Priests for Life offers free guide to Republican, Democrat stances on life & family issues
October 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – With the 2018 congressional elections less than two weeks away, Priests for Life has designed a guide to help religious Americans stay informed and educate their neighbors about the values of the two major political parties.
America will vote whether to keep Congress in Republican hands or return power to Democrats, thereby expanding or limiting President Donald Trump’s ability to sign pro-life legislation. The president took numerous pro-life actions in his first two years,including judicial nominees, cuts to Planned Parenthood’s federal funding, eliminating foreign abortion aid, elimination of the Obama contraception mandate, and a focus on protecting conscience rights.
Priests for Life’s guide to Republican and Democrat positions presents each party’s official position on abortion, Planned Parenthood, judicial nominees, religious liberty, climate change, school choice, sex education, Obamacare, marriage, ethically-controversial medical research, Iran, and foreign aid.
Every position is presented as a direct quote from the GOP and Democrat platforms, not a characterization by someone favorable to either side. It encourages people to freely copy and distribute it, noting that its completely non-partisan design allows it to be shared by churches and 501-(c)-3 organizations.
The Republican platform “assert[s] the sanctity of human life and affirm[s] that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed”; endorses “options for learning” such as home-schooling, charter, and parochial schools; favors “sexual risk avoidance education that sets abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior”; and condemns the Supreme Court’s Windsor and Obergefell rulings that forced same-sex “marriage” on all fifty states, among other stances.
Key points of the Democrat platform include “access” to “ safe and legal abortion—regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured”; judges who affirm a “woman’s right to safe and legal abortion” and “see the Constitution as a blueprint for progress”; Obamacare as a “critically important step towards the goal of universal health care”; and “much work to be done” to build on the victory Obergefell handed to homosexuals.
Not every candidate or incumbent of either party necessarily agrees with every plank of his or her respective platform. But election winners’ party affiliation counts toward party control of the House or Senate, which in turn determines which leaders have the power to set legislative priorities and hold votes on bills.
“Pro-life people have to understand that this is the most important midterm election that we’ve ever had,” Fr. Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, told LifeSiteNews. “It’s all about understanding the importance of keeping Congress and by extension the courts under pro-life influence, under pro-life control, which in today’s political climate translates into Republican control.”
Congress’s current pro-life majority is, “especially in the Senate, too close for comfort, and the stakes are too high,” Pavone explained, noting that Trump has partially defunded Planned Parenthood and is willing to sign a total defunding bill. “The only reason we can’t do that is not a lack of commitment on the part of the pro-life members of Congress, it’s that we don’t have enough of them.”
This guide is just one of several resources Priests for Life has prepared for navigating the election.
ProLifeVote.com contains links to voter registration information, early voting deadlines, and where to vote; links to finding candidates’ positions on abortion and how incumbents voted on banning late-term abortion; charts detailing how party control of the House and Senate has historically affected the courts and abortion-related legislation; volunteer training assistance; an inter-denominational prayer that also can be freely distributed; and more.
To motivate pro-life voters, Pavone advised pro-life candidates to follow the president’s example.
“Trump “says ‘come on, let’s get this majority strengthened because I wanna sign legislation to protect these babies in the later stages of pregnancy,’” he explained, “and if these pro-life elected officials who are up for reelection are smart, they will make this very explicit to their audiences, and say, ‘I can’t wait to vote on the pain-capable bill, I can’t wait to vote again on defunding Planned Parenthood.’”