Field down to Five

While the Republican and Democratic national conventions have yet to officially declare their respective nominees for President, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both secured enough delegates to ensure that they will get those nominations. The Constitution Party has selected Darrell Castle and the Libertarian Party has selected former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. The Green Party has yet to select their nominee but all signs point to Jill Stein, once again securing that nomination as she did in 2012.

With the field narrowing for the general election, it’s time to consider the top five most viable candidates on the issues. In this post, we will focus on the issue of abortion. In subsequent posts, we will take a look at some other important issues.

5. Hillary Clinton (Democratic Party)

Women’s personal health decisions should be made by a woman, her family, and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor. Hillary will stand up to Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, which would restrict access to critical health care services, like cancer screenings, contraception, and safe, legal abortion. She will fight to protect the Affordable Care Act, which bans insurance companies from discriminating against women and guarantees 47 million women and counting access to preventive care.

Hillary Clinton has a long resume of being a pro-choice supporter of “women’s reproductive rights.” One thing pro-life voters need to recognize is that when the liberal left speaks of “abortion,” it is almost always veiled in terms like these and sub-categorized under “women’s health.” Also, pro-choicers like to combat defunding of Planned Parenthood by saying that it “restricts healthcare access.”

Whether we’re discussing the funding of Planned Parenthood with taxpayer dollars, or the notion of tax payer dollars being used to fund “contraception,” they are usually talking about the same thing: Making all taxpayers pay for abortion of some kind.

I put Hillary Clinton in last place for the issue of abortion because she is the most dangerous candidate for the child in the womb. Jill Stein, who we’ll look at next, isn’t much better, but Hillary Clinton has build a platform on this issue, and is brazen about her intention to expand the ability and access that women have to abortions.

4. Jill Stein (Green Party)

Establish an improved “Medicare For All” single-payer public health insurance program to provide everyone with quality health care, at huge savings.

As I mentioned above, Jill Stein isn’t much better than Mrs. Clinton, but she is slightly better. I say that only because she seems to say very little specifically about Planned Parenthood or abortion. However, Jill Stein supports a single payer, Medicare for all healthcare system that no doubt would “expand women’s access” to “healthcare.” Stein has stated in the past that she does not believe abortion should be illegal, and that she supports her Medicare for All health care plan paying for and providing the pill in “emergency” pregnancy situations.

What all that veiled terminology means is hard to say, but the fact that it is veiled, makes her slightly less dangerous for children in the womb than Hillary Clinton.

3. Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party)

As Governor, Johnson never advocated abortion or taxpayer funding of it. He supported a ban on late term abortions. In his personal life, the Governor believes in the sanctity of the life of the unborn.

However, Gov. Johnson recognizes that the right of a woman to choose is the law of the land, and has been for several decades. That right must be respected, and ultimately he believes this is a very personal and individual decision. He feels that each woman must be allowed to make decisions about her own health and well-being and that these decisions should not be dictated by the government.

Further, Gov. Johnson feels strongly that women seeking to exercise their legal right must not be subjected to persecution or denied access to health services by politicians in Washington or elsewhere who are insistent on politicizing such an intensely personal and serious issue.

I have provided here the full statement from Gary Johnson’s campaign website because it’s clear he’s trying to have it both ways. He wants to appeal to Republican voters by saying he’s personally pro-life, while courting the democratic voter by saying he supports the current laws on the books.

The simple fact that he states openly that he’s pro-life, and that he has a record of blocking the expansion of abortion plays in his favor. However, he seems, to me, to be very unlikely to pursue any sort of defunding of or restricting of the funding of Planned Parenthood. As a Libertarian, he stands for the protection of individual liberty, unfortunately, in this case, there are certain individuals (children in the womb) that he’s not willing to protect.

For these reasons, I have placed Gary Johnson third. He’s certainly not more dangerous than Hillary Clinton or Jill Stein, for the child in the womb, but he’s certainly not going to seek, as President, to do much in the way of changing the status quo which has generated over 50 million abortions since Roe V. Wade.

2. Donald Trump (Republican Party)

If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed – like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.

Donald Trump is a bit of an enigma on the issue of abortion and women’s rights. On the one hand, he has made clear statements that he does not want to defund Planned Parenthood, but, rather, just the abortion aspects of it. That position, of course, reeks of ignorance of how Planned Parenthood cooks their books to make it look like abortion is a rather small part of what they do.

Further, Trump, in the past, has been openly pro-choice. Of late, he has made it abundantly clear that he has switched his position on that and is now pro-life. There was a shocking and somewhat encouraging moment a few months back when “The Donald” said that if abortion were made illegal the woman should be punished as a result. He later walked those comments back with the quote above.

In the statement above, Trump essentially hands the issue off to the states, and changes his position from one of punishment of the women, to a statement about the woman as the victim. Then, there is the ominous addition of, “with exceptions.”

It’s hard to place where Donald Trump falls on this spectrum. I have placed him ahead of Gary Johnson only because he has been explicitly strong at times on this issue. However, his ability to shift his position to suit his need for votes is uncanny. I expect him to shift his position on this for the general election. Ultimately, unless a major shift occurs, I don’t think Donald trump, like Gary Johnson, would do much to encourage or discourage change of the current state of the abortion issue in America. As a result, this makes him no more, or less, dangerous to the unborn child than past republican presidential nominees.

1. Darrell Castle (Constitution Party)

If you’ve ever made a statement that you will never vote for someone who is not pro-life, or who supports abortion, and if you are really serious about that statement, then you only have one choice in this election. I am the only candidate of any party that is 100% pro-life or even close to it.

If any of the candidates for president have come out strong on the issue of abortion, it’s Darrell Castle. Castle is the Constitution Party nominee for President and he is very clear on where he stands. He’s pro-life and he will seek to honor the rights of unborn children under the constitution of the United States of America. Note this statement from his campaign website:

There are many things that a Constitutional President could do about abortion but I will give you just three.

1. Veto and refuse to spend every penny of funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

2. Confirm the validity of the 10th amendment and the states’ right to decide their own laws.

3. Recommend to Congress, and work to convince Congress, to take away the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over such matters.

Castle is the only candidate of the five major parties who has not only stated he’s personally pro-life, but demonstrates a plan of action for protecting the rights of unborn children. While Hillary and Stein would make things worse, and Trump and Johnson would keep things as they are, Darrell Castle would actively seek to defund Planned Parenthood and support the right of states to make laws restricting access to abortion.

If your vote hinges on the single of issue of the protection of life, I have to agree with Darrell Castle’s assessment of the current race: You only have one choice…Darrell Castle.

Photo by Ashley Webb via Flickr