I didn't mention it in my previous rant because it didn't come up in the debate, but in a CBS interview last week, Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin about her position on abortion. I've had a number of conservatives question my support of Barack Obama because of his pro-choice position, and because of Palin's pro-life stance. However, what Palin actually said sounds pretty pro-choice to me:
I'm saying that, personally, I would counsel the person to choose life, despite horrific, horrific circumstances that this person would find themselves in. And, um, if you're asking, though, kind of foundationally here, should anyone end up in jail for having an abortion, absolutely not. That's nothing I would ever support. ...I don't think that [the morning-after pill] should necessarily be illegal.
Read the full transcript here.
The pro-life position is that abortion should be illegal, not just that it should be counseled against. The extreme pro-life position does not make exceptions for rape or incest, and considers the morning-after pill to be a form of abortion (despite the term “emergency contraceptive”). That is my position, and either Sarah Palin doesn't agree with that position or she completely failed to articulate her own position.
My reasoning, which I've explained here, is that life begins at conception and the right of the unborn child to live outweighs all other rights of the mother. The only exception I would make is for rare situations where the pregnancy jeopardizes the mother's health, since the child's right to life does not outweigh the mother's right to life (and, from a practical standpoint, if the mother dies while pregnant, the child likely dies with her, so this is a very important exception to make). But apart from that, the rights of the mother are completely irrelevant here. Of course women should have the right to make choices about their own bodies, but abortion goes beyond that to take away the life of another human being, and nobody has the right to do that (whether governments have that right, or whether someone has the right to take their own life, are separate discussions).
If Sarah Palin shares this position, but cannot articulate it, she is not qualified to be Vice-President. You may disagree with my position, but if after reading this you can at least understand it, then I have done what she could not, and I am not a politician whose job it is to communicate these kinds of ideas. I don't consider myself qualified to be Vice-President, and if she cannot articulate her positions, then she isn't either.
If, on the other hand, Palin does not share this position, then pro-life voters should not vote for McCain/Palin because of Palin's stance on abortion, since she is actually pro-choice. Since all the candidates are really pro-choice, I encourage you to base your decision on other issues.