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February 20, 2005

Comments

Sydney Carton

How do you know Casy is prolife at all? If he is, is he even vocal about it? And wouldn't he just cacus with the Democrats anyway, letting them ram through pro-abortionists or oppose other pro-lifers?

mark j

From the philly.com article linked above:

Casey shares the anti-abortion views of his late dad, the governor kept off the Democratic National Convention podium in 1992.

But Kerry, he said, has the character to be a "great president" and he does not think it would "be very effective" to appeal to Catholics or any other group on a narrow range of sectarian issues.

This sounds a whole lot like "personally opposed, but ..." to me.

I have no idea what Casey did before he was auditor general. Does he have any voting record that demonstrates a real commitment to life?

Gerard E.

The fact is, Casey's views on abortion are a well-kept secret. The normal impresssion is Like Father Like Son. This Pennsylvanian/political junkie/pro-life Catholic doesn't really know. We know about Santorum, and how the state's Democratic poltical hierarchy wants him out and gone. But they may settle for Auditor General and ex-Republican (left GOP over abortion) Barbara Hafer or former Congressman Joe Hoeffel, who lost to Arlen Specter November 2. Too many variables, particularly the influence of a national Democratic apparatus operating in a form of mental illness. Or the commitment of the White House to keep Santorum around, possibly to replace Bill Frist as Majority Leader. Casey is a Wild Card- for now.

Paul N.

As a Pennsylvanian, I'm still miffed about Santorum. But voting for Casey might not really be an option, because his pro-life views (whatever they are; I haven't actually read much on him) are probably low on his priority list, becoming secondary to everything else the Democrats stand for. That doesn't show much in the conviction department.

Santorum doesn't either, showing himself more of a "company man", but he probably saw supporting Specter as a calculated risk, figuring "who else are they gonna vote for?".

Dan Crawford

Santorum lost me for good more than a year ago when he stood on the Senate floor and opposed any drug benefit for senior citizens because it would be too "expensive" for drug companies and lessen their obscene profits. Yeah, I know - he's pro-life - but ask him to choose between corporate profit and an elderly person - you know where Rick's going. He's just another politician.

As for Bob Casey the Younger, so is he - and one of the the particularly nasty breed of PA politicians - Republicans and Democrats - who believe elected office is their god-given right.

Definition of a politician: a functional sociopath.

Marv Wood

Santorum wasn't the only prolife "weasel" to support Spector. I seem to remember a certain Republican president saying how much he needed Arlen in the Senate to help him during his next term.

Republican pro-lifers are like abused spouses. They are constantly lied to and smacked around by those they love, but they refuse to leave. They believe their abusive spouses lie that they have no place else to go, and/or they have hope that the abuser is redeemable. They are really rather pathetic.

Press

Don't get me off on drug companies! I have a family member who is a physician and his entire office staff of 15 or so is provided lunch every single day by the drug companies. We are talking really nice meals. Nice payback for promoting their drug! Oh, you should see the Christmas (sorry "holiday" party) the drug company throws for the office staff! Multiply this by thousands of offices around the country and then wonder why drug costs are so high.

Cheeky Lawyer

Of course Republican prolifers are at least one step better than Democratic prolifers who give their votes to those they know will never support overturning Roe and who will support the creation and destruction of embryos for research purposes.

With Bush we at least had the reinstitution of the Mexico City policy, a line drawn on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research and the possibility of getting a few Supreme Court justices who believe that Roe was a decision akin to Dred Scott.

And interestingly many Republican pro-lifers used to be Democrats, so they obviously no how to leave when they need to. Unlike Democratic pro-lifers who cry that their party doesn't respect their views but then never do anything to pay back the party, Republican pro-lifers have been known to turn cold on their candidates (one reason why Santorum is likely in for a real political fight for reelection).

Marv Wood

Perhaps you are satisfied with a party that is "one step better" than the next, but I am not.

Again, abused spouse syndrome. The thinking that there is nothing better out there for us to go to; therefore, we are stuck with someone that at least tosses us a few kind words and flowers and candy once in awhile while taking us for granted or abusing us other times.

Jay Anderson

If I lived in Pennsylvania, I'd be inclined to vote against Santorum just to show him that his actions matter and have consequences. The concerns of his pro-life constituency (and with Specter, there were plenty of concerns) should not be taken for granted. If the pro-life cause is going to get anywhere, we must be willing to back up our beliefs with action.

