Monday, April 5, 2010

Rokita Goes "Full Monty" on Abortion


Republican Indiana Secretary of State and 4th Congressional District aspirant Todd Rokita most have received polling data during his term showing he wasn't running strongly in evangelical circles.

As I noted in a previous post, Rokita employed a strong Christian overture in his affinity fraud PSA, he has been courting home schoolers, and he's been attending churches like Family Harvest, where the pastor refers to same-sex relationships as "a perversion" and calls for the repeal of Roe v. Wade. Between 6:40-7:00, this video shows Secretary Rokita standing and applauding when the pastor says we are "pro life and proud!"

It's unfair to automatically ascribe what a pastor says to a congregant's belief system. Many people pick a church for non-doctrinaire reasons, such as location, friends who attend, the music, anonymity in a congregation, devotion to serving those particular church members, etc., and many politicians visit churches without knowing in advance the message du jour.

But Rokita talks the talk, too.

When asked about his stance on abortion by a homeschool group, here's what Rokita said:

I am pro life. No exceptions. I’m a believer. I don’t value one life over another, even in cases of rape and incest and even if it’s a threat to the mother. It’s not up to us.

I vehemently oppose Rokita's position, but you can't fault it for lacking philosophical consistency.

If you believe, like Rokita apparently does, that life must be preserved from the second a little squirmer cracks the eggshell, how can you permit abortion just because a woman is raped or abused by her father? In what other context would you let a woman take a "human life" without repercussion because something tragic happened to her?

This is why I've never understood what I call the Republican Party's "compromise exception trilogy" of "rape, incest, and danger to the life of the mother." The issue of a threat to the mother's life is the diciest proposition of the three. What does a "pro lifer" advocate if a doctor says delivery will likely kill both mother and child? It would seem the "pro life" thing would be to save somebody, wouldn't it?

In making his declaration, Rokita puts himself in a camp of only 15% of Americans (according to a Wall Street Journal poll conducted on October 22-25, 2009), who believe abortion should be illegal in all circumstances.

Of course, this is a smart play politically, given that those 15% probably make up more than 50% of Republican Party primary voters in the 4th District.

Politics is, after all, coalition building, and Rokita is clearly angling for the strident, religious faction in the Republican Party. In a district where Democrats are always long-shots, Rokita can afford to be (and maybe even has to be) uncompromising.


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6 comments:

stAllio! said...

he actually does "value one life over another": he values the life of the fetus over the life of its mother. he says "it's not up to us", but in saying that he is making the choice in favor of the fetus over its mother. (ironically, if the mother dies, the fetus will often die as well.)

there's a term for that, but i don't think it's "philosophical consistency".

Indy Student said...

I could've sworn I read over at Welsh's blog that implied Rokita has pro-choice views. Something like "I know some of my fellow Republicans don't like Todd Rokita for some of his views on abortion, but he'll never be dealing with those in his job as Secretary of State..."

Did something change? Is Rokita leaning right in the primary?

JHagedorn said...

To take Rokita's statements to their logical (and extreme) conclusion, how can anyone that's "pro-life" take part in any medical procedure?

So doctor, you say I'll die if my appendix ruptures? You can remove it and save me? Oops! We can't do that. It'd kill the living cells in my appendix, and I'm pro-life.

lafftur said...

Perhaps Mr. Rokita should put his life where his mouth is and adopt a baby born of father-daughter incest. I'm sure there are a lot of such newborns available; between the psychological state of the birth mother, who may not be able to deal with the whole thing, and the highly likely birth defects from reinforced bad recessives, I think it could be a real character-building experience for him.

Paul K. Ogden said...

So, Lafflur, let me get this straight. Unless one is unwilling to adopt a child with birth defects, that person should favor the unfettered right to terminate the life of any unborn baby? Sorry I'm not buying your logic.

Anonymous said...

Paul, you will never have to make the decision to abort or not abort a baby in order to save your own life. Why are so many of the most strident pro life leaders male? While they donate the sperm, it is not their lives on the line when there is a medical emergency.