Most people can agree that being pro-life is a core principle of conservatism. However, many pro-choicers still call themselves conservative and don’t see this as a problem or conflicting. After all, since all of their other views align with conservatism, is it really right to exclude them if they’re liberal on just one issue?
When that issue is abortion, the answer is yes.
As conservatives, we believe that the role of government is to protect our rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence— life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We also believe that these rights are endowed by our Creator, and that no government can ever take them away.
The first obvious contradiction in being a “pro-choice conservative” is that abortion violates the unborn child’s right to life, one of the three aforementioned and inalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence. The right to life is preeminent, with all other rights that a person could possibly have stemming from it.
Many pro-choice “conservatives” believe that their position on abortion is in line with the conservative belief in limited government. However, this only shows a gross misunderstanding of what limited government actually means. While we do believe that the government should be limited, we must not forget that it still has the responsibility to protect our rights.
Pro- choice “conservatives” also often justify their views by declaring that they’re “personally pro-life but politically pro-choice.” However, the only way that this could be a logically consistent position is if one were to believe that the government has no responsibility to protect our rights at all, which would be an anarchist view— not a conservative one.
Pro-choicers, including pro-choice “conservatives” typically use the excuse that the belief that an unborn child is a person is religious and we shouldn’t mix religion and politics. There are two main problems with this statement. The first is that life beginning at conception is not only a religious assertion, it’s also a scientific fact. If you believe that all human life is worth protecting, you should not view the killing of an unborn person as a right and a born person as a murder.
This leads to the next problem with that statement. Often, abortion apologists yell, “separation of church and state” any time a moral argument they disagree with is brought up. However, this shows a common misconception about what separation of church and state means. When the Founding Fathers suggested that a separation of church and state, they meant that no one church or religion should run our government. They never said that our Constitution and laws cannot be based off of the morals that our Creator, regardless of what each religion calls Him, gave us. In fact, the Declaration specifically states that our rights are given to us by our Creator.
The idea that the belief in a Creator should have no place in our laws is absurd and the exact opposite of what the Founders intended. The belief in this idea is necessary in order to have a basic understanding of the principles that the United States was founded upon, as well as our Constitution and laws.
A self-proclaimed “pro-choice conservative” may hold other conservative views, such as being pro-Second Amendment or against high taxation. However, they cannot call themselves a conservative if they don’t first understand where their rights to own a gun and keep the money they earned come from or if they pick and choose which rights they feel should be protected.
There is room for debate in the conservative movement when it comes to certain issues, but not when it comes to abortion. The only explanations behind a pro-choice stance are that not all human beings deserve the right to life or that it is not the government’s role to protect the right to life for unborn children, and these beliefs are in direct contrast with what a conservative believes. Therefore, it is nonsensical for someone who is pro-choice to call themselves a conservative.
It is possible to be a pro-choice Republican, Libertarian, right-winger, or moderate, but it is not possible to a pro-choice conservative. If we allow anyone with some conservative opinions to call themselves one, the word loses its meaning.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.