Ken Connor

"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NASB)

In a recent article castigating the GOP's "anti-abortion absolutism," Slate's Jacob Weisberg maintains that "...two conservative social goals—ending abortion and upholding the model of the nuclear family—[have always been] in tension."

Weisberg argues that pro-life "extremism" (viz., opposing abortion on demand) is inherently at odds with promoting stable, two-parent families. How so? According to Weisberg, "If you do not allow teenage girls who accidentally become pregnant to have abortions, you are demanding either that they raise their children as single mothers or that they marry in shotgun weddings." In neither case, Weisberg maintains, are you likely to have a stable family. He then lays out the difficult path that single moms and young married couples have to walk.

Case in point? You guessed it, Bristol Palin! According to Weisberg, "The Bristol Palin option [Bristol plans to marry her boyfriend, the father of her child] doesn't promote family happiness, stability, or traditional structure…." (You gotta love the liberals' new found concern for traditional families.) Weisberg then allows as to how he has "long expected the Republican Party to resolve this conflict in its social vision by moderating its stance on abortion." In other words, when protecting life puts the "traditional family" at risk, Weisberg thinks abortion is the best option.

Weisberg's argument is patently false and profoundly uncharitable.

Strong family values and support for innocent life go hand in hand. The conservative emphasis on the family only makes sense when the life of every member of the family is valued. After all, how can a family be "stable" if it kills its own members? While the circumstances of conception may be less than ideal, destroying the child of an ill-considered union will not produce a stable family. Weisberg laments single-parent situations and shotgun weddings, but they are certainly to be preferred over killing an innocent child.


Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.