Pro-Life Politicians Need To Be Good At Both

Not to be lost among all the misery should be a little self-examination for pro-lifers.

I know that some pro-lifers questioned Mitt Romney's pro-life credentials. I know I did. Leave that aside for a moment.

Nobody questioned the pro-life credentials of Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin, but they both still lost winnable elections.

They are both very good men and totally committed to the pro-life cause. But we need to demand more of our pro-life politicians. Of course they need to be solidly pro-life, but they also need to be good politicians.

Both of these men lost their elections on unforced errors on the topic of rape and abortion. Yes, the media has a gotcha mentality and blow up any misstep. But this is a given, they need to be prepared for it. Frankly, this question is not that hard to deal with.

When politicians are representing pro-lifers in the political arena, they better darn well be good politicians. Sincerity and orthodoxy are no substitute for being prepared and staying on message.

We need to be careful in selecting our candidates, most especially when we are conducting primary battles against incumbents. The inexperience and unpreparedness of these two men hurt the pro-life cause on the national level.

Pro-life politicians need to be both good pro-lifers and good politicians. You can't have one without the other.

*subhead*Can't have one without the other.*subhead*


  1. Although I rarely read the Huffington Post, Sister Mary Ann Walsh, Director of Media relations for the USCCB wrote an excellent article on what we as Catholics can do now. Her point "we remain a blessed nation. A quick look at starvation in Africa and war in the Middle East drives home awareness of the blessings the United States holds." is beyond wise, and should hopefully jolt Catholics from both sides of the aisle into putting what is truly important into perspective. She reiterates that as Catholics, we have a responsibility to protect life at all stages; it is this mission which will continue give us the credibility and clout to challenge abortion when being taunted and attacked by pro-abortionists who wrongfully argue that we only care about the unborn and forget what happens to the mother and child for the remainder of their life. Maybe we as Catholics are called to double-down on the grass-roots aspect of the struggle for the sanctity of life for the next four years.

  2. The truth of the barbaric massacre of innocent, defenceless baby boys and girls is credibility enough. Have a look, with fear and trembling, at a picture of a baby boy hacked to death by this so-called "procedure" on Ann Barnhardt's blog, if one needs one's reason and conscience recalibrated on the ongoing holocaust that millions are implicated in to varying degrees by commission or omission. Society must not continue to be shielded from the horrors for which it is responsible.

  3. I agree for the most part. The pro-life cause is an easy political victory with most folks being pro-life (about 55%) and most approving of current legislative issues such as parental consent. 86% are against third trimester abortions. We only need to speak very very carefully about rape and incest exceptions to win the debate.

    When it comes to Akin, he clearly screwed up but that was made worse by Romney et al running from him. But that's not the case with Mourdock. Mourdock lost to a candidate who ran as pro-life and the media, yes I'll blame them, campaigned with his story. It was a small error on his part. The problem is the uber focus on the economy, Folks were not prepared with a clear plan to debate abortion.

  4. Disclaimer: I'm not american but had been following this election closely on Catholic, European and american sources. I think that there are some lessons in this defeat. First is to keep working at the grass roots of the pro-life movement. Keep proving the pro-choice lobby wrong when they say you don't care about the woman only the baby. Second if you have candidates running as pro-life candidates, educate them. Neither the Republican Party or the pro-life movement can afford a repeat of the Akin incident. He seemed like a good man but it needs to be made clear that if you wish to discuss any subject such as abortion and rape you need to know what your talking about. You need to show the media that the Democrats do not have the monopoly on women's rights or women's issues. You need to show that abortion isn't good for women, that just because your against abortion it does not mean you wish to turn the clock back to 1950. Lastly if you want to be taken seriously about issues such as abortion and rape you need to distance yourself from religion. Before you shout me down I'm not talking about removing all mention of God a la Democratic convention but you cannot be taken seriously by the media or many people nowadays referring to biblical principles on abortion. There is science to back up your arguments don't be afraid to use it. But you need to move beyond the white religious right image the media are so fond of portraying. Religion is important but you can't keep preaching to the choir and need to reach out to different demographics to stand a fighting chance.
    These are just my two cents. I really hope that the Republican Party can take time to examine why they didn't win and can come back as a stronger more effective party because a single party system is extremely dangerous particularly with the strange personality cult that surrounds Obama.

  5. I'm always flummoxed by how badly politicians stumble on the rape exception issue. They have to know from the day they announce themselves as a pro-life candidate that they will be asked this question early and often, and quite frequently by a hostile interviewer. How can anyone possibly be caught off guard?

    It would be nice to see them start by pointing out that, not only is rape always a tragedy, but it's one that our current culture is woefully inadequate to combat - as demonstrated by the statistics regarding sexual assault, especially on our university campuses. From there, it's not a painful transition to highlighting that this question is really about the point at which life begins, and that circumstances, no matter how tragic or painful, can never be allowed to supercede a commitment to protect the most innocent. No one would find it acceptable to "dispose" of a child conceived in heartbreaking conditions after his or her birth - and for anyone who accepts the growing pool of scientific data that confirms that life - and therefore personhood - begin at conception, there can't be a difference.

    It might not be the conversation that wins the race, but it shouldn't be the one that loses it, either!

  6. I am in total agreement! The side for death is cunning and clever. So why do we prolifers walk around like freaks without a clever idea? I know, I know... pray pray pray... But we can do more. We are supposed to do mre. We need to be clever in the political realm, as well as all the other realms. Holding a sign that says 'Spit on me, I'm prolife' may not be the best tactic anymore, although I love sign-holding and don't think anyone should stop... I just don't believe it should stop THERE. I am also in agreement with Anon at the top here in comments... it is going to be grassroots (I just wrote about that very subject at my blog too!)

    Keep up the awesome work, everyone here! Archbold brothers, I totally stalked you on Facebook during the elections. At least you helped us chuckle during a nasty evening... ;)

    shalimamma at

  7. "A politician is an arse
    upon which everyone has sat
    except a man."
    -e.e. cummings

    We don't need better politicians. We need better people.

  8. RE: the "rape exception", politicians should just say what I do. Namely, "So you think we can murder people because of the circumstances of their conception? Yeah, that makes sense. Tell me, where do you stand on actually killing the rapist? Seems to me he should get a higher slot on the hit-parade, but I admit I read old books on ethics."


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