In a post-debate panel discussion with Fox News' Sean Hannity Wednesday, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and pundit Laura Ingraham took turns blasting "Never Trump" voters.
HUCKABEE: There was a very critical moment early in the debate, and I hope that every Catholic and every evangelical in this country pay careful attention to the stark contrast between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton when it came to the issue of protecting innocent human life.
Hillary Clinton vividly defended the idea of late-term, partial-birth abortion, calling it "women's health." Donald Trump boldly took a stand for life tonight. And for all these 'Never Trumpers' out there, they need to get off their keister, if you will, just stand up and recognize there is a clear choice here.
HANNITY: Hey, Governor.
INGRAHAM: I'll say the word.
HANNITY: Get off their ass, and stop being a bunch of crybabies...
INGRAHAM: They're standing with the woman who stood up there today and said I'm 100% for Roe v. Wade, and partial-birth abortion. That's what 'Never Trump' stands for, I guess, Row v. Wade, and partial birth abortion. Fantastic.
HANNITY: And by the way, all the other decisions a Hillary appointee would make on the court for generations. You know...I'm so tired of all those people. They don't deserve any more discussion until the day after the election. Then I've got a lot to say...
According to Ingraham, someone who cannot stomach a vote for Donald Trump because of his half-baked, shifting-sands populism, as well as his heinous personal behavior, must thereby directly support the dismemberment of innocent children.
This is a specious argument. In our system of government, as it stands today, the presidential election is indeed set up as a binary decision. However, when the choice is between two morally bankrupt individuals, each of whom are bereft of character in very distinct ways, the burden should not fall on those who cannot, in good conscience, vote for the "lesser evil." There comes a point where the "lesser" is no longer tolerable, but fully unbearable.
Not a single conservative "Never Trump" voter supports partial-birth abortion. They simply cannot actively affirm an individual they believe is morally and politically unfit for the presidency on the basis that he might be better in some respects than the other odious option.
Moreover, as National Review's David French writes, abortion isn't simply an issue relegated to the Supreme Court, but one with deep ties to culture:
While Roe v. Wade is an abomination on the order of Dred Scott, pro-life Americans can’t kid themselves. Even if Roe were reversed tomorrow, abortion would still be legal in the United States. The true long-term impediment to reversing Roe hasn’t been the Supreme Court but rather the indifference and even support of the American people...As difficult as this is to say, Roe remains in effect through the consent and support of the American people.
The Supreme Court has been largely conservative since at least the 1980s, yet Roe has remained in place. It seems unlikely that a Supreme Court with several new justices chosen by Donald Trump would overturn the law.
Additionally, according to Gallup, for better or worse, Roe is supported by the American people. As recently as 2012, only 29% of Americans wanted the law overturned, while 53% wanted it kept in place. That said, Gallup also shows that the vast majority of Americans, 80%, want restrictions on abortions in the third trimester.
Roe allows for states to consider certain procedural bans, and many states have laws restricting abortions after a certain number of weeks post-fertilization. The Guttmacher Institute reports that 12 states ban abortion after 20 weeks, and another 12 ban the procedure at varying stages up to 24 weeks post-fertilization.
Finally, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act enjoyed a comfortable 2-1 majority in the Senate when it passed in 2003, outlawing the barbaric practice.
Considering all of this, as well as conservative opposition in the House and Senate, Hillary Clinton would have a very difficult time making abortions more available if she were elected president.
On the flip-side, Donald Trump has been all over the map on nearly every issue, including abortion. Given that, there's no guarantee that he will do anything to protect the unborn if elected president, let alone follow through on the other promises he's made.