The downside, of course, is that, in losing Santorum, we'd be losing someone who is usually a solid pro-life presence in the Senate, and with Casey, we may be getting another Harry Reid who will consistently subordinate his allegedly pro-life beliefs in favor of pushing the democrats' anti-life agenda.

Becky

"The downside, of course, is that, in losing Santorum, we'd be losing someone who is usually a solid pro-life presence in the Senate, and with Casey, we may be getting another Harry Reid who will consistently subordinate his allegedly pro-life beliefs in favor of pushing the democrats' anti-life agenda."

And this, I think, is of greater weight than getting even with Santorum for making one bad decision. Whatever he is, he's not a pawn of NARAL, and anyone in the Democratic party who does the "personally opposed, but..." gig probably is.

Jay Anderson

It's not so much about getting even with Santorum (who I really like, and who, before his actions on behalf of Specter during the Pennslyvania Republican Primary, was my favorite U.S. Sentator).

It's about saying "enough is enough". The Republicans have been in charge of Congress for the last decade (except for the 2 years after Jumpin' Jim Jeffords defected). Have we seen any results? No, they've done nothing but play defense. Supporting Specter over a solid pro-life conservative Catholic during the Republican Primary was playing defense.

No more playing defense - let's see some results. But we won't see any results until they see that there are consequences to their actions (or inaction).

Becky

"But Kerry, he said, has the character to be a "great president" and he does not think it would "be very effective" to appeal to Catholics or any other group on a narrow range of sectarian issues."

Anyone who refers to the horror of abortion in the United States as part of a "narrow range of sectarian issues" while upholding the "character" of John Kerry has lost my vote. I'd take a lot worse than Santorum before I'd vote for this guy. Inaction in Congress sucks, but someone who has the same philosophy as Kerry on Catholics in political life will be a disaster.

Sydney Carton

"The Republicans have been in charge of Congress for the last decade (except for the 2 years after Jumpin' Jim Jeffords defected). Have we seen any results? No, they've done nothing but play defense."

What can they do other than to appoint Supreme Court justices that will overturn Roe? Clarence Thomas and Scallia have said that they want to do just that. They've passed partial-birth abortion bans numerous times, but the courts have interfered. I'm willing to bet that Bush's regular appointments, those that aren't so high-profile, are full of pro-lifers. But for anything to be done on a national level, you need the Supreme Court.

It's not the fault of the Republican party that no justice has retirted since 1993.

Mike Petrik

Quit making sense, Sydney. You impede the fun.

Jay Anderson

When have the Republicans ever learned to act like they're in the majority? When the democrats ran things prior to 1994, they knew how to act like they were in charge. When the dems controlled the Senate from 2001-2003, they picked right up where they left off in 1994, acting like they were in charge. In fact, even in the minority, the dems act like they're in charge and have been able to control much of the agenda.

Let's look at the filibuster fiasco we're witnessing with respect to federal court judges. It's unprecedented in the history of this nation to filibuster judicial nominees, and probably unconstitutional. The Republicans could have broken the filibuster by a procedural move - raising a point of order and asking for a ruling from the Senate President (one Vice-President Dick Cheney) as to the legality and/or constitutionality of filibustering judicial nominees. A ruling from the Senate President followed by a majority vote in favor of the President's ruling is all that was necessary. But the Republicans are too gutless to try it [all this talk about the "nuclear option" is pure b.s. - when Grand Kleagle Robert Byrd was Senate Majority Leader, he changed the filibuster rules 3 times].

That's what I'm talking about. The Republicans are constantly playing defense. That's what Specter's reelection was all about - not trying to pick up another pro-life Senator when a very electable one was available, but instead trying to keep the devil we knew rather than risk a devil we didn't know. It's not that I think Santorum, Sen. George Allen, and President Bush should have come out in the primaries in favor of Specter's opponent. They should have just stayed out of it. But they elected to play defense.

Daniel H. Conway

Mr. Carton,

Republicans have all three branches of government. They also have appointed the majority of the Supreme Court justices. Not just a "majority," but a huge majority. Its a Republican packed court of 7 Republican appointees to 2 Democrat appointees.

So the Republican party, which has enjoyed control of at least two branches of government since at least the early 1990's, has had control of three branches of government for several years now.

Surgical abortion in America, according to the American Life League, is on the rise throughout all of the Bush's first term, after declining throughout the Clinton years, and previous presidencies. All this plus an increase in the use of chemical abortifacients, such as the morning after pills.

