All politics is local, they say. Most of the years I’ve worked in local politics, I have doubted the truth of this phrase. After all, 99 percent of the time people focus on what is going on in the White House or the Congress. Little thought is given to the Oregon State Capitol, much less some obscure city budget committee.
However, many of the developments in the pro-life movement have led me to think there is some truth to that maxim. All politics is local, in part because sometimes what happens on the national stage can only make a difference locally if we are prepared for it. Recognizing this relationship between national and local politics is key to achieving victories for Oregon’s pro-life movement.
Historically, the branches of the federal government have frequently limited the autonomy of the states. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially made its own law in the form of Roe v. Wade. Roe created a “constitutional” right to abortion, which superseded the ability of states to protect unborn life in any way. Subsequent court decisions have allowed states to impose some protections for unborn life, but the vast majority of abortions are still legal under Roe.
However, in the last couple of years, there has been a shift that will have long-lasting effects on the power of states to protect unborn life. The Trump administration has successfully appointed dozens of Circuit Court and District Court judges as well as a Supreme Court justice. These judges have demonstrated their commitment to strictly interpreting the Constitution and the laws as they are written, not legislating their own opinions. In the long run, this increases the chance that future case law will no longer result in judicial legislating like Roe v. Wade.
All of this means that states like Oregon will likely have a greater chance to protect unborn life in the years to come. Every year, pro-life legislators faithfully introduce pro-life legislation hoping that it will become law and be upheld by the courts. And, every year the pro-abortion majority ignores their efforts. This year, let’s send them pro-life reinforcements.
Because of the amazing progress the pro-life movement has made on the national level, it is more imperative than ever that we elect more pro-life legislators. As long as the state capitol is controlled by people who believe life begins at birth, change on the national level will have little to no benefit for unborn children in Oregon.
Let’s bring the national momentum home. Oregon Right to Life PAC has endorsed 43 pro-life candidates for the state legislature, not to mention those running for Congress, county commissions, or other offices. Let’s go out and vote!