Painter

There is nothing in the constitution to make it a federal issue.

While abortion is wrong and abhorrent the critical error of Roe v Wade was the idea that it was a federal issue.

If we feel it should be a federal issue there are ways to address it such as amending the constitution etc.


30 posted on 11/18/2007 8:42:18 PM PST by festus (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: gondramB

As an aside:

Judicial conservatism is about recognizing a can of worms and deciding not to open it.

This brings us to the question of how to close a can of worms once it’s already been opened. There, we begin the long and arduous task of putting each worm back in the can, one at a time, and then closing the can for good. That is how we must approach this issue.


31 posted on 11/18/2007 8:50:15 PM PST by perfect_rovian_storm (John Cox 2008: Because Duncan Hunter just isn't obscure enough for me!)
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To: perfect_rovian_storm
Are there any MittWits left to make this into a big argument? If there are, they’ve been awful quiet today.

They are tending to their wounds and in one case, a nervous breakdown. It hasn't been a good week for the Rominoids, and the last 36 hours was a waterloo of sorts. But I think a bit of a break and a few spliffs and they will be back in the battle all the better for the rest.

32 posted on 11/18/2007 8:53:05 PM PST by HerrBlucher (He's the coolest thing around, gonna shut HRC down, gonna turn it on, wind it up, blow em out, FDT!)
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To: MOgirl

Wars are won by incremental battle victories...we need to remember that in this “war” as well. FRed’s approach is a good battle plan.


33 posted on 11/18/2007 9:07:29 PM PST by FlashBack (www.proudpatriots.org/www.woundedwarriorproject.org/www.moveamericaforward.org)
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To: Josh Painter
Mr. Gill is presenting us with a false choice by trying to frame the issue this way. We can pursue overturning Roe versus Wade to allow individual states to ban abortion while at the same time pursuing a Constitutional Amendment to say that the unborn child is a person. Abraham Lincoln wasn't an extremist who was willing to allow slavery to exist everywhere because he couldn't extinguish it everywhere, but he also understood that the country could not survive as a "divided house" where every state had a different definition of who was a person with full rights. The wording of an amendment will be difficult, but only a Constitutional Amendment can establish a single definition for the entire country. Once that single definition of a person is established, then individual states should be allowed to decide how they'll deal with protecting these unborn citizens.

Another problem with Mr. Thompson's approach is that overturning Roe versus Wade only by a Supreme Court decision leaves open the possibility that the next president will appoint a different judge who will rule to bring back abortion as a right. Until we have an amendment defining the unborn child as a person, abortion could go back and forth with each change of administration. We aren't ready to pass an amendment at this time, but the idea that an amendment is a bad idea is wrong.

Bill

34 posted on 11/18/2007 9:10:06 PM PST by WFTR (Liberty isn't for cowards)
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To: FlashBack
Hello,

Exactly. We must start small, just like they did. The idea that we can win the last battle, the biggest battle, FIRST, is simply not going to happen.

MOgirl

35 posted on 11/18/2007 9:31:30 PM PST by MOgirl (Prayers for my Mom. (Your prayers must be working, she is doing much better!!))
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To: MOgirl
Couldn’t have said it better myself
36 posted on 11/18/2007 9:33:13 PM PST by StoneWall Brigade (Duncan Hunter 08!)
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To: FlashBack

The incrementalist arguments have their roots in Hegel’s philosophy - which led to Marx, Engels and Lenin.

It works great for evil, but very poorly for good.

You can add poison to a cup of wine incrementally, and make it a poison cup.

But, if you add wine to a cup of poison, you will not end up with a cup of wine. It will still be a poison cup.


37 posted on 11/18/2007 9:47:49 PM PST by EternalVigilance (Our God-given rights, and those of our posterity, are not open to debate, negotiation or compromise!)
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To: TChad

The efforts of pro-life organizations (speaking as a decades long member of two major ones and supporter of local pro-life crisis pregnancy centers) to change minds gets very little notice in the general circulation press. The notice they do receive is generally negative in tone (they are “moralistic,” promote abstinence, et cetera, et cetera).
But as to a broader point, the matter of constitutionally banning abortion, I doubt very much that many pro-life activists would support that because occasionally, very rarely but occasionally, abortion is necessary to preserve the life of a pregnant woman. For starters, it would be nice to see Roe overturned, and a declarative finding by the Supremes that there is no “right to abort” in the U. S. Constitution.


