Republicans On Life

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

There has been a difficult coexistence between social and fiscal conservatives within the Republican Party as of late.  Social conservatives in Georgia had become accustomed to holding sway if the paths of the ideologies diverged since the late 1980’s.  The 2010 election brought about the rise of the TEA Party and with it, an assertion that fiscal conservatives wanted at least an equal share at the table.

The 2010 election also became a bitter and divisive time for social conservatives among themselves.  Georgia Right To Life endorsed all Republican candidates for Governor but Karen Handel, choosing to emphasize that she was the only unacceptable candidate to them and questioning her pro-life credentials.  While GRTL ultimately claimed victory with the nomination of Governor Deal, the runoff win by less than 2,500 votes against a candidate which they had vehemently opposed was a closer race than any could have imagined a couple of decades earlier.

The position of GRTL against Handel’s pro-life credentials received another round of scrutiny when the Susan G Komen Foundation attempted to distance itself from contributions it was making to Planned Parenthood.  Handel, then the Foundation’s Vice President for Public Policy, resigned from the organization when they choose to reverse course and continue funding Planned Parenthood.

In doing so, she became a figurehead for the pro-life movement nationally.  Her reception by national pro-life groups stood in stark contrast to the treatment she received just a year earlier here at home.

2012 brings a new election, and with it an opportunity to heal open wounds.  The state convention in Columbus provided such an opportunity, with olive branches from the party to both Handel and the pro-life community in general.

The convention passed a resolution honoring Handel for her work and settled the question of the authenticity of her pro-life bonafides.  It reads in part:

Whereas, she ran for Governor as a social conservative in 2010, becoming the first Republican woman to do so; and

Whereas, she was appointed by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity in April 2011, upon which Karen Handel was made aware that the charity was a financial supporter of the pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood; and,

Whereas, she attempted to end this relationship in a way that was respectful to both organizations; and,

Whereas, she chose to exit the organization showing extreme grace; and therefore be it

Resolved, that the Georgia Republican Party does hereby commend and congratulate her on her decision to stand for her principles and continue to encourage her to continue to serve the public in the future…

The passage of the resolution seems to bring together factions within the GOP’s social conservative ranks to peaceful coexistence once again.  Handel now is certified as a pro-life Georgia Republican.

Social conservatives also have seemed to regain equal footing with TEA Party/fiscal conservatives within the party based on the placement of a “personhood” amendment question in the July Republican primary.  Voters who request a Republican ballot will be asked the following:

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each innocent human being from his or her earliest biological beginning without regard to age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency?

Flush off of the victory of shepherding a fetal pain bill through the legislature and into law, pro-life groups will now have an object reason to rally their voters and send them to the polls in July. The wording of the amendment also has the opportunity to re-open recently closed divisions.  There are no exceptions in the amendment for life of the mother, much less cases of rape or incest.

Expect much more scrutiny of the non-binding ballot question as the July primary date approaches.  In the mean time, on an occasion where there is a bit of a cease-fire in long running intra-party squabbles, the rare occasion where a peace exists – even if an uneasy one – should be noted.


  1. ricstewart says:

    Not to be nitpicky, but wouldn’t Linda Schrenko be the first Republican woman to run for Governor of Georgia?
    I don’t mean to compare the two, and of course I can understand why the Georgia GOP convention wouldn’t want to remind themselves of Schrenko.

    • Lawton Sack says:

      You are correct. Just for the sake of information, the Convention voted on the caption of the Resolution and did not hear nor see the body of the Resolution.

    • Charlie says:

      I’ve just received a note telling me that the empasis on that point was that Karen was the first woman to run as a social conservative, not to imply that she was the first female GOP candidate for Governor.

  2. debbie0040 says:

    The ballot questions also will have an impact T-SPLOST as they will motivate conservatives to vote in the GOP Primary . The overwhelming majority will vote against T-SPLOST..

