Now that the primary is over, and many of our pro-life candidates have been weeded out (thanks in part, due to our lack of a pro-life resource that lets you know early enough in the campaign season "who’s really pro-life"), many want to know who they should support now.
Life of the Party has a feature for answering that question for this election season. On the left sidebar of this site, you will see pro-life candidates listed according to the office they are seeking. By clicking on the candidate’s name, you will be taken to his or her website to further inform yourself about the candidate. Not all of the candidates worthy of your support are listed yet, so please check back often for updates. The system I have used for this election only is merely providing you with the links to those candidates who have the full endorsement of Human Life of Washington. These are the candidates who agree with Human Life PAC on abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research and cloning, and have indicated no circumstances when they believe parents are justified killing their pre-born children.
I recently had the opportunity to look at the Human Life of Washington candidate survey. All of these years, I thought the survey asked in detail if the candidate supported abortion under any circumstances, giving them the option of selecting the exceptions of rape, incest, life or health of the mother and so forth, if they apply. I thought this, because they did not give endorsements to those who held these exceptions. From looking at the survey, it appears as though the question is not asked, so all HL of WA has to go on is whether or not the candidate is forthcoming with that answer, and they sometimes are. So potentially, some of their endorsed candidates could hold these views. I disagree with the policy of noting the disclaimers of in "partial agreement" or "near agreement" with HL PAC, without spelling out where they disagree. Conscientious pro-lifers want to know how serious the disagreement is. And besides, it gives the impression that HL has given them a "partial endorsement" and the buzz among candidates and consultants is that the desired thing now is a "partial endorsement" from Human Life PAC. It gives the duplicitous signal to pro-lifers "we’re on your side" and to pro-abortion-choicers "don’t worry, your abortion rights are not really in jeopardy."
In the races where there is not a Human Life endorsed candidate, but one with disclaimers, I will not recommend what to do. It is a dilemma that each pro-lifer needs to carefully weigh. (An excellent discussion on this can be found in Voters Guide for Serious Catholics, good for Catholics and Non-Catholics alike.) Consider how much harm that candidate can do if elected, and not simply whether or not his position is pragmatically better than the Democrat. Will the candidate be in a position to influence the kinds of Republican candidates we nominate in the future? That can be a dangerous prospect if the position he or she is seeking is high enough that the party leadership will look to him or her as a standard bearer. Some pro-lifers will simply choose not to support a candidate on the basis that he or she does not believe in protecting all innocent human life. For future elections, Life of the Party will conduct its own candidate survey, using the RNC for Life model (which, if you will notice, does not even have any Washington State candidates listed. Apparently, the candidates did not bother to answer the survey.)
Note: I applaud the work Human Life of Washington does on many levels. They have consistently stood up for the unalienable Right to Life on many fronts in their non-profit agency and their PAC. They are a non-partisan organization however, and their job isn’t to involve themselves in partisan politics. They are also not able (either because of regulations or their own policy) to endorse candidates until the filing period has ended–one month before the primary election. By then, the majority of activists have already united behind a candidate. As a private citizen, I am not constrained by these factors. I believe that the Republican Party is the best vehicle to protect the unalienable Right to Life in our laws. We must as pro-life citizens, be well informed of the candidates’ positions before supporting Republican candidates. This way we select only those who believe in fully protecting the Right to Life.