38 posted on 11/18/2007 9:50:07 PM PST by Elsiejay (,)
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To: AnAmericanMother
So (especially given his 100% voting record) it seems to me that calling Thompson's position pro-abortion is not just a stretch, it's an outright lie.

Exactly!

39 posted on 11/18/2007 10:19:13 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: papasmurf

As I understand it, Fred wants to overturns Roe and send the issue back to the states. Where it belongs. I believe that has a better chance to save more lives sooner than a Constitutional Amendment would.


40 posted on 11/18/2007 10:55:57 PM PST by Grunthor (Glenn Beck is performing Paul Revere’s function the hard way – without a horse.)
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To: gondramB
"I believe there is a right to privacy but that it does not include the right to kill your child"

There are so many lies that Roe v Wade was based upon, one being that a right to privacy includes a nonexistent right to kill her unborn child, because a woman has a choice to do what she will with her body.

It seems to get lost on these people or they consciously disregard it, that a few choices have already been made by her and the man if she ends up with child, and now there is another life with its own body that she is choosing to destroy.

41 posted on 11/18/2007 11:34:35 PM PST by valkyry1
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To: driftdiver
“So (especially given his 100% voting record) it seems to me that calling Thompson’s position pro-abortion is not just a stretch, it’s an outright lie.”

quite a twist of logic there

I don't think so. To rephase, it would simply be a lie to say that Thompson's position is pro-abortion. Are you saying you disagree with that?

42 posted on 11/19/2007 1:25:05 AM PST by TN4Liberty (A liberal is someone who believes Scooter Libby should be in jail and Bill Clinton should not.)
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To: Josh Painter
FRED WANTS TO SAVE LIVES....

SO WE'RE GOING TO SEND HIM A THANKSGIVING DAY GIFT!



Click Here!

43 posted on 11/19/2007 2:07:51 AM PST by W04Man (I'm Now With Fred http://Vets4Fred.net)
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To: TN4Liberty

I disagree with what I thought you said. However not with what you really said. Either I misread or your rephrasing helped. Perhaps it was the article that got me confused.


44 posted on 11/19/2007 2:13:37 AM PST by driftdiver
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To: EternalVigilance

“But, if you add wine to a cup of poison, you will not end up with a cup of wine. It will still be a poison cup.”

Thats very true, but is your analogy? Conservatives keep working for the home run but in the meantime the socialists are getting base hits out the ying yang. So far the score is drastically favoring the socialists.

One sign that you’re in trouble is you they keep doing the same thing day-after-day and are not happy with the outcome; yet you somehow expect it to have a different result the next time you try it.


45 posted on 11/19/2007 2:22:36 AM PST by driftdiver
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To: driftdiver
LOL, okay. I thought the article had an obtuse way of saying it, but I think the writer’s bottom line was that he thinks it is clear that Fred is pro-life. I think.
46 posted on 11/19/2007 2:48:23 AM PST by TN4Liberty (A liberal is someone who believes Scooter Libby should be in jail and Bill Clinton should not.)
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To: Josh Painter; All

Very good article and thread. Thanks to all contributors.

life


47 posted on 11/19/2007 2:55:30 AM PST by PGalt
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To: TN4Liberty

“LOL, okay. I thought the article had an obtuse way of saying it, but I think the writer’s bottom line was that he thinks it is clear that Fred is pro-life. I think.”

I admit to scanning the article. I usually do that to see if I’m interested enough to read it. My first impression was that it was a hit piece based on twisted logic. But I could be wrong.


48 posted on 11/19/2007 3:01:13 AM PST by driftdiver
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To: Kevmo

Simply not workable ,, besides the less than full human references you can quote relating to punishments are all “old testament” and predate any human knowledge of fetal development..

Why is it not workable? ,, Simple ,, the same clinics that fudge conception dates after a quickie ultrasound ,, either up in weeks to get a higher fee or down in weeks to bypass state enacted bans on late abortions will simply take the practice to the extreme and continue to exist in a world without regulation thanks to their protectors , the democRATS.


49 posted on 11/19/2007 3:16:57 AM PST by Neidermeyer
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To: EternalVigilance
Because they lack vision.

More like they lack the necessary votes. When the environment is such that there's even an outside chance at getting 2/3 of the House, 2/3 of the Senate, and 3/4 of the state legislatures, then pushing for an HLA makes sense. Until then, it's nothing but a vague promise to something that won't happen.

50 posted on 11/19/2007 5:32:08 AM PST by kevkrom ("Should government be doing this? And if so, then at what level of government?" - FDT)
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