(Don Nelson) – The recent radio ad attacking candidate for Senate Sue Lowden as being an abortion supporter based on votes and events 15-20 years ago is dangerous to the pro-life community.
While the ad correctly claims that Mrs. Lowden has voted for abortion in the past-something Mrs. Lowden has disclosed to the public and to pro-life leaders in Nevada, the ad is dangerous because it suggests that if anyone has voted for, supported or participated in an abortion, that he or she can never call him or herself pro-life, run as a pro-lifer or expect to receive the support of the pro-life community even if they have changed their mind and embrace the pro-life cause.
This is dangerous and as equally false as a politician claiming to be pro-life based on past votes but voting for the most massive increase in abortion since Roe v. Wade by voting for the recent health care act.
The danger of this premise is harmful to pro-life candidate recruitment. If candidates are judged to be pro-life or pro-choice based on their votes and actions from 15-20 years ago even though they are now openly pro-life, it will discourage many excellent candidates from taking up the pro-life cause.
Further, much of the pro-life leadership in Nevada and America would be disqualified. Some Nevada pro-life leaders have either had abortions, voted for the same abortion initiative Mrs. Lowden supported 20 years ago, or have supported abortion in the past.
To say Mrs. Lowden is pro-choice or pro-abortion because of votes she made 20 years ago would lead to the bizarre conclusion that many pro-life Nevadans and pro-life Nevada spokespeople are not qualified to ever run for office as a pro-lifer, claim to be pro-life, receive the support of the pro-life community in a run for office, or to advocate for the pro-life cause because of previous but no longer held positions.
Pro-life candidates should not be discouraged from taking up the pro-life cause due to votes 20 years ago if they have come to embrace the pro-life position.
Polls have shown for over a decade that America is a pro-life nation. America’s pro-life majority is due in large part to millions and millions of Americans and politicians like Mrs. Lowden, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Mitt Romney who have changed their minds on abortion and become pro-life.
The pro-life movement is filled with people who have had abortions, supported and advocated for abortion and even committed the abortions themselves. There are former abortion clinic operators, nurses, staff and even abortionists such as Bernard Nathanson who was a founder of NARAL and claims responsibility for over 60,000 abortions, who are now pro-life and helping tell the truth about the ugliness of abortion.
Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe in Roe v. Wade is also pro-life and has spoken at pro-life venues in Reno. Many of these people are in leadership or are some of our best advocates. No one doubts that they are pro-life.
The pro-life movement embraces and will continue to embrace people and politicians who have walked out of the darkness of abortion and become pro-life, to expand our growing pro-life majority.
(Mr. Nelson is president of Nevada LIFE)