Scott Walker: How Pro-Life is He?

Did you remember to mark Ronald Reagan’s birthday? I did, by taking another look at his landmark Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation — the first time a sitting president published a book on such a crucial moral issue. The book was a brave and principled assertion of the rights of unborn children, by the president who brought pro-lifers in from the cold.

I also remembered, ruefully, how Reagan wasted a “gimme” open Supreme Court appointment on the pro-choice mediocrity Sandra Day O’Connor — a slot which came up in 1981, while Republicans still ran the U.S. Senate and could easily have confirmed a brilliant constitutional purist such as Robert Bork. That decision, few now remember, was the result of a hasty campaign promise Reagan had made to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court.

Pro-Life President, Pro-Choice Staffers

Who was it that, behind the scenes, convinced Ronald Reagan to make such a politically useless promise? Who conned him into picking O’Connor, instead of a solidly pro-life woman jurist?

We will never know which suited shark from K Street whispered in Reagan’s ear, but we do know one thing: O’Connor was and remained a deciding vote in favor of keeping the killing of unborn children legal. And she made it to the court because someone convinced Ronald Reagan that she was pro-life, when she wasn’t.

I had started volunteering for candidate Reagan in 1976, when I was just 12 years old, and he was still just a California governor. I had already been ringing doorbells for New York’s once vibrant Right to Life Party, and it filled me with hope that a serious contender for the Republican nomination was challenging the party’s dominant pro-choice establishment.
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  1. Walker is--sadly--ambivalent. It's known that at Walker's request Fitzgerald stuffed a couple of pro-life bills into memory-holes last session.

    Now, all of a sudden, Walker will sign a 20-week bill. Huh?

    1. I don't get the whole 'let's drop all the policies and positions that got us here' syndrome.


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