A reader takes exception down yonder with my analysis of Cardinal Ratzinger’s statement regarding voting for pro-abort politicians:
There is a logical error in the numbers presented. Even a pro-life candidate has a chance of preventing only a small portion of those abortions. For example, he could through support of information requirement laws require more women at abortuaries to know the full facts about their children in utero. That will probably prevent some abortions. But he can’t overturn Roe v. Wade. That can only be done by SCOTUS and they are appointed, not voted in. And most judges with a pro-life stance are strict constructionists, not activists, and thus unlikely even in the case of unjust and illogical rulings to overturn the decisions of previous judges for fear of dangerous precedent. (Just think of the can of worms opened when judges can overturn each others rulings willy-nilly.) So the pro-life candidate is saving far few lives than the millions listed. The Six million over the course of a four year term will be the same, give or take a few thousand.
I appreciate the reader’s thoughtfulness and the charity with which she wrote her post. However, what I wrote does not contain the logical flaw that she has in mind. Let me explain . . .
The reader is indeed correct that in the short term the death toll would only be reduced by a few thousand kids during a president’s four year term. It also is true that the president cannot act unilaterally to end abortion but can only appoint Supreme Court justices who–in all probability–would not declare a legal right to life but merely overturn the legal right to abortion and re-allow states to legislate the question. We would then be facing a long, hard fight that would last decades in order to get legislation re-passed to protect the unborn. It would be long past the president’s term in office before the abortion holocaust ended.
This multi-decade legislative fight is the most likely way that abortion in America will be ended. It is difficult to imagine any other practical scenario. Indeed, it will take decades to educate the moral consciences of voters to the point that they will be willing to elect lawmakers with the pro-life spine to enact the laws needed to protect the unborn. Though there are other scenarios which are theoretically possible (e.g., passing a constitutional amendment), the one described above is by far the most likely one.
The key to that scenario is having a Supreme Court willing to overturn Roe (et al.) and that will not happen until presidents appoint the number of justices sufficient to provide 5 votes to overturn. Barring the extremely unforeseen, that will not happen as long as a pro-abort president is in office. Thus each time a pro-abort president is in office, it effective extends the abortion holocaust by delaying the overturning of Roe.
If one averages the effect of presidential appointments to SCOTUS, the net effect is that the abortion holocaust extends by one year on average for each year a pro-abort president spends in office. If an average president has 1.5 terms in office (half the recent presidents having one term; half having two) then each pro-abort president will extend the abortion holocaust for an average of six years by delaying the time when Roe is overturned. With 1.5 million kids being murdered each year abortion, that’s an average of nine million deaths attributable to the the actions of a pro-abort president due to whom he appoints to the Court.
Thus, if you look again at what I wrote, you will note that I spoke in terms of a pro-abort president extending the abortion holocaust, not of a pro-life president ending it during his term. Short-term, the number of deaths would not change appreciably, but pro-life presidents must be elected in order to get the SCOTUS appointments needed to allow the process of ending abortion to begin.
Each time a pro-abort president is elected, it extends the abortion holocaust by one or two presidential terms.
What I want to know is what the ostensibly pro-life people who voted for these presidents will say on judgment day to the souls of the nine million additional babies died because the abortion holocaust was extended because of their votes for pro-abort presidents.
Somehow I don’t think that the babies will agree that it was justifiable for voters to allow their lives to be taken because the abortion holocaust was extended so that particular social programs and policies (e.g., regarding jobs, education, taxes, welfare, immigration) could be sought.
I suspect that, to borrow words from Our Lord, they “will arise at the judgment of this generation and condemn it.”
[NOTE TO FELLOW BLOGGERS: This post makes the same point more concisely than the former one. You might consider linking it as well. Thanks!–Jimmy]