Pro-choice on abortion vs. abortion industrialist

In our very recent commentary on the New Paltz Democrats’ slate of candidates for this November’s elections, we stressed, a few times, that Toni Hokanson, nominated for a second two-year term as New Paltz town supervisor, has had a long career with abortion industry leader Planned Parenthood.

We thought that we made our point, but having had to subsequently explain that point to someone leads us to make further clarification here.

We are pro-life, and have been for 25 years, and reached that position after many years of holding, but gradually questioning, the pro-death position. Having gone from one view to the other we know how deeply the pro-death position can be ingrained in any person’s worldview. It was most certainly deeply ingrained in ours.

So we understand how politicians can take one view or the other, and take to calling themselves pro-life or pro-choice, the latter meaning that the politician is effectively indifferent to the life or death of unborn human persons.

As a pro-life advocate we take a rather liberal position on pro-death politicians. For instance, we supported Rudolph Giuliani, a certified pro-death candidate, for mayor of New York City because his position on the issue would not really advance or draw-back the abortion franchise. Abortion has been effectively protected under an interpretation of the right to personal privacy by the U.S. Supreme Court, and Giuliani’s pro-death position as mayor of NYC was not going to have a significant effect on that.

We could never support Giuliani for President of the United States, however, if he continues to hold the pro-death position.

In local politics around New Paltz it’s an even simpler matter. We can’t reasonably expect the candidates for office to actively promote the pro-life position in a town and village so seemingly at ease with pro-death advocacy.

So, the idea that Terry Dungan, who we supported for mayor of the village of New Paltz, is presumptively pro-death (we never inquired and apologize if we have that wrong), did not deter us from hoping he would defeat Jason West, which he did. Likewise, we didn’t oppose West, nor would we have opposed him, on the basis that he is also presumptively pro-death.

But there is a distinction, even here at the local level, between a politician who is pro-choice and a politician who has had a career in the abortion industry, as Toni Hokanson has had with abortion industry leader Planned Parenthood. Perhaps others will not get this distinction, but we think it is an important one.

We do not think that local Democrats show sufficient respect for, say, local Roman Catholics and others who would be required by their moral training to be pro-life, when said Democrats nominate and promote a candidate who worked two decades for the leading corporation in the abortion industry.

Worse, we think that local Democrats are apparently so immersed in abortion advocacy that they do not even think twice about nominating someone with a long career in the abortion industry. It simply does not occur to them that there is something wrong with it.

We think that Democrats could have worked around this problem without bringing Hokanson’s career into the foreground and having a debate they are clearly afraid to have. There were sufficient other grounds to find a new candidate for town supervisor. But we heard no discussion of those grounds either leading up to or in the delayed report on the Democratic caucus at which Toni Hokanson was nominated for a second term. Indeed, there was not even the hint of a challenge to Hokanson from within the party. The effective purge of the previous supervisor by party insiders two years ago has apparently led them to turn a blind eye to the shortcomings of the current supervisor.

As the general election draws near we will explore those other grounds as well as return to the issue of nominating an abortion industrialist to lead the town government.

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