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Monday, July 25, 2016

Senator Tim Kaine, the "Personally Pro-Life" Politician


Democratic Senator and vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine has a 100% rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood. That tells us everything we need to know. But for the sake of discourse, let's examine some of Kaine's statements on abortion:
I have a traditional Catholic personal position, but I am very strongly supportive that women should make these decisions and government shouldn't intrude.
In linking his "personally pro-life" beliefs to Catholicism and Catholicism alone, Kaine repeats a stereotype that the abortion lobby has promulgated for decades. If Kaine's "traditional Catholic" upbringing were his sole reason for opposing abortion, then his politically pro-choice stance would be an affirmation of the separation of church and state. The government shouldn't "intrude" upon anything just for the sake of enforcing a religious doctrine.

But where reason and religion happen to converge—as they do in laws against theft, for example—government action is entirely appropriate. As many Catholics acknowledge, opposition to abortion is supported by reason as well as doctrine. That's why pro-life atheists like me exist. The science of prenatal development will not be found in scripture, and it is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that provides "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." Not those who are old enough, not those who are conscious, not those who can live independently, not those who are wanted, but everyone.

Perhaps this is simply ignorance on Kaine's part. Perhaps he truly doesn't know why non-Catholics oppose abortion. Perhaps he simply accepts the Catholic position as what he is supposed to believe and leaves it at that. That intellectual laziness is not a promising characteristic for someone a heartbeat away from leadership of the United States.

If that is the case, and Kaine's "personal opposition" to abortion truly doesn't go beyond shallow parroting of a religious doctrine, another problem arises. Kaine was not always beholden to the abortion lobby. He used to have the endorsement of Democrats for Life of America (see here and here for how he lost it). As governor of Virginia he supported some moderate pro-life legislation, including informed consent, parental consent, and the partial-birth abortion ban. If his only reasons for doing so at the time were religious reasons, then he doesn't understand church-state separation.

I don't actually think Senator Kaine is ignorant. I think he knows exactly why abortion is wrong, he understands the separation of church and state, and he abandoned the cause of helpless children for the sake of political power.
I'm a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade and women being able to make these decisions. In government, we have enough things to worry about. We don't need to make people's reproductive decisions for them.
In other words: Priorities, people! Over a million people die in abortions every year, but the government has too much on its plate to address that. Things more important than doing something about unborn children being torn limb from limb include "protecting animals and wildlife" because "the way our society treats animals is a reflection our humanity." I kid you not, that's straight from the Clinton/Kaine campaign website.

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