And Catholic Republicans still won't give a pro-life Democrat a chance.

Jay Anderson

"And Catholic Republicans still won't give a pro-life Democrat a chance."

That's because we know that no one seriously pro-life could be mixed up with the party whose raison d'etre is abortion. What - we should be open to supporting "pro-lifers" like Harry Reid who has led the charge in filibustering anti-Roe judicial nominees? Not likely.

Just because I'm disillusioned with the broken promises Republicans, doesn't mean I'm fool enough to support the party of death. To paraphrase Stephen Dedalus, I may have lost my party affiliation, but I haven't lost my self-respect.

(Incidentally, I don't live in Pennsylvania, so it's easy for me to openly speculate about supporting Casey over Santorum. In reality, if I were standing in the booth in Pennsylvania on election day, I don't know what I'd do.)

ajb

There's a double-standard when support for Senator Specter can be excused as "he's just one of 100 Senators". But a vote for a pro-life Democrat to be "just one of those 100 Senators" is inexcusable.

I live in Pennsylvania and the fact is that Santorum has become fat and bloated with power. Although he really doesn't maintain a residence within the state he was bilking the state for education funds for his children. His support for Specter in the primary proved that he puts power over principle and party of people.

And Bob Casey has not only great name-recognition, but he obviously reminds people of his father. I think in the last election he garnered more votes statewide than any other candidate in any other race.

Frankly the story about Bob Casey, Sr. being denied a speaking slot at the convention because of his pro-life views (and he was TRULY pro-life, he refused to sign any death warrants) was never true. And now the right-wing's creation of that myth may help the Democrats defeat the #2 or 3 Republican in the Senate.

Cheeky Lawyer

I am willing to give a prolife Democrat a chance as I wrote the original question to Amy. But Daniel please tell me what Clinton did to reduce abortion? What elements of the social safety-net did he expand to help women considering an abortion? Was it the welfare reform act of the mid-1990s that Clinton signed and liberals decried? I really am at a loss for what elements of the social safety net he expanded. (I also do not believe that poverty forces persons to have abortions.) And what elements of Bush's programs have caused women to have more abortions? I have heard this "fact" that abortions went down under Clinton and now are up under Bush (it is the second part of this that I am not yet convinced of) more times than I can recall. Yet I have not once heard an explanation as to why those abortions went down under Clinton. What did he do that caused this? (That is the implication of your comment--when Democrats are in power abortions go down, when Republicans are in power they go up). To me this seems to be the reflexive notion that some how Democrats are better for the poor and that the poor are the ones being forced to have abortions because of economic cirucmstances. I challenge both premises and please give us some reason this might be the case.

Also, if the rate of abortion has not gone up, what might have caused abortion to go down in the 1990s? I think it likely was the new more stringent test on abortion regulations instituted by the infamous Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The irony of that case is that in upholding the "essential" core of Roe it actually introduced the undue burden test that allowed things like informed consent laws to go into place. One study by Michael New put out by the Heritage Foundation indicates that there is a big correlation between such more stringent abortion regulations and the drop in abortion--and Democrats save peole like Boby Casey Sr. who had signed the Pennsylvania law at issue in Casey, were generally on the wrong side of the fights to institute such laws.

Donald R. McClarey

Frankly the story about Bob Casey, Sr. being denied a speaking slot at the convention because of his pro-life views (and he was TRULY pro-life, he refused to sign any death warrants) was never true.

"It was at the 1992 Democratic Convention that then-Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey, whom I had the privilege of knowing, was prevented from speaking. This, even though, of all of the governors in the nation, he had done more than any other for the poor (including providing health insurance for children whose families couldn't afford it, but were not eligible for public assistance).

For women, Casey required HMOs to pay for annual mammograms for women over age 40, and he set up multi-dimensional health care programs for women and children. But the late governor was pro-life, and so Clinton's convention handlers blocked him from speaking. Casey asked me at the time: "What has become of the Democratic Party I once knew? It's become a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Abortion Rights Action League." Nat Hentoff

I guess Nat Hentoff is just a tool of the right wing.

ajb

Cheeky:

From my perspective, the point of the fact that abortions declined under President Clinton is simply that Presidents may not have much of an effect on abortion. President Clinton was obviously the most pro-choice president in the latter half of the 20th century. For abortions to decline during his administration and not the administrations of presidents who claimed to be anti-abortion speaks to the disassociation between the presidential ideology and real-world reproductive matters.

