Wednesday, October 5, 2016

VP Debate: Pence stands for life while Kaine gives implausible excuses for being pro-choice

During the Vice-Presidential debate last night, Indiana Governor Mike Pence and U.S. Senator from Virginia Tim Kaine were asked to discuss a time they struggled balancing their personal faith and a public policy position.

Senator Kaine first talked about upholding the death penalty even though it wasn’t something that he agreed with. He said that those of faith can’t impose their views on everyone else in society. This is his justification for saying he is personally against abortion, but along with Hillary Clinton he is okay with partial-birth abortion, taxpayer-funding of abortion, etc.

Governor Pence then proceeded to explain why he is so passionate about the sanctity of human life:

"But for me, I would tell you that for me the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief that -- that ancient principle that -- where God says before you were formed in the womb, I knew you, and so for my first time in public life, I sought to stand with great compassion for the sanctity of life. But what I can't understand is with Hillary Clinton and now Senator Kaine at her side is to support a practice like partial-birth abortion. I mean, to hold to the view -- and I know Senator Kaine, you hold pro-life views personally -- but the very idea that a child that is almost born into the world could still have their life taken from them is just anathema to me. And I cannot -- I can't conscience about -- about a party that supports that. Or that -- I know you've historically opposed taxpayer funding of abortion. But Hillary Clinton wants to -- wants to repeal the longstanding provision in the law where we said we wouldn't use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion. So for me, my faith informs my life. I try and spend a little time on my knees every day. But it all for me begins with cherishing the dignity, the worth, the value of every human life." 

Kaine then responded with more talk about not imposing values on people:

"But we really feel like you should live fully and with enthusiasm the commands of your faith. But it is not the role of the public servant to mandate that for everybody else. So let's talk about abortion and choice. Let's talk about them. We support Roe v. Wade. We support the constitutional right of American women to consult their own conscience, their own supportive partner, their own minister, but then make their own decision about pregnancy. That's something we trust American women to do that." 

Kaine says multiple times that government leaders shouldn’t push their religion on the people. There are two big problems with those comments.

First, Kaine has no problem pushing his new-found beliefs about abortion on people. He openly supports forcing people to pay for abortions directly through their tax dollars. He supports a candidate who does not believe health care providers should be able to conscientiously object to abortion. He has spoken often about how his religion informs his beliefs on a range of other issues, laws and regulations. Why is abortion the only issue that should be different?

Second, abortion isn’t just a religious issue. Abortion is a moral issue, a scientific issue, and most importantly a basic human rights issue. Protecting human life is the first duty of government.

Pence and Kaine proceeded to argue about what Trump said in regards to punishing women for having an abortion. Pence said that a Trump-Pence administration would only support prolife laws that historically have always put penalties on abortionists. In response, Kaine quoted from a scripture passage, Matthew 15:18, to disagree: “From the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

Kaine’s choice of that verse is very sad. When Senator Kaine glosses over the fact that his running mate thinks it should be legal to stab a partially-born baby in the head and suck her brains out, is that from the fullness of his heart?

Senator Kaine: you can’t be both prolife and pro-choice. Either every human being has an inalienable right to life and any violation of that right is a grave injustice, or unborn children in the womb have zero human value and therefore should have no legal protections.

Kaine asked Pence multiple times why he doesn’t trust women to make this choice for themselves. Why don’t we allow people to choose to take an innocent human life? We don't because no person has the right to take away the rights of another person. Human life undeniably begins at fertilization and the unborn child is a member of our human family.

Pence said it quite succinctly, “a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable, the aged, the infirm, the disabled, and the unborn. I believe it with all my heart.”