The pro-life movement has long recognized abortion as the most important and fundamental issue of our day. For good reason, a candidate’s position on the right to life has weighed heavily in the voting booth for those who believe in the dignity of human life.
We recognize that “the direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life” as the Bishops of the United States have emphasized, “from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong. Abortion is not just one issue among many. The destruction of innocent human life must always be opposed.”
The Bishops here recall the Fifth Commandment – “Thou shall not kill.” They call to mind the disorder that entered into the world when Cain viciously murdered his brother and God says to him, “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the soil.” Our Shepherds remind us of Saint Thomas Aquinas’ emphasis that every human being, by nature, desires to preserve life, and that murder is an affront to our natural human inclination. And they echo the clear and fundamental teaching of our beloved champion of life, Blessed John Paul II who wrote that:
Disregard for the right to life, precisely because it leads to the killing of the person whom society exists to serve, is what most directly conflicts with the possibility of achieving the common good. It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life.
While not the only issue, abortion has been the defining moral issue of the last 39 years. Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, tens of millions of innocent human lives were lost in America to surgical abortion, abortion-inducing drugs and embryo destructive research.
Unfortunately, polls indicate that few citizens (including Catholics) identify a candidate’s position on abortion as an important factor in their voting decision. This reality has made it very hard to bring about positive change on the national level. As a whole, although with notable exceptions, those who are pro-life (or more broadly, social conservatives) have been too silent, too complacent and too small in number to have a significant impact on the national scene.
WANT TO DEFEAT OBAMA?
For years, many have pejoratively called the pro-life voting bloc “single issue” voters. We were considered “fringe” voters. And we must also face the truth that we were marginalized in part because our small size diminished the impact we could have on the political process.
But I believe that Election 2012 can be different; we can shed the marginalizing “single issue voter” label. This can happen because in this year’s election the pro-life story has broadened. It’s not “just about abortion.” It’s about the litany of intrinsic evils being forced upon the American people by those who spread the culture of death.
With its contraceptive mandate, the Obama administration, the most pro-abortion administration our nation has ever known, handed social conservatives the traditionally “liberal” issues of “freedom of choice” and conscience rights. Pro-lifers now carry these mantles. We have been told we have no choice – we must offend our religious beliefs and pay for what others do in the bedroom including the use of abortion inducing drugs. This is a deliberate attack on our rights of conscience and religious freedom. In 2012, a vote for freedom and for conscience is a vote to protect the unborn. [related]
Nationally, social conservatives have an array of issues that will impact their vote: protection of the unborn, our first amendment rights and the institution of marriage just to name a few. State ballots all around the country will include votes on physician-assisted suicide, civil unions for homosexuals, redefinition of marriage, fetal pain laws, laws that impact the rights of parents to educate and care for their children, and the list goes on.
Election 2012 will significantly affect the course of our nation for the remainder of its history. What’s at stake this November?: (1) The life of the unborn, the disabled and the sick; (2) Marriage redefinition to suit the fancies of a vocal minority; (3) The traditional family that is on the verge of destruction; (4) Our first amendment rights which steadily disappear. These issues, among others, are what is at stake in this election, and why your involvement is crucial to the future of our nation.
LifeNews.com Note: Arland K. Nichols is National Director of HLI America, Human Life International’s educational initiative in the United States. Article originally published at HLI America’s Truth and Charity Forum.