Michael New


Responding to the hypothetical NARAL commercial

Michael New

Yesterday, Avik Roy responded to the critiques made by myself and Ashley McGuire about his essay about the future of pro-life politics in America. While responding to me, Roy asks how a no-exceptions, pro-life presidential candidate would respond to a hypothetical NARAL television commercial. This ad would feature a rape victim tearfully lamenting how this pro-life presidential candidate would prevent her from either obtaining a morning-after pill or terminating the pregnancy.

The best response is, of course, to show compassion for rape victims — agree that rape is a horrible act of violence against an innocent, vulnerable, weaker person. Then make the case that abortion is wrong for the exact same reason. The U.S. Supreme Court says rapists — even child molesters — don’t deserve the death penalty. Conclude by stating that all humans have value, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their conception, and that an innocent child does not deserve the death penalty for the crimes of his father.

Pro-life activists Rebecca Kiessling of Save the 1 and Ryan Bomberger of the Radiance Foundation were both conceived in rape. In Rebecca’s case, legal protections that included all unborn children prevented her from being aborted. They have produced a number of videos featuring individuals who were conceived in rape. These personal testimonies powerfully explain why pro-lifers should work toward a world where all unborn children are protected, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their conception.

— Michael New is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan–Dearborn, a Fellow at the Witherspoon Institute, and an Adjunct Scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_J_New.

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