Tahlequah Daily Press


October 26, 2012

Care needed in addressing abortion issue

TAHLEQUAH — Aspiring politicians who want to effectively convey an anti-abortion message need to figure out a way to do it without offending the untold numbers of women who have been victims of rape.

Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is the latest in a string of candidates to incite wrath with a statement that seemed to place the rights and dignity of a fetus over the traumatized woman.

Mourdock stands by his assertion that if a rape victim gets pregnant, it’s “something God intended.” He certainly didn’t intend to sound so callous; he was, as he later said when explaining why he wouldn’t apologize, “speaking from my heart.”

Politicians who want to present themselves as “pro-life” should know abortion is the most volatile, contentious topic they will likely face, and that the motives of those pressing for a definitive plank aren’t necessarily pure.

Those on the far right who would make abortion the only issue that counts will be looking for an uncompromising view in return for their support, while those on the far left may be trying to trap a candidate into sparking public outrage or making himself look foolish.

But neither of these groups are the majority, and don’t represent the conflicted and often heart-wrenching attitudes most Americans share on abortion.

A candidate should strive to provide thoughtful, nuanced answers that reassure anti-abortion advocates of his empathy for their position, while still making himself palatable to those who feel abortion should be available at least under certain circumstances.

Creating the impression that a pregnancy from rape – and by association, the rape itself - was “God’s will” is unwise both politically and morally.

The same can be said for the blunders made by other candidates who have recently struggled for a clear response to a complex question. Among the worst offenders were U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin, who claimed the female body can “shut that whole thing down” in cases of “legitimate rape”; and former presidential candidate Ron Paul, who recommended that the victim of an “honest rape” go straight to the emergency room, where she should get a shot of estrogen.

Those who strive valiantly to defend the dignity of the unborn should try to remember that while most Americans are anti-abortion in principal, the vast majority judge pregnancy resulting from rape or incest by a different standard.

The ultimate eradication of abortion, while a noble goal, is almost as unrealistic as the dream of eliminating spousal and child abuse, rape, incest, drunken debauchery and other social ills that sometimes lead to unwanted or crisis pregnancies.

Politicians and others who are truly pro-life acknowledge small triumphs in the ongoing battle are better than no victory at all. When they can help even one woman bring a crisis pregnancy to term through counseling, pre- and post-natal care and, yes, financial assistance for her and her baby, they’ve met with success.

But candidates can’t take up official arms in the battle unless they’re elected – and in some states, at least, they can’t win office if they seem to care more for a fetus than the woman who carries it in her womb.

Text Only
  • Ban on wage hikes by municipalities a mark of hypocrisy

    The words “God” and “governor” may share the same first two letters, but the two are hardly interchangeable.
    But let’s assume Gov. Mary Fallin really isn’t deluded enough to place her powers on the level of a deity. What rationale would a woman who has championed smaller government and local control use to explain her hypocrisy in banning individual Oklahoma cities from raising minimum wages in their jurisdictions?

    April 18, 2014

  • Community cleanups a good way to ensure our collective success

    This is our community – and it’s no better than what we make it. Let’s make it look great.

    April 16, 2014

  • Attack at school in Pennsylvania: Mental illness root of problem

    Washington’s crusade against guns was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday. No, it wasn’t the Supreme Court curtailment of the Second Amendment right of all Americans to own firearms. It wasn’t an executive order handed down by the administration. It was the brutal assault by a high school student in Pennsylvania against his fellow students – with a knife.

    April 14, 2014

  • People with faulty zippers should be booted from office

    We may forgive, but we shouldn’t forget, because there’s serious work to do in Washington. That work will never be accomplished as long as flawed zippers - literally or figurately – are a pervasive problem.

    April 11, 2014

  • Do your part to fight animal and child abuse

    It’s hard to change the habits of an abuser, especially when mitigating factors – such as alcohol or drugs – are involved. And these patterns tend to repeat themselves in successive generations. But all of us can take one small step to help eradicate this epidemic, and that is to report it when we see it.

    April 9, 2014

  • NSA head lies to Congress, and seems to get away with it

    Is there an obvious pattern of criminality within these governmental agencies? If so, why isn’t the Judicial Department investigating?

    April 7, 2014

  • Pass for rich kiddie rapist proves that justice isn’t blind

    Someone in Wilmington, Del., needs to keep an eye on Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for the next few months, because she might improve her standard of living due to a sudden influx of cash.
    There’s no other way to explain why Jurden would have sentenced an ultra-wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice that once again proves when it comes to the U.S. justice system, the elite get a pass almost every time.

    April 4, 2014

  • Maybe it’s not $3.2B, but state should still account for tribal cash

    In an editorial published last week, the Daily Press said that through tribal compacts, the state of Oklahoma received about $3.2 billion in annual revenue, partly attributable to the 117 casinos (or 118, in some reports) run by 33 tribes in the state. The information we accessed for that piece was confusing, and had a typo or two, which may have led us to overstate – to a considerable degree – how much money the tribes actually give the state.

    April 2, 2014

  • Tribal compacts should mean state has money to perform its functions

    Oklahoma should be rolling in the dough. The statistics bear that out. Thirty-three American Indian tribes operate 117 casinos in this state. Thanks to “compacts,” these tribes have been sharing the wealth with the state of Oklahoma. And thanks to the casinos, that wealth is substantial.

    March 28, 2014

  • It’s time to turn in your candidate announcements

    If you are running for a political office for which Cherokee County voters can cast ballots, it’s time to turn in your announcement. We’ve already run a few, and expect several more. The primary elections are Tuesday, June 24, with the registration period to vote in this election closing Thursday, May 30.

    March 24, 2014


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest