(Richard Scotti) – With all the talk these days about the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, the Nevada budget deficit, and the fiscal conservative fight for limited government, let’s not forget the proud pro-life heritage of the Republican Party. We are still the pro-life party, with views more in sync with the majority of Americans, and all federal, state, and local candidates must continue to fight to protect the lives of the unborn.
The Platform of the Clark County Republican Party in 2008 provided, in the “State” planks section: “We support the inalienable right to life of all persons from the moment of conception to their natural death . . . .” (http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/Values.htm#5)
Here in Clark County we are entirely consistent with national Republican sentiment. The 2008 Platform of the Republican National Committee stated: “Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.” (http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/Values.htm#5)
As Precinct Administrator of the The Clark County Republican Party, I administered a survey last May on the important values of the day. The results reflected overwhelming support for social conservative positions. One question presented was: “How important is it for you to be conservative on social issues? (1=Not important at all; 10=Extremely important).
A whopping 71.6% of respondents rated their support of social conservativism at 7 or above; with an astounding 35% right at “10.” Of course this was not a scientific poll, but it was circulated to the entire CCRP membership at the time, as well as the entire database of 2008 Clark County Republican delegates to the County Convention. About 750 people responded, with controls in place to prevent more than one response per computer. As evident by this survey, we remain a staunchly pro-life party.
The abortion issue cannot be ignored by any Republican candidate for office. Yes, we all know that the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) established that a woman has a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution to abort a fetus in the first or second trimesters, and even in the last trimester to protect the life or health of the mother. But even if you do not advocate the reversal of this decision, that does not end the issue.
Abortion is defined and regulated here in Nevada under NRS Chapter 442. Nevada legislators have a direct say on such issues as (1) qualifications of doctors to conduct abortions; (2) the circumstances under which an abortion is conducted; (3) proof of informed consent of the mother; (4) notice to a minor’s parent, (5) records regarding the circumstances and reporting of abortions; and (6) efforts to preserve the life of an infant born alive during an attempted abortion. We fought and succeeded to ban the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. We can and must continue to fight to impose further abortion restrictions.
Nevada practically leads the country in the rate of abortions. The 2006 teenage abortion rate was 19.3 abortions per 1000 women. See “U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births and Abortions: National and State Trends by Race and Ethnicity (January 2010 Guttmacher Institute). But Nevada was the third worst state, with a rate of 46 abortions per 1000 of 18-19 year olds, and 28 abortions per 1000 of 15-19 year olds. Id. Since 1973, with Nevada a major culprit, more than 49 million fetuses have been aborted nationwide. See National Right To Life, “Abortion Statistics in the United States: Statistics and Trends.” (http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/abortionstats.html)
Candidates for Governor, State Senate, and State Assembly, have as significant a role in the abortion fight as a candidate for U.S. Senate or Congress. We must all continue to fight to restrict the occurrence of abortion, to educate the public about the procedure, and to educate mothers about better choices that they have. More importantly, we must continue to fight against the horrible practice, testing the limits of Roe v. Wade, and fighting for that day when Americans will stand up to protect the life of the unborn.
The people of Nevada are fiercely independent. We deeply respect the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, and continually assert our States rights. So most of us see the fallacy in the Federal government mandating for the entire nation that an unborn fetus does not have a fundamental right to life. Most of us agree with the dissent of Supreme Court Justice Thomas (joined by Justice Scalia) in stating: ‘[T]he Court’s abortion jurisprudence . . . has no basis in the Constitution.” See Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 169 (2006). The will of Nevadans to continue the fight for life is strong, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
(Mr. Scotti is a former chairman of the Clark County Republican Party)