Abortion Opponents Should Unify Behind Sanford
July 7, 2002
(The COMMONCHOICE 2002 series examines the vital issues and various candidates involved in the 2002 general election races in South Carolina. I welcome any suggestions for future articles in this series. Send your story ideas and general election information to me by clicking on the E-mail link. Feel free to click on the Comment button to share what you think about this article and any of the articles in the series -- good or bad! Thanks for actively participating in the conversation on Commonvoice.com.)
Here we go again!
There are some extremely unscrupulous editors in the mainstream media (notably Lee Bandy from The State newspaper) who are doing their best to lead us to believe that there is an internal split amongst those South Carolina citizens who believe that abortion is wrong. Unfortunately for these desperate editorial writers and their lame duck Democratic Governor, this split is just a figment of their imagination!
The genesis of this so-called great divide began in the 2000 GOP Presidential primary race between Sen. John McCain and Gov. George W. Bush. Bush won that election easily in South Carolina after an especially contentious political battle. The nastiness of that campaign picked up again in this yearís Republican Governorís race, especially in the two-week runoff election between Mark Sanford and Bob Peeler. Sanford won convincingly, despite the enormous opposition from numerous opponents of abortion.
With Sanfordís landslide victory in the GOP gubernatorial runoff, many South Carolinians who associate themselves with the pro-life movement are supposedly torn about who to support in the Governorís race and what their role will be in future elections.
As someone who considers himself pro-life, I just donít get it!
While the Christian Coalition and other abortion opponent groups united in the early 1990ís to form a powerful political force in South Carolina, the man they decided to support in the 2002 GOP gubernatorial race lost. And he lost bad! Does this mean they should just give up on the other Republican nominee and support the Democratic candidate for Governor? (You would be surprised to learn that many of them are actually thinking about doing this!)
To answer this question, letís use the Hodges campaign ad tactic and take a closer look at the records of both candidates.
Mark Sanford is unabashedly pro-life. He has stated that since human life begins at conception, it is important for all of us to stand up for the rights of the unborn. This conclusion on the issue of abortion has been formed through his personal faith in God and as the father of four young boys. He believes that it is critical that Roe v. Wade be reversed because our society has failed to recognize the inherent right to life of the 2 million babies killed each year by abortion. He is in favor of providing women with real alternatives to abortion that provide safe, compassionate solutions that take care of both the mother and her child. He recommends organizations such as the Crisis and Carolina Pregnancy Centers, Miracle Hill and other local ministries in South Carolina to provide real life remedies to this very real problem. He admits that there is so much more that can and should be done. Finally, Sanford has asserted clearly that he will do anything and everything he can to discourage abortion from happening in South Carolina when he is elected Governor.
Despite the failed attempts by political opponents on both sides of the political spectrum to muddy his pro-life record while he was in the U.S. Congress, the fact is that Mark Sanford consistently supported the rights of unborn children by always voting to prohibit federal funding of abortion, always voting to ban partial birth abortions and embryonic stem cell research, always voting against approval of RU-486 and always voting against foreign aid dollars that would pay for abortions overseas.
Sanfordís pro-life voting record is irrefutable! Period. Exclamation point!
In fact, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) gave Mark Sanford a cumulative 92% pro-life rating in his six years as a U.S. Congressman. Among the 49 votes that NRLC scored, Sanford took a total of five votes that counted "against" his pro-life rating. Two of those votes were on the Pain Relief Promotion Act (H.R. 2260) in October 1999, and three were on campaign reform bills. His votes against what would have been considered the pro-life position on the bills had nothing to do with his his belief about abortion, though. Sanford believed there were negative consequences in the legislation if it passed, including an enormous increase in the size of government and an unnecessary waste of tax dollars. Despite these courageous conservative votes of conviction to limit the size of government, Sanfordís overall record as a U.S. Congressman was still overwhelmingly pro-life.
Rather than simply believing the lie that Mark Sanford is against the right to life, most pro-life activists are beginning to do their own research and find that he has and will continue to stand up for the rights of the unborn. Sure, there are some pro-life activists who still feel upset about the outcome of the runoff election. We are only been a few weeks removed from that election. In due time, those people will realize that Mark Sanford will do more for them and their causes than what we have now!
So, what can we expect from the sitting Governor? Hmmm...
Jim Hodges was a staunch abortion rights activist when he was in the state legislature in the early 1990's. In 1991, Hodges make the shocking statement that parents should be able to kill their pre-born children by abortion, especially if the children are handicapped or retarded! Then, in 1992, The State newspaper reported that "Rep. Jim Hodges has consistently led the abortion-rights movement in the House Judiciary Committee..." Hodges also attempted to gut a parental consent bill through procedural votes, but he reluctantly voted for the final passage of the bill when it became obvious it would pass (The final vote was unanimous, 102-0). Moreover, Jim Hodges led the fight in the Judiciary Committee against The Human Life Protection Act. Jim Hodges has not wavered in his defense of Roe v. Wade and the active killing of unborn babies!
The record of Mark Sanford vs. the record of Jim Hodges makes the choice about who abortion opponents should support in the November general election what the teenagers these days would call a "no-brainer."
Abortion opponents should unify behind Sanford.
They should play an active role in helping Mark Sanford become the next Governor of South Carolina. They should continue to support legislation that promotes the important issues of the family and the right to life. In future elections, they should still back candidates who they believe will best serve their interests. That is a part of the political process, even in primary elections. The most important thing to remember is that most Republicans are going to be against abortion while most Democrats are going to be for abortion. That is one of the primary differences, socially, between the two major parties. That nugget of truth alone should persuade pro-life activists to support Mark Sanford for Governor on November 5th!
And they will!