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Cal Thomas: Pro-life with caveats


WORLD Radio - Cal Thomas: Pro-life with caveats

A pro-life position that allows abortion at the state level isn’t really pro-life

Former President Donald Trump Associated Press/Photo by Jason Allen

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Thursday, April 11th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. Up next: WORLD commentator Cal Thomas on why a pro-life position that allows abortion at the state level isn't really pro-life.

CAL THOMAS: Former President Donald Trump issued a lengthy statement on abortion this past Monday. It is the latest of several positions he has taken on an issue that continues to be hotly debated. Each statement is supposedly a matter of Trump’s conviction, though some contradict previous statements. These include his longstanding “pro-choice” position before he ran for president, to pro-life, and now pro-life with important caveats. Clearly his latest statement conforms more to polls than principles, which is nothing new.

Trump starts the video with his support for in-vitro fertilization or IVF treatments. He was responding to the recent situation in Alabama where the state Supreme Court ruled that embryos were children–a decision that essentially criminalized IVF if an embryo is subsequently destroyed. Alabama legislators then quickly passed a bill to protect IVF and give immunity to those involved. Trump said he favors IVF treatments for couples who need them.

Trump then takes the argument where it should go–he notes that many Democrats who support abortion, including late-term abortions, are the true “radicals.”

Next, Trump rightly takes credit for the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. But then he says he favors each state deciding for itself what its laws should be. Differing state laws should be seen as a starting point, not the end of the abortion debate. A Civil War was fought over whether individual states should have the right to choose slavery or not. Either all of life is “endowed by our Creator,” or we are evolutionary accidents who can do what we want to each other.

Trump says, “...this is all about the will of the people. You must follow your heart, or in many cases your religion or your faith. Do what’s right for your family and do what’s right for yourself….”

With that last line, Trump loses the moral argument about the value of human life. If each pregnant woman gets to decide for herself (and the father has no legal say), then we are back at the pro-choice position.

And even in states with good laws, abortion pills and telemedicine abortions have changed the debate. Women who want an abortion can now do it at home.

This is an argument that must be won mostly by persuasion. Abortion, like rampant crime and so many other cultural changes that face us, is not the cause of our decadence, but a reflection of it. Here a definition of decadence can help focus on our deplorable condition as a nation: it means “moral degeneration or decay.”

Look around. See what is happening in big cities, in public schools, at the border, in our declining military power and standing in the world, and in the redefining of what it means to be a man or a woman. America’s decline is noticeable to all with eyes to see and ears to hear. These things cannot be fixed overnight, but incrementally.

Near the end of his statement, Trump says this: “That’s where we are right now. And that’s what we want, the will of the people.”

He’s right in saying that’s where we are right now, but he is wrong when he says it's all about the will of the people. People can be led to do what is right. See the end of slavery and the civil rights movement as only two examples. If one has no right to be born, no other rights matter.

I’m Cal Thomas.

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