After I endorsed Nick Begich for U.S. Congress, I received a panicked call from a relative. “Nick is not pro-life! People are saying YOU aren’t pro-life!”
Let’s discuss the election to replace the late Congressman Don Young by answering these questions: Are you pro-life? Am I? Is Sarah Palin? Is Nick Begich?
When I endorsed Nick over Sarah, it was a close decision. I didn’t denigrate Sarah in my endorsement, and I don’t do that now. Using ranked choice voting, we will need to consider the best character traits from each acceptable candidate, and rank one first, and the other second. Never make a ranked choice vote for the party of inflation, death, fatherlessness, violent protest and fear; the Democrats.
Are you pro-life? I have found many who say the only candidate who is pro-life is for government intervention to prevent 100% of abortions. They say, if your candidate is only for government intervening on behalf of the child 99.5% of the time (excluding rape and incest), then your candidate is not pro-life. Is this reasonable?
Am I pro-life? I have nine children. I have sat on the board of Alaska Right to life for 13½ years. While on the board, I ran for office against someone we had endorsed, who backtracked on their pledge and voted to publicly fund abortion. Life is a sifting issue for me for political candidates. You can be right on every other issue, but if you will fund abortion, vote against parental or informed consent or are pro-choice, then you will not get my vote. Let’s agree that I may be pro-life, and see if we can cover any remaining ground together.
Sarah Palin is pro-life. Her last child was diagnosed as special needs in the womb, she knew it, and gave that baby life anyway.
Is Nick pro-life? Well, put it this way, is any imperfect person capable of advancing the fight against abortion? I offer three experiences to support my ‘Yes’ answer. 1. When I was on the board of Alaska Right to Life, did we actually save any babies and how did we do it? 2. How do those in D.C. stop some abortions? 3. Does God use imperfect people to accomplish good works and therefore should we?
Did Alaska Right to Life save babies? In the late 1990s, with massive Republican majorities, we had elected enough ‘pro-life’ Republicans that they stopped public funding of abortion (elective abortions performed with Medicaid dollars). Only 20% of these Republicans were against abortion 100% of the time. Still, with these imperfect people’s votes, over 1,000 babies were saved in those two years and are still among the living. Unlike the view that we must only elect people who will ban all abortions, in Alaska, we’ve never voted to ban all abortions, but we still saved 1,000 children.
How does this principle apply to federal candidates? Here’s an interesting fact: Alaska Right to Life organized its 70,000 members to vote in a weak Democrat in the Democrat’s open primary in 1980 (thereby removing Sen. Mike Gravel from office) This allowed Frank Murkowski to be elected in the general election. Frank had promised to vote pro-life to our board for that assistance, and had a 100% pro-life voting record while in D.C.
Frank Murkowski never had the opportunity to ban abortion outright. However, he did save thousands of babies by voting on the Hyde Amendment, restricting public funding of abortion, and preventing the U.S. from funding pro-abortion groups or providing abortions overseas. This is the primary D.C. “pro-life” legislation. He supported originalists for the Supreme Court who may finally be ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, and return the abortion issue to the States.
What about God? God does not require perfect people to accomplish good. The Bible is full of imperfect people doing God’s will. As no one is perfect except Jesus, there is no Biblical foundation for only working with 100% perfect people to accomplish good. Since our world is fallen, we must accept imperfect solutions to the world’s problems when that is the best we can do today.
Saving babies is a complicated process. If you are involved in the life movement for any length of time, you know this. We pray, counsel, picket, instruct, and try to find candidates who will help save at least some children while in the womb and care for them afterwards. When you understand how some abortions are prevented, you might find out that an absolute position on abortion assists the abortion industry. Allow me to explain this fully.
Abortion in the U.S. is like a powerful machine. Picture this machine having a large tilted plane with 3,000 unborn children placed into it. Each day, the machine’s plane plunges into water, drowning and thereby ending the lives of those children. Some of the children are very close to the surface. If the tilted plane didn’t go down quite as far in the water, a child near the surface would be saved from drowning. Some are on the deep end of the plane, and die well below the water’s surface. We elect politicians to adjust the machine’s depth.
Today, the Democrats are in charge, and 3,000 more babies are loaded into the machine. There is no prevention of the plane plunging into the water: 3,000 die. We have an election at the end of the day, and a candidate says, “I am the critical vote to end public funding of abortion, but I am not going to force giving birth on a woman who was raped. If s/he was elected, then the next day, the killing machine would only plunge 50% of the way into the water, and 1,500 would be saved.
When you say, “I will only support a candidate if they are 100% pro-life,” you are acting in pride, and not prudence. The abortion machine does not have an off button. We have never voted to ban all abortions in the U.S. at the federal level. By any measure of public will, we never will. When you say, “I value ALL those babies”, in ranked choice voting, you are also saying, “If we can’t save them all, we shall save none of them. Those are the only two results that my worldview will accept. I wash my hands.”
What does it mean to vote pro-life? There are regular votes to prevent funding, provide support for judges who will end the travesty of Roe, ensure conscience clauses, protect religious liberty, etc. Voting pro-life starts with the understanding that EACH individual baby, as well as all of them, is infinitely precious.
If Christ would leave his flock for the sake of the one sheep, how can we deny our duty to save at least one? Our vote requires prudence and accepts that God did not give us a perfect on/off world. He gave us this messy world that requires us to work with the less than perfect people to do at least some good.
Practically speaking for Washington D.C., Nick and Sarah are both pro-life. Nick has promised me that he does not support public funding, he publicly opposes abortion in all cases, but will not vote to mandate the outcome when the woman faced rape or incest. Nick or Sarah will have many votes on the life issue, like the Hyde Amendment, thereby helping stop the abortion machine from plunging so deeply each day. If enough pro-life Republicans are elected, they will save lives.
In conclusion, If you don’t vote for BOTH Nick and Sarah, and a Democrat is elected, the abortion machine will continue to plunge 3,000 more children to their deaths each day. I believe we will all be judged on prudent votes to save at least some of these children. Please accept these two candidates are sufficiently pro-life, and keep in mind the babies we can save when discerning how to vote. Life is complicated. Voting to save lives, moreso.
Question: Would you only accept a candidate who will end 100% of crime, 100% of hunger, 100% of homelessness, 100% of fatherlessness; but never have that vote? Or do you support tough-on-crime legislators who accept a reduction of 50% of crimes vs. pro-crime, anti-police candidates on the other side? The idea that the world has an off-switch for sorrow, pain and evil is one of the great errors of many conservatives, and many people I call friends.
Glen Biegel is a talk show host and cyber security professional in Anchorage.