A short note before I share the letter.
I was alive when “back alley” abortions took the lives of women. I formed my opinions on the subject of abortion in 1960’s and 70’s as a then liberal Republican. my thinking aligned with the Republican Supreme Court justices who ruled on Roe vs. Wade. My opinion hasn’t changed nearly as much as our society has where sex is concerned. I always wanted to make contraceptives available rather than rely on abortions. I was appalled that “pro lifers” of that era were more anti premarital sex than they were anti fetus killing. As you will see in my letter to the MCCL I haven’t changed my mind.
I have always felt that abortions, like guns and traffic and food production was a legitimate area for sensible regulation. I have always sympathized with the folks who felt that human life, even before birth, was sacred. But I’ve grown impatient with such people when they fail to act as though the life that follows birth is also sacred and have cemented themselves to a political party that makes a virtue of the poor being forced to “fend for themselves.”
The Pro-Life movement is woefully ignorant about what will result should Roe vs. Wade be overturned. They think that it will be the end of all abortions in America. That’s obviously wrong. If Roe is struck down it will take the passage of a pro life amendment with by a 3/4ths majority of states to make it illegal in all fifty states. That will not happen in my lifetime. Abortions will always be available to the well-to-do even in states that would outlaw it. All they will have to do is travel to a state where its legal. When I was in high school such folks had to have the money to fly to Sweden.
Here’s that letter I sent to the MCCL
MCCL stands for Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life:
June 12, 2018
Dear Andrea Rau
MCCL Legislative Director
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life,
I filled out my first MCCL candidate questionnaire in 1976. I’ve probably filled them out seven or eight times by now. You have just sent me another one. I have followed your organization for over forty years and have come to know how you promote “life.” It has meant that I’ve been called a “baby killer” at Republican Conventions. Once in a Republican audience I was told by our speaker that I was responsible more mass murders than Hitler, Stalin and Mao Tse Tung rolled up together.
I think you should share part of the credit for all those murders with me before you share with your allies my disagreements with you on the questionnaire you sent me.
The tens of millions of murders since you first organized could have been averted had birth control been made widely available. But when I was in college in the mid 1970’s and young women were getting pregnant without birth control your organization never discussed your role in the murders that resulted. I consider that an oversight on your part or at the very least false advertising. You see, your founders were more concerned about women having sex outside of marriage than they were about abortions. The fetuses that you came eventually to realize were a more sympathetic argument against abortion than a war on contraception was simply a marketing move on your part. To my knowledge you still oppose birth control even though that would make “baby” murders unnecessary.
I put the word baby in quotes for a reason. In the old days all of your highway signs had pictures of fetuses on them. In another marketing master-stroke you began showing beautiful smiling babies on those billboards. You do acknowledge fetuses with lines about the day at which hearts begin to beat and the pain can be felt by fetuses once nerves develop but, of course, even then the fetuses are not full-term babies.
I am a big boy and I can take name calling. But you should know that there is one part of the abortion debate that I find particularly shameful. As much as the MCCL demands constitutional equality between a fetus and living humans you pay scant attention to children after they are born. The Republican Party that you have effectively aligned yourself with lives by Grover Norquist’s motto of shrinking government to a size that can be strangled in a bathtub. That strangling affects children without health insurance, Children ripped from the arms of their illegal immigrant mothers, children raised by grandparents because their children are methamphetamine addicts. In fact, in our nation, the richest nation on the earth, we have the highest mortality rates for infants and post-partum mothers in the free world. I care about that. Do you?
And yet I am called a “baby killer.”
OK. If you say so. I murder babies. But as we kids used to say in grade school. It takes one to know one.
Harry Robb Welty
Candidate for Congress
Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District
2101 E 4th St., Duluth MN 55812