      • John Konop says:

        How about a pro-life person not supporting banning insurance companies from using the pre-existing condition clause, universal healthcare…….. A death warrant for many people. How about pro-choice person supporting the prosecution for the death of a fetus? Life is not as black and white as many think, it is more gray than many admit. In the next 20 years many social conservative issues will fade in my opinion.

        • Lawton Sack says:

          Human beings have different convictions and biases based upon their life experiences and background. I am a Christian, but I do not impose Christianity upon anyone else. Christianity impacts who I am, including what I believe about human life. Thus, I am personally pro-life and against unnecessary war. I fully respect the rights of those that I disagree with and I will protect those rights.

  3. TheEiger says:

    Charlie – isn’t chamblee54 posts SPAM? If I had a junk box for PP all of chamblee54 postings would go there right next to the folks that have a million dollars in a British bank account and all they need is you account number to transfer it to you.

  4. James says:

    Judging by the time wasted setting the record straight on Handel and drafting meaningless pro-life position statements, I can only assume that the Georgia GOP has already figured out the answers to the real problems facing this state. Kudos to them.

  5. saltycracker says:

    “……..innocent human being from his or her earliest biological beginning without regard to …..”

    Human being is defined at the point of fertilization (test tubes included) we guess.

    As a pro-lifer with exceptions…….Absolute questions deserve absolute NO’s.

  6. Rick Day says:

    Often I ask myself “Self, would you support a set of myth based moral legislation that would create a black market for illegal abortions, if it meant the end of the Death Penalty for what possibly might be erroneously convicted criminals?”

    Obviously, the question as written conflicts with the current Right of the State to Legally Murder the Possibly Innocent.

    so..yeah, I’ll cross over and vote yes to end the Death Penalty, for the innocent truly have the same right to life, as the zygote.

    Question: if a pregnant woman is arrested, trips on a wet floor in jail and loses her fetus, THEN it turns out she was wrongly arrested, does the State get tried for fetus murder? If not her, then who?

    • Rick Day says:

      This is actually going to be pretty cool. When the Atlanta City Council wrote legislation to tighten illegal alcohol consumption on unlicensed premises, it technically made all tail gating illegal.

      Be careful what you wish for, Oh Godly Engineers of Morality.

  7. Skyler Akins says:

    How many average Georgia Republicans know what “condition of dependency” means? Interesting to ask.

  8. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    Pro-life social conservatives want to ban abortion.

    Republicans do NOT want to ban abortion.

    Republicans want to keep abortion legal so that they keep it around as an ongoing campaign issue, a deep political well that they can always turn to in times of political need, especially in election years, not-to-mention create some work opportunities for their cronies in the legal field.

    Hence the reason why the Georgia Legislature passed an anti-abortion bill that seems an open invitation for legal challenges.

    • Andre says:

      The Democrats want to keep abortion legal for nearly the same reasons, LDiG.

      There’s a lot of money to be made, whipping the pro-choice community into a frenzy over the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned.

      I’m sure you’ve seen the emails from Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

      “Donate today and help us stop the Republican attempts to turn back the clock on women’s rights.”

      Comedian Chris Rock once famously said, “There ain’t no money in the cure.”

      “The money’s in the medicine. That’s how you get paid, on the comeback. That’s how a drug dealer makes his money, on the comeback.”

      Likewise, in politics, there’s no money in solving the problem. The money is in using the problem as a scare tactic to get one’s supporters all wee-wee’d up so that they open their wallets and purses for the cause.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      Truth to your comments. If the abortion debate was ever settled once-and-for all, the GOP would lose a giant issue it keeps using as a carrot to dangle over the heads of its Christian base to gain votes every election. It’s like a form job security for the GOP, so it’s in the GOP’s best interest to make sure that they don’t pursue the issue too vigorously.

      I’m surprised that the christian right hasn’t realized it’s being used yet.

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        Many of them have realized they are being used, but they just can’t quit the GOP because like a bad relationship it “hurts-so-good”.

