Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards seems unabashedly pro-life. On this issue, his record as governor and legislator is unblemished. But he’s a part of a Democratic Party that champions abortion rights. That’s a big contradiction for Louisiana voters to overlook.
Other than on guns and abortion, Edwards is conventionally liberal. Maybe that’s why he’s remained a Democrat in a party made up mostly of pro-abortion rights politicians.
Edwards once revealed he’d have little chance of winning a statewide race in Louisiana if he were not pro-life and pro-Second Amendment. He described the secret to his improbable win over then-U. S. Sen. David Vitter, a Republican, this way:
“If you’re not pro-life and if you’re not pro-Second Amendment, too many people in Louisiana will not hear the rest of your message,” said Edwards. “And so, you can be 100% in sync with them, but they’re never going to support you."
Edwards stood up to Planned Parenthood as governor, and he signed one of the most anti-abortion bills in the history of the country. He also has a compelling personal story to back up his pro-life credentials. The governor says doctors recommended he and his wife abort their daughter after diagnosing her with severely afflicted spina bifida. Edwards said that at the time, there was no way to determine what effects it would have on their child. But Edwards and his wife said they never considered abortion. Their daughter is now in her mid-20s, recently married, and is in graduate school.
Benjamin Clapper, director of Louisiana Right to Life, recently told me he has no reason to doubt Edwards’ sincerity on the issue of abortion. Clapper’s organization grades the governor perfect on the issue.
Based on his record and personal story, there should be little doubt of Edwards’ sincerity on his claim to be pro-life. But the party he promotes and helps fundraise for is all about preserving the right to an abortion. And the Democratic Party is becoming even more radical on the question of protecting innocent life.
The vast majority of Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate recently refused to support a bill outlawing the barbaric practice of infanticide. Why would anyone who takes seriously the idea all life is precious and deserves protection, join, support and partner with the modern-day Democratic Party?
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam dramatically illustrated the growing rot and decay now prevalent in the party when it comes to devaluing innocent life. He described what a bill he supported would do if a baby survives an abortion.
“I can tell you exactly what would happen,” said Northam. “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Edwards was silent on his fellow Democrat’s monstrous comments endorsing infanticide. Yet when a picture surfaced showing Northam wearing blackface decades ago, Edwards quickly condemned him. Northam held a fundraiser for Edwards in Virginia last year, raising $100,000 for him.
Edwards voted for Hillary Clinton in the last presidential race. He had to know Clinton would have loaded the Supreme Court with pro-abortion judges. The abortion battle will be won or lost with the U.S. Supreme Court. Given his declarations against abortion, Edwards’ vote for Clinton is troubling.
Edwards’ acknowledgment that being pro-life is critical for a statewide candidate in Louisiana is obviously true. But given his affiliation with a party that supports abortion rights, voters have reason to wonder why Edwards, given his professed devotion to the unborn, would continue to be an active Democrat. It’s a question bound to loom large among many Louisianans as they choose their next governor.
Email Dan Fagan at firstname.lastname@example.org.