(Credit: Hillary HQ)
Want to reduce abortion rates?
Want to reduce the factors that lead to abortions?
Want to protect the lives of the unborn?
Want to improve the lives of women?
Then please, as an evangelical, I beg you: vote for Hillary Clinton.
I was walking to my car in Columbus last week when I saw an airplane flying overhead with an air advertisement being pulled behind it. As I looked closer, I realized it was a banner with a fetus flying in the sky with the words, "Vote pro-life." The advertisement brings to light the one issue that causes evangelicals to stay true to the republican party, and even in this bizarre election, to Trump.
Consequently, evangelicals' one argument -- notice that there is usually only one that is greater than the email controversy -- against Clinton is abortion. Often, I have conversations with Christians that sound like this: "Well, I agree with most of her policies. But I cannot support abortion. That's why I am voting for Trump; he is pro-life." I also hear abortion thrown around as a "moral issue that transcends politics." It is natural, but perhaps necessary, for such people to justify their one-issue voter status. However, these arguments are short-sighted, impractical, and actually harmful.
Such arguments are problematic because Roe v. Wade is the law and it will never be overturned -- no matter who takes office (just note all the republican presidents that ran on such a platform but could do little to nothing to get it done). Can abortions be limited? Yes, but in significantly different ways.
Rather than putting all one's stock in a presidential candidate to elect the right Supreme Court Justice and overturn the ruling (extreme long shot), why not vote for someone who will improve the conditions that trap women into making the decision to have an abortion (pragmatic choice). For example, women often have to pick between having a career and having a family. This is exacerbated by being paid less than men and denied proper benefits that are conducive to having children, such as paid maternal leave. Women should not be punished for having kids.
Add to these problems the issues of race, poverty, and inequality, and see that black women are 3.6 times more likely to have an abortion than white women.
Furthermore, On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: "3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner."
Want to talk about moral issues? Poverty is a moral issue; unfair treatment and sexism are moral issues. Abortion is a moral issue and it actually highlights the other moral issues that exist in our society.
There is certainly some acquiescence to Trump by evangelicals, perhaps it is because the rigor against abortion clashes with other evangelical commitments, such as loving one's neighbor and welcoming the stranger, leaving one forced to make a decision about which issue is more important. One-issue voting is the consequence of this decision.
Rather than voting for Trump, someone who has flip-flopped on abortion (practically on all of his policies), why not vote for a president that will improve the quality of life for women, in the workplace, home, and society? In addressing the problems that women face in our society, we can help them make their own choice about what is best for their bodies and lives.
Rather than bombing abortion clinics, or standing outside with graphic pictures on signs and yelling at people, what if we improved the adoption process? Compare costs between an abortion and adoption. The foster care system is broken and needs reform.
An outdated argument to vote only for overturning Roe v. Wade is harmful to this country. It is a case of the hypothetical and not reality. Instead, a vote for Hillary is a vote for change and continued progress.