Marv Wood

Republicans can only do one thing and that is to appoint pro-life supreme court justices and get them through the Senate.

Well over the past 30 years they have done one heck of a job of doing that. They have given us Blackmun, Kennedy, O'Connor, Souter. All strong pro-lifers put on the Supreme Court by the Republicans.

Like abused spouses Republican pro-lifers live in everlasting hope and denial.

ajb

I don't think Nat Hentoff's a tool (although it's interesting that rightwingers generally think he's nuts, EXCEPT when he's talking about abortion). And BTW, he's a proponent of the "consistent ethic" and "seamless garment" approach to life issues that so many anti-abortionists mock these days.

However, the people actually involved in making the decisions on speaking slots at the convention are on record denying that Governor Casey (for whom I voted every election I had the chance) was denied a spot because of his pro-life views. Rather, he was denied the spot because he refused to endorse the ticket. And these on-the-record statements are coming from people who have no reason to lie. If the Democratic Party was a 'wholly owned subsidiary of NARAL', they'd want to brag about denying Casey the spot based on his abortion views.

Cheeky Lawyer

Yes but ajb, their reason for denying him a slot seemed a pretext in light of the fact that they allowed (a) pro-abortion Pennsylvanian Republican(s) to speak at the convention. Why was Casey withholding his, at least public, support of Clinton? Because of the abortion issue.

And Bob Casey Sr. would never have made the statement that his son did at the Kerry Rally (if the words attributed to him are true...the word sectarian is the paper's but it seems to be a summary of Casey's words). Casey Sr. knew it wasn't a sectarian issue but rather a human rights issue. He withheld actively campaigning for his Lt. Gov. (was it Siegel?) because he had flipped on abortion. That was a man with principles. Does his son have them? I wonder.

And I agree that we've been terribly disappointed by Republican nominees to the Supreme Court.

Sydney Carton

It's not fair to blame the Republicans for the duplicitous nature of their supreme court appointments. Are you at fault when your children tell blatant lies? When Reagan appointed O'Connor in 1981, he thought she was pro-life. She betrayed him and the ideals she once stood for by ruling as she did in Casey to uphold Roe. Was Reagan at fault for that? The Republicans? I think I'll start with O'Connor.

No matter how many times Republicans try to pin down some candidate to the court on their ideology, and no matter his history, the Court's power is infecting and has the possibility to destroy anyone's values. O'Connor is corrupt, pure and simple. She values the power of the court more than anything else. That's why she loves being the "swing" vote - she gets off on it.

I met Justice Scallia once, when he judged a mock trial competition at Fordham Law School. The man remains committed to his values because he recognizes that the court is merely a man-made institution, and not the high priests of a secular religion. But all too often, the justices DO think of themselves as elites running a secular religion. And even a person like O'Connor who was thought to be pro-life can become corrupt.

It might be frustrating to sense this powerlessness, but the Sitation with the Court is analogous to the Situation with the bishops. You can hope for good men to occupy the office, but when they fail, they can fail big time. Unfortunately, it seems to be easier to remove the bishops than it is to remove the Justices.

Mike Petrik

Marv,
It is true that Republican presidents have not been able to appoint consistently pro-life justices. Of course, that is hard to do since one cannot secure commitments from justices in advance. There is every reason to believe that Reagan hoped and expected that O'Connor and Kennedy would be pro-life, and in fact both criticized Roe early in their tenures; but alas, they "grew" as they say in Washington. Souter (like Kennedy) came after Bork and reflected the perceived reality that a candidate "on record" as pro-life (as was Bork) was not confirmable. The Court's Dems are Ginsburg and Breyer. They are the Court's most reliable and extreme pro-aborts. Does anyone take seriously the possibility that a Dem president would knowingly appoint a justice that looked like he (or she) might even consider overturning Roe? Not a chance.
One cannot overestimate the implications of the failed Bork nomination. The acrimony in the Senate today is its legacy.

Jay,
As much as I agree with you that the current filibuster rules are wrong-headed, I am not aware of any serious arguments that would challenge their constitutionality, especially in the context of judicial nominees. The Senate does after all have "advice and consent" power. For the GOP to try to alter Senate rules by virtue of making an unprincipled ruling simply because it has the raw power to do so would exacerbate the relations among the Senate to a new and dangerous level. In any case it would be using improper means to achieve a desireable end.

ajb

On Bob Casey Jr's anti-abortion bona fides, see the following link, reporting on his unsuccessful primary campaign for governor against Ed Rendell:

http://www.nrlc.org/news/2002/NRL04/casey.html

Money quote: "Casey, who believes abortion should only be allowed if the mother's life is in danger, isn't shy about his pro-life convictions. At a debate sponsored by the Democratic Women's Caucus, Casey said that if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a bill to ban abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother, he would sign it, adding that "everyone here knows I'm pro-life."

