In West Virginia, we have many values that we share throughout the state, across party lines and cultural boundaries. One of these values is the value that every life is precious and needs to be protected. Most West Virginians believe in this, whether they are Republican or Democrat. And it is not surprising that this issue is brought up in every state and national level race.
In the 2nd Congressional District race there are a lot of candidates on the Republican side, most touting how conservative they are. But there is a clear distinction between the majority of the Republican candidates and Charlotte Lane and Ken Reed, and that distinction is their inability to say they are pro-life and will vote pro-life in Congress.
Being pro-life means that life, every life from conception until natural death, is valued and should have the right to be lived. In a speech before participants of the 1988 March for Life rally, President Ronald Reagan warned: "America was founded on a moral proposition that human life - all human life - is sacred. And this proposition is the bedrock of our national life, the foundation of our laws. It's the wellspring of our ConstitutionWhen reverence for life can have no boundaries, when we begin to take some life casually, we threaten all life." Without this basic right, no other right has any value.
It is no secret that former delegate Charlotte Lane is a moderate Republican, more in the mold of the GOP's Northeast moderation than West Virginia's proud conservatism. In her 1996 campaign for attorney general, the Charleston Gazette endorsed Lane, citing her support for "a woman's right to choose abortion." That same year, Lane criticized the GOP's staunchly pro-life platform at the Republican presidential convention.
If Charlotte Lane is to run on a pro-life platform for Congress, of course, I applaud her for joining most West Virginians and our views on the sanctity of life. However, her doing so is a far cry from her documented stance from previous years.
Potential Congressional candidate Ken Reed, on the other hand, has consistently prefered the label of being pro-family, instead of "pro-life," because the decision should be between a woman and her doctor, according to him. This stance essentially says that life is determined by whether the child is wanted or not, not based on conservative morals and what is right. This is the justification for allowing the courts to make life conditional, and has led now to abortion being a right for which we must now have to pay through the new healthcare law.
My hope is that voters will note these stances and know what is at stake in the upcoming Republican Congressional race. Remember that the Affordable Healthcare Act or "Obamacare" was passed by just a few votes.
It was made possible thanks to those members of Congress who were unwilling to stand for life at all times, and without exception.