Paying-Lip-ServiceOne of the reasons many conservative Christians tend to vote for Republican politicians is due to the party’s moral conservatism: pro-life, pro-family.  Several people have argued, however, that this is not a worthwhile reason to vote Republican because most Republican politicians only pay lip service to the pro-life position for political purposes, and/or they don’t really do anything to limit or abolish abortion (or can’t really do anything due to Roe).

I’ve always found the psychoanalysis claim to be dubious. It’s very difficult to prove that someone does not truly believe what they say they believe. Pro-life Republicans could make the same claims about pro-choice Democrats: They don’t really believe abortion should be permitted, but pay lip service to the pro-choice position for political purposes.  I think it’s best to avoid the psychoanalysis, and just take people at their word unless we have good reason to doubt their sincerity.

What we can measure is whether or not a politician puts his money where his mouth is.  And the fact of the matter is that Republicans have been very active in pushing for pro-life legislation, and have had considerable victories over the last 20 years.  According to a January 2, 2014 press release from the Guttmacher Institute, 22 states enacted 70 provisions in 2013 that “sought to restrict access to abortion services.” The provisions included “abortion bans, restrictions on abortion providers, limitations on the provision of medication abortion and restrictions on coverage of abortion in private health plans[,]…parental involvement, public funding for abortion, waiting periods and counseling, and ultrasound.”

In their analysis, “This makes 2013 second only to 2011 in the number of new abortion restrictions enacted in a single year. To put recent trends in even sharper relief, 205 abortion restrictions were enacted over the past three years (2011–2013), but just 189 were enacted during the entire previous decade (2001–2010).”  That means “more state abortion restrictions were enacted in 2011–2013 than in the entire previous decade.”

I can assure you that it wasn’t the Democrats who were responsible for proposing and passing these 394 pro-life laws.  It was the Republicans, putting their money where their mouth is.[1]  While state and national lawmakers cannot outlaw abortion due to Roe, they can and do restrict many facets of the abortion industry that reduce the number of babies murdered in this country.  If you are prolife, who you vote for does make a difference for the unborn.


See also: Abortion Restrictions Reduce Abortion

[1]Yes, I recognize that there are some pro-life Democrats and pro-choice Republicans. I am not speaking of individual voting records, but parties writ large.