        It’s like when a girl knows that she’s being used by a guy, but can’t stop messing with him because he always tells her want she wants to hear everytime he comes around to use her for a cheap physical thrill.

        Only in this case the girl is social conservatives and the guy is the GOP who’s looking for nothing more than a cheap political thrill in an election year so he (the GOP) tells her (social conservatives) what she wants to hear so that he can get another quick “roll-in-the-hay” for ol’ times sake and then doesn’t call the girl back until he again runs low on other “options” (the next election year).

        If the guy had wanted to marry the girl he would have put a ring on her finger and married her long ago (read: If Republicans really wanted to ban abortion they would have done it long ago instead of playing political games for selfish quick political gains).

  9. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    The Georgia Legislature’s official response to concerns about ethics (or their noticeable lack of):
    LOOK! Over there! ABORTION!!!!

    ….Now can you possibly imagine how hard that would have been to pull off if abortion had already been banned?

    I can’t even imagine as the actual thought is completely horrifying.

  10. Captain America says:

    {{Comment deleted by Charlie

    A couple of rules you broke here: (Others please also pay attention and take note)

    1) you posted a link without context. This forum exists for people to have a conversation here. Thus, make your points here, not direct our traffic elsewhere for readers to try and figure what the heck you’re talking about.

    2) The title of the link appeared to be about T-SPLOST. Despite the fact that there are numerous threads in the last week alone, you somehow chose this one about Republicans and the pro-life movement to hijack a thread back to T-SPLOST. I have difficulty understanding the degree of lack of awareness of what we do here to decide that a “Say No to T-SPLOST thread needs to start here, when we have a number of currently active discussions going on about that very topic.

    3) You appear to have done so in order to promote your own candidacy. Lack of self-awareness as noted in item 2, or an obvious attempt to hijack a thread to your own website as mentioned in #1, is not a good way for you to promote yourself here, or earn any good will. It says you think this is all about you, without any attempt to understand or become part of the community that many have worked to build here. You just seem to want to walk in and exploit it for your own gain.

    4) It would probably be a good idea if you study 1-3 before you try this again.}}

  11. chamblee54 says:

    My posts AREN’T spam. I don’t like to eat it either. I do enjoy this vision of spam.
    The “life issues” have many shades of gray. Probably more than fifty, but without the controversy. Here is one of the times I have written about it.
    As for Karen Handel, isn’t it time for her fifteen minutes to be over? Anybody who can get Sarah Palin to make an appearance for her, and lost to a notoriously corrupt congressman, does not need to be in politics.

  12. SallyForth says:

    How ridiculous that the media adopted the right-wing speak of calling people who support ignoring the medical profession, along with the Constitutional right to privacy and freedom of religion, plus expansion of big government into a woman’s innards “pro-life.” Really?? Certainly not pro the life of a woman or girl past puberty.

    If these are the only people “pro-life”, that makes anyone who disagrees with them “pro-death.” Right? How stupid can this whole thing get? Surely everybody knows that a blastula or a zygote is a ball of cells that has the potential to someday become a person, but certainly is nowhere near being one yet – like an acorn has the potential to become an oak someday, but is nowhere near being a tree when a squirrel buries it for the winter.

    All media and public discourse should stop calling these people “Social conservatives” and tell it like it is – they are crazy as bat-s***. To put such a ridiculous question on our ballot is a disgrace and makes a mockery of our democracy. Just when I think these political manipulators have done their worst (e.g., anointing themselves medical scientists and declaring “fetal pain” as a legal term and putting into Georgia law a total disregard for a woman or girl’s protection from being further tormented by rape, incest, or even dying), they come out with something even more punitive toward women and young girls.

    “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each innocent human being from his or her earliest biological beginning without regard to age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency?” SERIOUSLY??
    According to human biology classes, all the eggs a woman will ever have are in her ovaries when she is born – you know, that time when she comes out of her mother’s body and breathes, eats, plays, messes her diaper, cries, etc., becomes a living-breathing person?). Carrying this to its logical conclusion, all those eggs were formed inside her mother – so a person’s “earliest biological beginning” is inside the body of his or her grandmother. So anybody who votes “yes” on this proposed Constitutional amendment is actually saying they now want to start attacking Granny!

