The Corner

Conservatism Set Me on the Pro-Life Path

I thought the interview with Anne Conlon was both impressive and instructive, and it stirred in me some thoughts about abortion in America, on this, the day of the annual March for Life in Washington.

As a Jew, I can appreciate the evolution of Conlon’s — and others’ — thought process on the issue of abortion. And I know first hand what it’s like to disagree with family and friends on this fundamental issue.

I attended public schools growing up, and while the Jewish faith is theologically and historically a pro-life faith, the strong strain of secularism within Judaism has taken many in the religion away from its pro-life roots.

As the son of liberal Democrats, I didn’t inherit my pro-life views or have them engrained in me by schooling or my institutions of faith.

I have listened to the stories of people explaining how viewing an ultrasound for the first time or the experience of becoming a father or a mother can solidify a belief in the sanctity of life. I have not experienced this either.

And yet I still arrived at the conclusion that every life is sacred from conception until natural death. That is because we cherish life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in this country, and those rights should extend to every life, born and unborn.

I arrived at these conclusions because, before I ever really thought of the abortion issue, I was a conservative. I came of age during the Reagan Revolution, steeped myself in conservatism, and registered as a Republican at age 18. Being pro-life isn’t just a moral issue for me; it’s a historical and constitutional one. Understanding the creation of Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion movement helped shape my view. But I’m pro-life because I was conservative first. I wonder how many other people out there can say the same.

I have a much deeper faith today, and I find pride and comfort in Judaism’s historical defense of life. But I know that conservatism helped set me on the path.

That’s why I recoil whenever I hear people — even those within my own party — say we need to get away from social issues. Or that we’re “on the losing side” of the marriage debate, or the sanctity of life argument. The defense of life just doesn’t “move voters,” I’ve heard more than one consultant say.

I hope that never becomes the majority view in our movement. If it does, we will never earn the right to be the governing majority in America, nor will we deserve to. I will continue to speak clearly and consistently on the connection between our moral values and economic prosperity.

The anniversary of Roe v. Wade is a grim observance. It marks an uncorrected mistake in American history. If the conservative movement ever stops being the home of the pro-life movement, this grim observance — and its consequences — will mark many more anniversaries.

L’chaim. To life.

— Adam Hasner is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Florida.

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