See also this post from Priests for Life:
http://www.priestsforlife.org/news/infonet/infonet02-02-12.htm#PennsylvaniaGovRace

Marv Wood

"It is true that Republican presidents have not been able to appoint consistently pro-life justices. Of course, that is hard to do since one cannot secure commitments from justices in advance."

Again, like abused spouses, you deflect the blame for lack of movement on pro-life issues on others and not the Repbulican Party's and Republican leadership's lack of sincerity on the issue.

Santorum is no better or worse than any other Republican on this issue.

Reagan is viewed by most on this blog as one of the most pro-life presidents we have ever had. But, in 1967 as Governor of California he signed one of the most liberal abortion laws in the nation.

Bush 41, whose patrician family had long ties to Planned Parenthood, was not at all pro-life until he decided he had at least give the movement lip service in order to be on the Reagan ticket.

President W Bush's intervention is far more to blame for Spector's re-election than was Santorum's. While the press states that W was elected primarily due to his conservative stance on social issues, recent tapes released by Doug Wead show him to be less than sincere in his beliefs. In addition, his actions since being elected have shown him to be less than sincere in his belief on social issues, appointing a pro-abortion vice chairman of the Republican party and a Republican party chairman who refuses to discuss his sexual preferences.

If President Bush used his "bully pulpit" one tenth as much to promote pro-life issues as he does a Trotskyite crusade to remold the world in the US's image maybe we would be getting somewhere but now after the election he is not even giving pro-life issues lip service.

I do not blame Santorum at all for following the lead of his leaders.

Mike Petrik

What a bunch of tripe, Marv. First, whatever Reagan's sins may have been in 1967, all who knew him have confirmed that his eventual pro-life beliefs were very sincere. Second, your dismissal of Bush I's pro-life views as insincere because some of his relatives may have had "ties to" Planned Parenthood read like a McCarthyesque screed. We pro-lifers knew that he did not attach sufficient importance to the right to life, but at least he did not work against it as Dukakis promised to do and Clinton did. Third, nothing I have read about Wead's tapes re Bush II suggests any insincerity at all. Perhaps you can give examples. And fourth, your analogy to abused spouses is simply irrational for the reasons expressed in my prior post -- which you chose not to answer.

Cheeky Lawyer

Wead's tapes suggest just the contrary Marv. Bush is quoted as saying that Ashcroft would make a good Supreme Court Justice. When told this will be tough to sell because of Ashcroft's religious right credentials, Bush says, "Tough."

Donald R. McClarey

"However, the people actually involved in making the decisions on speaking slots at the convention are on record denying that Governor Casey (for whom I voted every election I had the chance) was denied a spot because of his pro-life views. Rather, he was denied the spot because he refused to endorse the ticket."

Yeah, I've heard that fable too. Face it, Casey was persona non grata in the Democrat party because he was pro-life and because he refused to shut up about it. Casey knew it, everyone knew it. Pro-lifers have as much pull in the national Democrat party as socialists have in the Republican party. God rest Casey's gallant soul for engaging in such an uphill, thankless battle. If the Democrats had followed Casey's path, even if they had simply treated him and other pro-life Democrats with courtesy and respect, the Democrats would still be the majority party today. Abortion has been nothing but poison for the Democrat party.

Marv Wood

The Wead tapes suggest a man not sincere in his religous beliefs but one who is constantly weighing each word so that neither liberals nor evangelicals would take offense.

You did not address my abused spouse analogy therefore I did not responde to it. Again, please address how a sincere socially conservative individual could place the Repbulican Party in the hands of a Mehlman and Davidson.

Peggy

The only way to have a party truly and fully committed to pro-life objectives is to have a party named the "Pro-Life Party." The Repubs, like the Dems, are a coalition party. The pro-life forces gained national recognition in teh GOP with Ronald Reagan, who supported the, but they've only become a stronger force in the party in the last decade or so. We did not have a decade ago such a contingent of pro-life advocates that we have today. Admittedly, it is not enough; it still seems sparse. The Rockefeller Republicans are the minority of the party today. [Tragically, they seem to be the only '08 presidential options. Let's pray for a pro-lifer to run for the nomination in '08.] Pro-lifers get no traction in the Dem party, but we do in the GOP. But, pro-lifers are only one of many groups active in the GOP. It seems to me, though, that, nonetheless, pro-lifers do have a lot of pull with the party; which won't happen in the Dem party--certainly not until after a long period of work to develop the srenght of the position in the party.

JohnMcG

Isn't this what we always wanted? A choice between two candidates who are on the record for opposing abortion? Shouldn't we be rejoicing about this development, rather than throwing barbs at each other?

ajb

Peggy, the tenor of some of the comments here help ensure that the Democratic Party won't move much on abortion.

If Bob Casey, Jr.'s anti-abortion bona fides are enough, then why should the Democrats ever run an anti-abortion candidate?

And if an anti-abortion candidate can't get anti-abortion votes simply because he's a Democrat, that will leave within the Democratic Party full of pro-choice politicians.

Sometimes I wonder if the abortion issue isn't just cover for some people to justify voting Republican.

JohnMcG

Ajb -- I often wonder the same thing.

SiliconValleySteve

The only real question here is: Is Bob Casey Jr really anti-abortion? The right-to-life community needs to press this issue. If he is pro-life like Harry Reid (I think abortion is horrible but it would be extreme to change the Roe v Wade sttus quo) then he is exposed and not acceptable.

If we find that he is truly pro-life. That means that he encourages judges that will see the legal folly and moral failures of the Roe policies and supports a constitutional ammendment if necessary to overturn it. Then, this could be the best thing that could happen to the pro-life cause. An election where we win either way.

Mike Petrik

I absolutely agree that for the Dems to run a known pro-lifer for a significant office is a very good thing, and I'm please that the voters in PA may have a choice between two pro-life candidates. In that case the real question becomes which of these two candidates is more likely to approve of a Supreme Court Justice nominee who appears likely to be willing to overturn Roe.

For the record, I would have voted for Kerry if he were pro-life and Bush were pro-choice, and I know plenty of pro-lifers who feel the same way.

SiliconValleySteve

Equal out abortion and yes I am a republican. But if I was ever faced with a choice between a pro-life democrat and a pro-abortion republican there would be no contest. It would be easy to vote democrat in that case.

Even though I agree with the republican party on many issues, I will never vote for a pro-abortion republican. There is always the 3rd party option.

Mike Petrik

I would never vote for any candidate who would advance the cause of legal abortion. But I could see myself voting for a pro-choice candidate as a lesser of evils if I thought he would not advance that cause as a practical matter. For example, a pro-choice Repub who would likely vote to accept an anti-Roe judicial nominee would trump any desire to vote for a third party candidate if a vote for such a candidate would just help the pro-abort cause by helping place a pro-choice Dem in the position of voting against such a nominee.

SiliconValleySteve

I know what you mean Mike but it gets slippery.

How would you know that a pro-legal abortion republican would support an anti-Roe judicicial nominee?

If I really knew that, I could consider the vote but how do you know?

Mike Petrik

I understand, Steve, but it *all* is a matter of prudential judgment. After all, we don't know that representatives will do what they say they'll do either. Not only might a pro-choice candidate support an anti-Roe nominee due to other issues or party loyalty, but so might a pro-life candidate choose to support a pro-Roe nominee. I'm afraid there is no avoiding the slippery slope. We have no choice but to make calculated decisions designed to reduce the number of abortions and restrict its legality as much as practically possible. At least that's how I see it.

Donald R. McClarey

"For the record, I would have voted for Kerry if he were pro-life and Bush were pro-choice, and I know plenty of pro-lifers who feel the same way."

I would have done the same, albeit with one hand firmly clenched on my nose.

Jay Anderson

I've already stated that, were I a Pennsylvania resident, I'd be open to voting for Casey over Santorum. But I would be conflicted about it for the reasons I and many others have stated above.

Being conflicted about it shouldn't be interpreted as looking for an excuse to vote Republican. If Casey were running against Arlen Specter, my vote for Casey would be a no-brainer.

Jay Anderson

By the way, implicit in these statements like "Sometimes I wonder if the abortion issue isn't just cover for some people to justify voting Republican" is an assumption that, all things being equal on the issue of abortion, we SHOULD vote for the democrat.

I absolutely reject that.

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