    • Joshua Morris says:

      So when is the ‘magical’ point that a human life is worth protecting? Is there something about air touching human skin that suddenly makes a fetus into a human life? The ‘pro-choice’ argument always dives straight into the zygote/clump of cells blather and then focuses on the rarest of situations like rape and incest.

      We would do well to focus on the value of innocent life that is discarded for nothing more than convenience in 90-95% of abortion cases, nearly 40% of which are performed at 8 weeks gestation or later. For those who abort for convenience, the ‘choice’ was made between the sheets. All the screeching about the woman’s rights within her own body treat the baby as if it invaded her without her permission. How pitiful.

      • SallyForth says:

        Nah, it “invaded her” via some male who was all hot and bothered, gave no thought to anything beyond the moment, then went on his way with no responsibility or consequences, leaving her to cope with irreversible changes to her body and her life. No matter whether she has to terminate the fertilized egg before it can go any further or is able to carry to term, her life is changed forever emotionally and physically.

        I don’t know that there is a “magical” point, but I believe we become a human/person as the Bible says when God “breathes into us the breath of life” – when we are able to breathe air, do our bodily functions, live on our own and not hooked to another person’s aorta, existing inside someone else’s body. And wouldn’t it be nice if rape and incest were “the rarest of situations”? According to a recent Congressional report, roughly 19,000 women in the military are victims of rape every year – and that doesn’t even get into the civilian population. Per the National Center for Victims of Crime, 10 to 20 million of the US general population have been victims of incest. The U S Bureau of Justice statistics report an average of 90,000 rapes reported every year in our country; imagine how many more are never reported due to shame or fear. The Dept. of Justice recently reported at least 20% of women have been raped at sometime in their life. ‘You want more statistics showing that rape and incest are not rare in our country?

        But enough about sperm and ovum – what about stem cell research and being able to save countless lives of real people, already formed and here living and breathing on their own but suffering from horrible diseases that can be cured with stem cell therapy from a blastula or zygote?

        • Joshua Morris says:

          Oh. So a pregnancy is always the irresponsible man’s fault. Got it. How sexist.

          You apparently didn’t know that God ‘breathed the breath of life’ into only one person. And abortion statistics related to rape, incest, and protection of the mother’s life are available in myriad places. Rape and incest result in about 1% of abortions. Google it.

          • James says:

            Joshua – at least you come right out and admit that your opposition to abortion stems in part from a weird hangup about what happens “between the sheets.” I respect the honesty, even if I don’t respect that in the 21st century people are still freaked out that, yes, other people have sex for reasons besides procreation.

            Like death and taxes, abortion has always been a part of human culture. It will always be a part of human culture–legal or not. Nothing you can do will end abortion. Let’s move on.

            • Joshua Morris says:

              What’s my ‘weird hangup’? All I said is that the choice is made between the sheets. Even though procreation is not always the intent, it is a possible result. Responsible people consider this.

  13. AMB says:

    The right to privacy means that others do not get to decide when a woman gets an abortion, why a woman wants an abortion, or if a woman gets an abortion.
    It is none of your business. None. Live your own life and allow others to live theirs. In privacy.

      • SallyForth says:

        The woman’s right to privacy precedes your right to tell her what to do with her own body. And does the term “birth day” mean anything to you? It is not calculated from 9 months earlier, not from your mother’s birthday, nor your grandmother’s birthday.

        If you cannot wrap your brain around the concept of gestation, go buy a human science book and read – instead of typing blather on the web. I have more to do than try to reason with the unreasonable.

        • Joshua Morris says:

          Can you wrap your mind around babies being born at 32 weeks and living long, healthy lives? Lots of birthdays are decided by doctors at varying gestational timeframes. I’m amazed at how you determine when a human life becomes bona fide and worth protecting. Basing it on a birthday just doesn’t consider obvious facts.

