By Dr. Richard D. Land , CP Exclusive
October 3, 2016|7:23 am

Richard Land Portrait(By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)

In an accompanying column Eric Sapp makes the rather startling assertion that "Hillary Clinton Is the Best Choice for Voters Against Abortion."

He then seeks to manipulate the argument by using inflammatory, controversial language.

Example? Mr. Sapp asserts that "Republican leaders say they are 'pro-life,' proclaiming from every street corner their unwavering belief that life begins at conception . . . and then those politicians turn around and say it's ok to murder these same precious unborn children if they were conceived through rape or incest."

Murder? If someone said that Hillary Clinton approved murdering "precious unborn children," screeches and howls of protest that Mrs. Clinton was being maligned with emotion-laden references to "murder" and "precious unborn children" would resound through the night. Why use it to describe GOP positions?

Then Mr. Sapp attacks the sincerity of pro-life legislators who say "life begins at conception and then advocate murdering some children because that position polls better." He then dismisses the possibility that these bills include those exceptions because nothing stronger will pass since only Republicans support such restrictions.

He doesn't know their motives. He can't read their hearts. And what does it say about the Democrat Senators and Representatives when you say only Republicans support such legislation.

I know many of these Republican Congressmen and Senators personally, having worked with them for many years, and I can tell you they care very deeply about the unborn. In fact, many of them got into public service in order to defend the defenseless unborn from the national plague of abortion. Many of them reluctantly accept rape and incest exceptions as a necessary legal compromise in order to attempt to save the more than 98% of unborn babies who would be protected from abortion even with those exceptions. They will never accept blanket abortion on demand as a matter of conscience.

Now, to Mrs. Clinton's views.

Yes, Hillary once advocated that abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare." However, Mrs. Clinton is accused of supporting late-term abortion because she supports abortion of "precious unborn children" under any circumstances up to the moment of full birth. Speaking of "reproductive rights," Mrs. Clinton's preferred euphemism for abortion, she declared that "deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed." That sounds chillingly like government coercion to abandon deeply held pro-life religious convictions.

Contrary to Mr. Sapp's rather bizarre pro-life apology for Mrs. Clinton, let's look at the 2016 Democrat and Republican platforms. The Democrat Platform asserts that "we believe unequivocally . . . that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortions." This platform then asserts that the party will "continue to oppose — and seek to overturn — federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman's access to abortions . . . ."

The interested reader will search in vain for the phrase "safe, legal, and rare," which has been expunged from the 2016 party platform. Furthermore, the Democrat platform calls for "repealing the Hyde Amendment," which severely limits federal taxpayer funding of abortion.

After Mrs. Clinton was endorsed by Planned Parenthood (the first time in the organization's century-long history that they endorsed a presidential candidate in the primaries), she proclaimed, "Planned Parenthood should be supported and perfected . . . As your president I will always have your back."

This is the same Planned Parenthood that is responsible for approximately 1/3 of the abortions in America (at least 330,000 per year). It should also be noted that in recent years abortion has dramatically increased as a percentage of Planned Parenthood's total activity.

America's abortion laws are currently among the most liberal in the world. America is one of only seven countries in the world that permit abortion on demand after 20 weeks gestation. And Mrs. Clinton appears quite comfortable with America's current place in the world abortion ranking. Evidently, Mrs. Clinton has never encountered an abortion she could not at least live with, even though the unborn child didn't survive any of them because every abortion stops a beating heart.

In contrast, the GOP platform makes it very clear where they would go on this issue if not obstructed by Senate and House Democrats at every term since Ronald Reagan became president in 1981.

The GOP Platform declares, "We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to children before birth."

The platform also opposes the "use of public funds to perform or promote abortion or to fund organizations like Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or refer for elective abortions or sell fetal body parts rather than provide health care."

Considering Mr. Sapp's critique of the GOP's posture on abortion alternatives, the following policy statement from the GOP Platform is most instructive: "We affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women who face an unplanned pregnancy. In order to encourage women who face an unplanned pregnancy to choose life, we support legislation that requires financial responsibility for the child be equally born by both the mother and father upon conception until the child reaches adulthood. Failure to require a father to be equally responsible for a child places an unequitable burden on the mother, creating a financial and social hardship on both mother and child. We celebrate the millions of Americans who open their hearts, homes, and churches to mothers in need and women fleeing abuse. We thank and encourage providers of counseling, medical services, and adoption assistance for empowering women experiences and unintended pregnancy to choose life."

One additional piece of information to correct Mr. Sapp's warped "record": Mr. Sapp asserts that under President George W. Bush, "Republicans controlled the House and Senate, and 2/3 of the Supreme Court."

Actually, Republicans only held a majority in the Senate for four years and seven months (January 2001—May 2001 and November 2002— January 2007). They had a majority in the House for six years (January 2001 through January 2007). So, Republicans only had a majority in both Houses for approximately 4 ½ of Mr. Bush's eight years. And as Mr. Sapp well knows, a majority does not equal "control."

Furthermore, the Supreme Court nominations were severely circumscribed by who could pass a filibuster in the Senate. I can assure you a Justice Bork (not confirmed because of Democrat opposition so unprecedented and over the line that it resulted in the coining of a new term in the English language, "to be Borked") rather than a Justice Kennedy court, for example, would have resulted in a far more activist pro-life Supreme Court.

Finally, Mr. Sapp uses incomplete and highly selective statistics to assert that abortions go up with Republican presidents starting with Reagan and decline under Democrat administrations. He thus concludes that if you really want to lower abortions, you should vote for Mrs. Clinton, the Democrat. This is like arguing if you want fewer people with anemia, you should vote for Count Dracula. Mr. Sapp's argument reminds me of Mark Twain's famous observation that "there are lies, **** lies, and statistics."

Yes, it is true that abortion numbers go up in Republican presidential terms. However, so does the fertility rate. In other words, more women get pregnant during Republican presidential terms. Under Republican presidents since Reagan, the fertility and birth rates have been higher than under the Democrats who followed them. There were more live births per years under President George H. W. Bush than under President Clinton. There were more live births under President George W. Bush than under President Obama, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a rather ironic place to keep abortion statistics.

For example, President George W. Bush averaged just over 4 million live babies a year being born, a number reached only twice in President Clinton's 8 year tenure. Under President George W. Bush live births average over 4 million every year, reaching a peak of 4.3 million in 2007. Under President Obama, live births hit 4 million only once, his first year in office in 2009.

Even with Mr. Sapp's noted increase in abortions, there are still more live babies born under Republican than Democrat presidents. Could it be because they are feeling better about having children because of Republican pro-life, pro-marriage, pro- family policies? By the way, does anyone remember the Democrat's implacable and adamant opposition to President George W. Bush's pro-marriage initiatives, which were based upon an understanding that the one single thing that would do more to eliminate poverty than anything else in our country is for mothers to marry the fathers of their children?

Any increases in abortions are tragic. Every abortion is heart-breaking. We all have more to do to come alongside women experiencing challenging pregnancies and encouraging them to choose pro-life options for their babies, including adoption.

How do we rid ourselves of the plaque of abortion on demand and its accompanying culture of death? By electing Hillary Clinton? I think not.

The overwhelming evidence is that a far more reliable path would be to elect a pro-life president, a pro-life House, and a filibuster and veto-proof pro-life Senate that will not veto majority supported pro-life legislation and will defeat filibusters against pro-life judges and justices.

Dr. Richard Land is president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and executive editor of The Christian Post.