Thursday, October 28, 2010

Morgan Griffith the Pro-Life Choice for Congress

There comes a time when tenacious commitment to ideological purity makes you at best detriment to the cause you claim to support, and at worse an enemy of that which you are trying to protect. Virginians for Life, and their Executive Director, Kellie McHugh, have definitely reached this point. This blog is unashamed to call out Republicans when they don't stick to their principles. What Virginians for Life has done here is not one of these occasions.

In their most recent e-mail entitled, "Cuccinelli Endorses Pro-Abort," Virginians for Life calls Morgan Griffith (Republican congressional candidate in VA-9) a "pro-abortion Republican" without giving any evidence to support this claim. It also claims that Ken Cuccinelli "sold out again" by endorsing Morgan Griffith. To conclude an e-mail of baseless accusations, the group decides to ask for money, and asks you to call Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and ask him to stop supporting "pro-abortion Republicans."

Since no evidence was given as to why Morgan Griffith is a "pro-abort," I decided to do my own research. In his issues page, Morgan Griffith's second issues is that he believes in the importance of the sanctity of life. He was endorsed in his bid for the 9th congressional seat by the National Right to Life because he "supports pro-life legislation, and opposes the use of federal funding for elective abortion." As a result of his strong commitment to support families, Morgan Griffith received a perfect score from the VA Family Foundation in their 2009 Report Card. This is not the record of a "pro-abort." In most people's minds an endorsement from the Virginia's pro-life champion would at least insure that the person is at least not a "pro-abort." This is the record of someone who has consistently worked for and advanced pro-life legislation as Majority Leader in the VA House of Delegates. May he have cast one vote that Virginians for Life disagrees with? Possibly. Calling a Morgan Griffith a "pro-abort" is a lie. Doing it without providing evidence is inexcusable.

Morgan Griffith's opponent Rick Boucher is most certainly a strong supporter of abortion. During the healthcare debate, he opposed the Stupak amendment, an attempt to make sure federal healthcare money would not fund abortion. His votes in the last congress earned him a 25% approval rating from the Family Research Council on family issues.

Not only is it a lie to call Morgan Griffith a "pro-abort" the timing of this e-mail is very troubling. Virginians for Life pretends like this is a recent development that Ken Cuccinelli endorsed Morgan Griffith. Cuccinelli actually endorsed Morgan Griffith in a Cuccinelli Compass e-mail sent out on May 20th. This summer Virginia Republicans participated in competitive nomination contests in five congressional districts: 2, 5, 8, 9, and 11. Ken Cuccinelli chose to endorse candidates in two of those nomination contests: Keith Fimian and Morgan Griffith. If Virgians for Life were actually upset about Ken Cuccinelli's endorsement they would have sent this e-mail out in May when Ken made the endorsement.

Choosing to send this baseless attack out the weekend before the election serves only one purpose, suppressing pro-life votes for Morgan Griffith. I do not know the intentions of the person who sent the e-mail, but it is the only possible result. Normally baseless smear attacks a couple days before an election are reserved for your political enemies. It is unimaginable to use such tactics on your friends. Under the guise of supporting life, Virgians for Life are helping reelect an enemy of family values, and the unborn, Rep. Rick Boucher.

The race in Virginia's fighting 9th will be a close race. If you believe in family values, look at the records, and vote for Morgan Griffith on Tuesday.

1 comment:

Kenneth said...

I'm not familiar with the Virginian's for Life piece, and this is a bit after the fact, but Morgan Griffith's voting record and survey history indicate he favors restricting late term abortions, but he favors continued legalization of first-term abortions because he believes that life doesn't begin until "implantation".

His nuanced position means that he can favor regulation of abortion, particularly in the 2nd and 3rd trimester, while voting against bills that would outlaw abortion from conception or recognize human life as beginning from conception.

For example, Griffith voted against Virginia's Life at Conception Act in 2007, something National Right to Life conveniently omitted when issuing his report card.

Knowing the controversy around this issue, Griffith's campaign was being somewhat deceptive by claiming "Morgan Griffith is 100% pro-life" without disclosing that to Morgan Griffith, "100% pro-life" does not include protecting life from conception because he doesn't believe human life starts at conception.

Morgan Griffith has consistently spoken and voted against recognizing person-hood of a fetus from conception. The rationale given by two different of his staffers when questioned on this at different times was that "this would conflict with the continued legality of certain types of birth-control pills."

In other words, protecting life from conception would be inconvenient for pharmaceutical companies who manufacture birth-control pills, because many of the pills sold today do not prevent conception. Instead certain pills harden the uterus against implantation by the conceived embryo, causing an abortion. This is usually so early in the pregnancy as to not be noticed by the mother, so the users of these pills are usually unaware that they are actually causing multiple abortions over time.

It would certainly be preferable for Griffith to be up-front about this, rather than use the phrase "100% pro-life" which means something quite different to him than it does to many of his constituents who believe human life begins at conception.

In the Fall 2010 campaign, Griffith was a newcomer to the 9th district, and his pro-life position was accepted at face value by the conservatives in the district. That is, until certain constituents, like Charles Humphrey of Mendota, dug deeper and discovered that Morgan Griffith has never been in favor of protecting life from conception - and he voted against Virginia's Life at Conception Act in 2007.

That led to a number of people feeling they had been lied to, so there was something of a stink raised in the week before the election, but it did not amount to much.

Griffith beat Boucher, 'tis true. And in many ways he appears to be preferable to his predecessor.

But the 9th district still doesn't have a congressman who will sponsor or vote for the Life at Conception Act. Therefore, Griffith wasn't really being honest with us when he said he is "100% pro-life". He was and still is, pro-first-term-abortion.