      • John Konop says:


        If we ban abortion are you welling to pay higher taxes for Medicade,welfare………? If not would that not make you pro birth not pro life?

        • Joshua Morris says:

          Funny how government funding changes people’s views on lots of things, isn’t it? Doesn’t change fundamental principles, though. Sure, we have a serious societal dependency problem, and people should experience the consequences of their choices without government always taking away the pain. Policy decisions should not have to be made based on how many irresponsible people will have to be subsidized.

          • John Konop says:

            So once again you support letting the kids die and or parents if they do not have the cash for healthcare,food……….? Your comment made my point you are pro birth not pro life. Irronacly the history of the pro life movement was driven by liberal Cathlics at first.

            • Joshua Morris says:

              I’m not pro life because I don’t support government subsidies of irresponsible people? smh

              • John Konop says:


                So you support forcing “irresponsible” people to have children yet do not care if they live? You get children do not pick their parents? Like I said pro birth not pro life.

        • Harry says:

          Of course it is. Just because she’s lodging the baby in her, doesn’t give her the moral right to kill an innocent just to insure her own well-being and false notion of gender equality. She will have to answer to herself and to God for the murder.

          • Jackster says:

            I think their point is that its not your business.

            And therefore not subject to public debate.

              • James says:

                The choices a woman makes are between her, her conscience, and her god. Not you and yours. It is not “your business”. You are not god and you are not the moral police. This is America (where abortion is legal, by the way), not Iran.

                • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

                  “This is America (where abortion is legal, by the way)”

                  Yes, abortion is currently legal, but for how long?

                  • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

                    “Yes, abortion is currently legal, but for how long?”

                    That’s right….Abortion will remain legal for as long as it is an issue that can be used to win elections.

                    …Sorry, dumb question.

              • Jackster says:

                Harry – Well you must get around then to be the father of so many unwanted pregnancies.

                Thank you for successfully detracting meaningful debate and energy away from the actual issues of the day.

  14. jbgotcha says:

    What is one to do? People hate women for “killing babies” if they get an abortion, and then they hate the child once it’s born. I’m speaking mostly about women of color with economic challenges, but it is applicable in more situations than that. I don’t get it and I don’t expect to anytime soon. It’s shameful in my opinion. Let people make the best decision they see fit and if it means they are a “murderer” in the eyes of their maker, it will get sorted out in the next lifetime.

      • James says:

        Don’t know, but I do know where I’ve heard the argument that it is “your business” — and the business of the state — to meddle in the private personal affairs of other citizens: Iran, the Soviet Union, North Korea, China, Myanmar, Afghanistan. Should I go on?

        • James says:

          And by the way, “false notion of gender equality”? Really, dude? You’re going to make a statement like this in the 21st century?

        • Harry says:

          Just remember, after all your words, there is still the reality of 50 million murdered babies in this country. Infanticide is the equivalent of genocide. We have eliminated a high percentage of those under the age of 40. Ask yourself, when you are openly supportive of it are you not the same as those who in other settings were complicit in such policies? You should consider the effect of your words on yourself and others.

          • James says:

            Yes, I suppose I’m complicit in supporting a legal right that women have in this country.

      • jbgotcha says:

        That really wasn’t what I was saying at all, but okay. I’m sure you wouldn’t deny that you would hate the children after they are born. If you want to have staunch beliefs about abortion and women’s rights that’s fine. Apply it to your own life and family, but don’t try to oppress everyone. Of course, I’ve read a number of your comments on this message board so I am not at all surprised that you respond the way you do.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      No surprise there as the White House is opposed to ANY bill that would in any way ban or restrict abortion.

      • James says:

        That proposed bill is hilarious. Next, the GOP will propose a bill that bans abortions by African Americans or Christian women. When that bill faces inevitable opposition, the GOP (and Harry) will scream “See, Obama supports aborting black babies!” or “Obama wants to abort Christian babies!”

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