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.