In 2000, I primaried a sitting Republican State Senator who was consistently voting with Roy Barnes’ agenda of consolidating power in Atlanta. I was proud to receive the endorsement of Georgia Right To Life. The fact is, all four of us in that primary received the same endorsement. We were all “good Republicans”, which meant first and foremost, we were pro-life.
But as the numbers of “good Republicans” grew from the minority to the majority, Georgia Right to Life made a conscious decision to switch their position on what constituted pro-life. No longer were exceptions for rape or incest to be included in their criteria, they would only begrudgingly accept a single exception for the life of the mother.
The clear effects of this decision are that there are more abortions performed in Georgia than if GRTL had held those “good Republicans” feet to the fire to pass laws that would have limited abortions to those three exceptions.
There is no way to refute this fact.
GRTL was instrumental in electing a majority of legislators that signed their “triple exception” pledge. Then, with the pieces supposedly in place to change life issues in our state and set a precedent for the nation, we chose not to score. We moved the goal posts.
The fact is, the folks at Georgia Right to Life have decided they would rather have an issue than to reduce the number of abortions in Georgia. The officers enjoy being able to hold power of not just certifying who is pro-life, but now actively try to game the system to allow themselves to choose their candidates, regardless if there are others in the same race with equal pro-life bonafides.
When current State Senator Jim Butterworth was running his first election, GRTL refused to give him a questionnaire to ask his pro-life credentials. They already had “their” candidate, and didn’t need anyone else to interfere.
Now, GRTL has decided it wants to make a point in the 2010 Governor’s race, and has decided to endorse every candidate but Karen Handel for Governor.
Including – a teacher who had his teaching certificate suspended for an inappropriate relationship with his student.
Think about that one for a moment.
Georgia Right to Life would rather you vote for a man who had a secret relationship with his student, bought her a cell phone so he could contact her without her parents knowing, bought her a puppy, and, according to the now grown student, had sex with her, than vote for Karen Handel.
Why does GRTL not want you to vote for Karen Handel?
“Ms. Handel proclaims herself pro-life; however, she does not meet the 21st century demands of being pro-life.” says Dan Becker, President of GRTL.
The “21st century demands” now require a woman who was raped or the victim of incest to carry a child to term. But there’s so much more. GRTL takes exception to Handel’s view of invitro fertilization and fertility treatments.
Karen and her husband Steve have been more public than should be required about their inability to conceive children. They have tried for over 10 years to have a family that the folks at GRTL would approve of. But support for invitro fertilization processes that may result in excess embryos beyond what is needed for conception weighed into their decision to determine that Handel isn’t pro-life. They apparently decided to add insult to injury by referring to Mrs. Handel as “Ms.”
When I was a candidate, there was not a more active member of the pro-life movement than Andrianne Susong. She has endorsed Handel.
In 2010, I don’t believe there is a more conservative, pro-life member of the Georgia State Senate than John Douglas. I watched him for over two hours before last year’s Georgia-Georgia Tech game put Handel stickers on passers by. He didn’t do so wearing a big “I’m Senator John Douglas” shirt or nametag. He did it just as a hard working conservative, in plain clothes, doing what he could that afternoon to help elect Karen Handel.
And my colleague and friend Erick Erickson, who formed RedState.com with the sole criteria that contributors must be pro-life, is solidly behind Karen Handel.
I’m sorry that GRTL has fallen to the point that they would rather have a child molester represent their version of family values than someone that supports invitro fertilization. That’s sad, because 6 years ago, they were at a point where they could have pushed for victory.
Instead, they moved the goal posts. Pro-life Republicans now debate who’s more pro-life. And innocent children continue to die while we bicker.
This was not the way I intended to announce my support for Handel, nor is it the issue on which I used to base my support for her. I’ll have more to say about that soon. But on this day where GRTL has decided to play their political games, I want to be perfectly clear:
I’m pro-life, and I’m for Karen Handel.