While Douglas hated slavery, he would do nothing to impede its expansion into the new territories, would not set his hand against the institution in the southern states where it existed, and supported the infamous Fugitive Slave Law that returned escaped bondsmen to their masters when captured on the free soil of the northern states.
For all practical purpose, Douglas’s position was pro-slavery. While his hatred for slavery was heartfelt, Douglas’s personal convictions probably were little comfort to those African-Americans held in servile bondage.
But unlike Rudy Giuliani on abortion, it is not known that Stephen Douglas ever made donations to pro-slavery causes. Douglas’s personal aversion to slavery would have made it impossible for him to contribute money to an organization devoted to the defense, promotion, and extension of slavery in the United States.
Yet this is precisely what Giuliani did by contributing to Planned Parenthood, an organization that supports the most extreme positions on the issue. Planned Parenthood opposed the federal ban on partial-birth abortion – a hideous procedure that entails the abortionist killing a baby at the very moment of birth. Planned Parenthood opposed the Born-Alive Infants’ Protection Act that banned the practice of so-called “live birth abortions,” in which allegedly “unwanted” babies born alive are left to die without therapeutic care. Planned Parenthood even opposes parental notification in cases of minor children seeking abortions.
The revelation that Rudy Giuliani contributed to Planned Parenthood was the last straw for pro-life voters, many of whom already had penetrated the smokescreen about his personal beliefs. Donations to Planned Parenthood could not be explained away or dismissed by declarations of one’s personal beliefs. It is simply impossible to believe that someone who genuinely abhors abortion on deeply held moral grounds could contribute money to Planned Parenthood, the chief perpetrator of abortion in America.
Rudy Giuliani is a pro-abortion politician. That is the plain truth of the matter. The revelations of his support for Planned Parenthood made this abundantly clear and rendered his pretenses to the contrary unsustainable. So he is now ready to own up to his pro-abortion position and stop trying to finagle pro-life Republican voters into believing he is something he isn’t. As was made clear in the great slavery debates between Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, moral issues cannot be finessed. One cannot be personally opposed to a moral evil and yet do nothing to ameliorate it – much less take overt actions to lend aid and comfort to the perpetrators of that evil. By abandoning his previous hypocrisy and embracing an avowedly pro-abortion position, Mr. Giuliani has clarified the choice for pro-life Republican voters.