Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What does Judie Brown want?

Judie Brown is, for all pro-lifers, a very familiar name. She is not only the founder of the American Life League, but she is a widely published writer whose opinions frequently appear in Catholic and (conservative publications. I have written before about her "no compromise" stance on abortion and now I feel compelled to write again.

In 2006, a strong anti-abortion measure was put on the ballot in South Dakota and soundly defeated, loosing 55 to 45%. Anti-abortion activists responded by introducing Measure 11, a ballot initiative that would restrict abortion, making exceptions for the health of the mother, rape, and incest. The idea being that perhaps voters would accept a more lenient law than the one that was proposed two years ago.

(Think about it: this is how democracy works. Responsible statesmen look for compromises that most of the people will accept and then enact those compromises into law. It is authoritarian systems that dictate to the people what public policy will be in complete disregard of public opinion.)

Now, to my mind, this compromise saves babies. Sure, some abortions will be allowed, but many, if not most, will not. For that matter, even if only one baby would be saved, I would support this measure.

But Judie Brown and South Dakota Right to Life think differently. Judie Brown has written:

What this measure exemplifies is surrender to political polling and public opinion that will cost the lives of — only God knows how many — preborn children. It has always been my view that we who are leaders in the pro-life movement are supposed to set a standard of hope, confidence in truth and joy in defending it, regardless of polls, politics or pundits.

And regardless of political realities as well?

Does Judie Brown really think that voting for this measure will cost the lives of more pre-born children than voting against it? Is she delusional? Perhaps this measure is not perfect, but it is undeniably an improvement over the way things are now! Perhaps a stronger measure would be better, but what is to prevent us from voting in these restrictions now and then voting in additional restrictions later?

But no extremist ever favors a workable compromise, do they?

I suspect that what Judie Brown really fears is that a substantial improvement in the abortion laws would simply make the issue go away, and would make her leadership in the pro-life movement irrelevant, and that she likes being a demagogue more than she cherishes the lives of babies.


Judie Brown said...

What Judie Brown actually wants, sir, is to see the preborn child treated as a human being in every single case, and because this is so she will not support measures that dismiss some of those children for various reasons as delineated in the language of Measure 11.

Winning should not occur at the expense of preborn baby's lives.

Judie Brown

Carrie said...

Well, we have already seen where the All-or-Nothing approach has gotten us... nowhere!

The Dutchman said...

Hi Judie!

A response from the woman herself in only two hours and thirty-three minutes — Wow! I am honored.

May I offer an analogy here? (Jesus taught by analogy you know...)

S'posing you were going by an orphantage or hospital or something where there were dozens of babies, and it was on fire. By your logic, we shouldn't bother trying to save any of the babies inside unless we are able to save them all.

Or have I missed something?

Yours For A Better World — Dutch

Anonymous said...

You save them all. You don't start saving them with preconditions as to which ones aren't worth saving.

Your analogy is excellent. The orphanage has saved 98% of all the babies in the building, and the firefighters are watching it burn knowing that 2% are still inside -- even though they could very well save those babies.

And why does it have to be 2%? Why not 5%? 30%? Look at how ineffective the Partial Birth Abortion ban is today and how we're debating over "live fetal births".

Exceptions don't save lives. They cost lives, and are used to justify what otherwise would be permitted by abortion-on-demand.

How is that a victory?


John Jansen said...


I haven't the time now, but remind me the next time we see each other to talk about the various issues you raise here.

The Dutchman said...


You are not addressing my analogy at all! Judie Brown is, in essence, saying that the firemen should save NONE of the babies, because they can't save ALL of them. Whereas, I favor saving AS MANY AS WE CAN rather than letting the ones we could save die over a matter of abstract principle and stubborn pride.

The the Partial Birth Abortion is ineffective BECAUSE the Republicans want it to be! They want this issue to remain in play so that working class pro-life voters will vote against abortion instead of for the Democrats who represent their class interests.

Read the polls — a ban on second and third trimester abortion is about all we can hope for in the present cultural climate.

John —

Always good to talk to you! I'll be at Saint Johns for the nine o'clock this Sunday, and then hanging around in the cafe until Bean-Girl's catechism lets out at eleven.

— Dutch

RobK said...

Dutch, I notice that you like to compromise on this issue - and convince others to do the same.

The battle over life is the most fundamental human rights battle that we have ever faced as a people. Yet, you call those who are standing up and fighting the good fight "extremists." You have defend voting for the most extreme pro-abortion presidential candidate ever put forward. You suggest supporting a law that includes the notorious "health of the mother" exception is good enough. No one could accuse you of being an extremist on the right to life. Perhaps lukewarm?

Christ was seen as an extremist. Many of the saints, particularly the martyrs, were seen as extremists. They refused to compromise the truth, the values at their core. Yet you are willing to compromise for political expediency.

My friend, your political stance on abortion is flat out wrong. Whenever I cling to something wrong (as I once did on this very issue), it was because of my own sin and my wanting to be god. What are you clinging to that lets you make this compromise? Whatever it is, I pray you can let it go. You may not recognize it, but you are doing the work of the wrong side on this.