Pro-life evangelicals are better off voting for the Planned Parenthood-endorsed Hillary Clinton than voting for real estate mogul Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, prominent Christian author Rachel Held Evans suggests.
Evans, a progressive Christian columnist and author of books such as Faith Unraveled and A Year of Biblical Womanhood, who claims to be pro-life and proclaimed in 2014 that she was no longer fighting for a seat at the "evangelical table," took to her website on Tuesday to argue that Christians, even pro-life believers, would be doing themselves and their cause a disservice by voting for Trump over Clinton.
Despite the facts that Trump vows to appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices and Clinton opposes abortion limits up until the very end of the third trimester, Evans contends that Clinton's policies will help keep abortion rates at record lows, while Trump's policies will only help raise the abortion rate.
"In the eight years since we've had a pro-choice president, the abortion rate in the U.S. has dropped to its lowest since 1973," Evans wrote. "I believe the best way to keep this trend going is not to simply make it harder for women to terminate unwanted pregnancies but to create a culture with fewer unwanted pregnancies to begin with."
Mallory Quigley, communications director for the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, contests Evan's insinuation that the Obama administration's policies are the cause for the decline in abortion rate.
"There are a multitude of reasons for abortion being on the decline," Quigley told The Christian Post in an email. "As was noted by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, Students for Life, and CitizenLink in their amicus brief to the Supreme Court earlier this year, the general public is growing increasingly pro-life and women are more willing to carry unexpected pregnancies to term. This has nothing to do with the pro-abortion policies of the Obama Administration but rather the fact that young people have grown up in the age of ultrasound."
Although many view the Republican Party as more pro-life than the Democratic Party, Evans argues that neither party can really claim to stand for a "consistent pro-life ethic." She goes on to claim that progressive policies actually make it easier for young and impoverished mothers to choose not to abort to their children.
"Data suggests progressive social policies that make healthcare and childcare more affordable, make contraception more accessible, alleviate poverty, and support a living wage do the most to create such a culture, while countries where abortion is simply illegal see no change in the abortion rate," Evans writes. "By focusing exclusively on the legal components of abortion while simultaneously opposing these family-friendly social policies, the Republican Party has managed to hold pro-life voters hostage with the promise of outlawing abortion, (which has yet to happen under any Republican administrations since Roe v. Wade), while actively working against the very policies that would lead to a significant reduction in unwanted pregnancies."
Evans issues four main points.
First, she claims that "voting pro-choice is not the same as voting for abortion." Second, she states that "criminalizing abortion won't necessarily reduce abortions." Third, she asserts that pro-lifers should support government efforts to help low income families. Fourth, she contends that pro-lifers should support efforts to make contraception "accessible and affordable."
"Every child deserves to live in a home and in a culture that welcomes them and can meet their basic needs," Evans wrote. "Every mother deserves the chance to thrive. Forcing millions of women to have children they can't support, or driving them to Gosnell-style black market clinics, will not do."
Evans stressed that not only does Clinton have "better policy proposals to help improve the lives of women, children, and families than Donald Trump," the former First Lady doesn't plan to "rip hundreds of thousands of families apart" with a mass deportation plan, nor does she have "contempt" for "Latinos, Muslims, refugees and people with disabilities."
"Evangelicals, I implore you: Don't support Donald Trump. Don't support a racist demagogue who can't even quote a single Bible verse properly and who takes to Twitter to viciously insult everyone he disagrees with. He's playing you," Evans warned. "Donald Trump is not your pro-life savior. Of course, neither is Hillary Clinton."
"But Clinton is far better positioned to keep the abortion rate at the record low it saw under President Obama while the Republican Party works for the next four years to produce the kind of candidate the people of this country deserve," she continued.
While Evans believes that Clinton might be more in touch with the goals of pro-life Christians, Quigley detests that claim.
"Hillary Clinton's position on abortion couldn't be more extreme and out of touch with pro-life Christians," Quigley wrote. "She has said plainly that 'the unborn person does not have constitutional rights,' and that she supports the status quo of legal abortion on-demand, up until the moment of birth."
Although Evans claims that neither party can lay claim to act consistently on pro-life ethic, Timothy P. O'Malley, the director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, explained in an op-ed published by Aleteia that it was the 2016 Democratic Party platform's call to repeal longstanding bans on taxpayer-funded abortions that forced him to finally leave his party.
O'Malley, who has an adopted son, wrote that the Democratic Party has been too focused on an abortion agenda to advocate for the reasonable approach of adoption.
"I refuse to belong to a political party in which ideologies of death have become so central to the life of the party that a consistent approach to human dignity is deemed unwelcomed by party leaders," O'Malley explained. "There will be no adoption talk, no prominent address by a pro-life Democrat, because it goes against the present death-dealing orthodoxy of the Democrats."
In an op-ed published by the Los Angeles Times, Kristen Day, the executive director of Democrats for Life, and Charles Camosy, an associate professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University, argued that the 2016 Democratic Party platform "betrays millions of the party faithful."
"In the 2008 presidential primary campaign, candidate Hillary Clinton said abortion should be safe, legal and rare. 'And by rare,' Clinton emphasized, 'I mean rare,'" Day and Camosy recalled. "Yet her 2016 platform team has approved provisions that make access to abortion crucial to the well-being of every single person on the planet."
Day and Camosy insist that the party's radical position on abortion is causing a rift within the party.
"The Democratic Party's abortion stances have already caused many to leave the party, and many more will drop out because of the platform wording," they wrote. "The percentage of extreme abortion rights advocates is increasing in the party, but only because the total number of Democrats has shrunk to its lowest level since the Hoover administration."