My husband and my daughter before a recent Romney/Ryan rally.
Today is election day.
I've gone back and forth about posting anything political here whatsoever, but I finally decided to--at the eleventh hour. And not with the express intention of changing anyone's mind as they're about to leave for the polling place (I would imagine your minds are all made up by now), but in order to explain who I'm voting for, and why it is such a clear-cut decision for me. I'll say here that I have many friends who don't vote the way I do, and it should go without saying that while I may disagree with their choice, they are people I enjoy and respect. And while I hate to alienate or offend anyone, I do feel the conviction to share my own thought process, because I'm one of those strange people who believes that voting has moral implications.
Today is election day.
And I'm voting for Mitt Romney.
Primarily because of the two candidates' respective positions on abortion.
Oh, I know what many of you are thinking. Is Brianna really one of those uber predictable, simple-minded, gullible women who not only thinks that this issue--protecting the unborn--matters infinitely more than the other issues, but that the president actually has some sort of responsibility or sway in the matter?
Well I'm going on record here and now as saying yes I am, and yes it does, and yes he does.
It is outright naive (albeit convenient) to believe that President Obama's pro-abortion views won't affect his policies, his vetoes, his signatures, and his agenda. As a Catholic holding to the historical tenets of Christianity I cannot support grave and intrinsic evil, which includes murder and thus includes abortion. So a vote for Obama is out of the question for me.
As for Mitt Romney, no he does not have a spotless record on the abortion issue--but he is not pro-abortion like his opponent, and has already promised that if elected he would reinstate the Mexico City Policy (which Obama struck down.) That in and of itself would be a step in the right direction, an incremental move towards protecting children around the globe. Mitt Romney has also pledged to repeal Obamacare with attention to the issue of religious freedom--he does not seem to think, like Barack Obama does, that the Holy Catholic Church (or any other organization or company) should be forced to pay for other peoples' contraception and abortion.
There are some who say that Barack Obama's social policies will actually result in fewer abortions. This claim is patently false, especially when we're talking about a man who voted multiple times against the Born Alive Act as a senator, and who receives a great deal of support from Planned Parenthood (which does not provide mammograms FYI, but is the largest abortion provider in the United States). It of course makes perfect political sense for him to be connected with Planned Parenthood--the abortion industry is a complex and relatively unregulated system committed to lining the deep pockets of doctors and CEOs, who profit immensely off of vulnerable and oftentimes desperate women. In other words, this is an insanely lucrative industry where a lot of money is changing hands. It therefore benefits a candidate or president to be in their corner, and of course it benefits Planned Parenthood to have such a powerful political ally.
For people who claim that Obamacare's "free birth control!!!" provision (paid for by you and me because hello, nothing is free) will somehow reduce the number of abortions, try again. You can read this post written by mega-blogger Bad Catholic for more information, but it ain't so. And if you insist that it is, perhaps also consider the message and legacy of Margaret Sanger, foundress of Planned Parenthood and champion of birth control and abortion. She's heralded as a pioneer of women's rights, but did you know she was also a major advocate of eugenics? And that she had ties to the KKK? And wanted to eliminate the poor, the disabled, and African Americans? Thanks to Roe v. Wade, she's doing a superb job, even beyond the grave. Her mission, in spite of being INCREDIBLY politically incorrect (and, you know, evil), lives on in the organization she founded and in the very fiber of our nation's being. Contraception and abortion may seem like strange and opposed bedfellows, but they are not. They go together.
Just last night I read an article by someone claiming that even if abortion were made illegal, the number of abortions procured would remain roughly the same. And, oh.my.goodness. People need to stop perpetuating this ridiculous lie. I'm under no delusions that the Supreme Court will be rolling back that ruling anytime soon (if ever), but if they did? Fewer babies would die. Period. If for no other reason than that the medical establishment would no longer be able to offer the procedure as a legitimate solution to a prenatal diagnosis, or "unexpected" pregnancy. (I put that word in quotes because I think all of us know how babies are made.)
And, on-campus health clinics could no longer push students to terminate their "pregnancies". (Yes, push. I'd been married a year when I discovered we were expecting our first child, and had the pregnancy confirmed at the university health center. Not only did the nurse at the clinic seem to suggest this was a bad thing for me, I also received a follow-up phone call wanting to know if I was wanting to kill my baby. How lovely.) THERE IS AN AGENDA HERE. Abortion is, as I said, big business, and claims both children, women, and men as its victims--while abortionists and CEOs and politicians are laughing all the way to the bank.
So that is one reason--the most important reason--I'm voting for Mitt Romney. And why I believe he is the only morally licit choice. (Aside from abstaining from voting altogether, and voting for a third-party candidate. Those are okay too.) And yes, I really did just say that. I'm sorry if you consider yourself a classic liberal, hate Republicans, or think conservatives are a bunch of greedy jerks who don't care about the poor. Some of them are. (So are some Democrats.) Because people are people, regardless of their party affiliation. It's just that I simply do not believe pro-abortion Barack Obama is a legitimate option when there is another candidate who is significantly more committed to protecting the most vulnerable among us--including the (upwards of) 90% of children with Down syndrome who are presently being slaughtered in the womb in our great nation.
While a president cannot singlehandedly make a law or change things around, he can appoint justices, and set a course, and reinstate that Mexico City Policy. It's a fact that our nation is in trouble right now with a huge deficit, appalling (and unacceptable) unemployment rates, soaring healthcare costs, and yes the scourge of abortion. There is a lot to deal with, and I understand that when it comes to domestic policy, these two men represent drastically different visions for America. I understand it would be difficult to vote for someone who does not approach healthcare or government aid the way you would. And I also believe that more than ever, this is a time when our country needs to come together and offer opportunities so that men and women can provide for their families.
But if I'm going to cast a vote, it cannot in any way support the destruction of innocent life. I must vote for the innocent and unborn. And quite frankly, for women. So I will choose not to have "voting for the most pro-abortion president in our nation's history" on my conscience, regardless of how much lipservice he may pay to "helping the poor" (and by the way I don't think expanding Planned Parenthood's influence, or distributing hormonal birth control, or strategically eliminating minority groups is helping the poor). Don't buy into the lie that if you vote for someone who happens to be a Republican, you don't care about the downtrodden. My faith demands I help the poor. It also demands I not be complicit in any sort of grave, intrinsic evil. The two are not at odds, period.
And this has nothing to do with the Religious Right, with which I (and the vast majority of prolife people I know) am not affiliated. I don't align myself with Jerry Falwell or James Dobson, and it is a real shame that in hopes of distancing themselves from Evangelicalism, so many "progressive" Christians refuse to identify as prolife as well.
I applaud the Catholic bishops and priests who have proclaimed our duty to promote and choose life throughout this election season. I commend my own parish priest and deacon for addressing abortion directly in their homilies, multiple times, and for reminding parishioners that our faith MUST inform and drive our choices in the voting booth--and that this does have the potential to affect our very souls. And that may sound extreme, because it is. Murder is extreme. And the current president's agenda in the area of "women's health"--embodied by the likes of Sandra Fluke and this ridiculous ad that I am ashamed was put out by my president's own campaign--is something a prolife and anti-abortion citizen cannot support.
So last night I prayed a rosary, and now I'm off to the polls. And I'm voting for life. And if you haven't cast your vote yet, I hope you'll join me.