Clinton’s VP Can’t Have It Both Ways on Abortion and Religious Freedom

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) (photo credit: Third Way Think Tank via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) (photo credit: Third Way Think Tank via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Since Friday’s announcement, Hillary Clinton VP pick Tim Kaine has been under fire from the pro-abortion left for an allegedly weak stance on the issue.

“I have a traditional Catholic personal position, but I am very strongly supportive that women should make these decisions and government shouldn’t intrude,” Kaine said.

“I’m a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade and women being able to make these decisions. In government, we have enough things to worry about. We don’t need to make people’s reproductive decisions for them,” Kaine continued.

This view, though unpopular with leftist ideologues, is not particularly unpopular among voters in general. Polling suggests that many Americans who support the Roe v. Wade decision consider abortion morally wrong. They simply believe government has no authority in such issues.

Other publications have criticized this position for its inconsistency with basic Christian teaching. But Kaine’s statements on abortion also point to the hypocrisy of the left’s social agenda.

Throughout the country, religious organizations are on the defensive against ideologues using intrusive government powers to force acceptance of a radical social agenda. An Iowa church preaching biblical morality was threatened with censorship. Christian colleges and universities in California are facing threats and discrimination for upholding traditional mores. Bakers who oppose gay marriage are forced to bake cakes for ceremonies they believe are lies or face losing their businesses.

Religious organizations looking to act according to conscience dream of Democrats who would say “I’m personally opposed, but…”

If Democrats responded to religious liberty issues the same way Kaine responded to abortion, this country would be a much better place for religious minorities and dissidents from the left’s radical social agenda.

Instead, Tim Kaine co-sponsored the federal Equality Act, which could have dangerous applications against religious groups.

During his campaign for the U.S. Senate in Virginia, Kaine supported banning religious adoption agencies from restricting their services to traditional marriage, insisting that gay couples’ “equal protection” trumps the freedom of conscience.

Through his career, Tim Kaine has shown a consistent pattern of hypocrisy on this issue. The “I’m personally opposed, but…” argument is good enough for his base’s pet issues, but he will not use it to defend the right of conscience.

No Democrat who opposes religious liberty ought to be allowed to get away with the “I’m personally opposed, but…” defense on abortion. Especially not Tim Kaine.

Michael Lucchese works for the American Principles Project.