Human life is worth protecting, be it unborn or at its end. We are dedicated to policies that further these ends, but we recognize that there are those with whom we disagree. Those disagreements should take place in the bright light of the political system, where difficult questions of law and policy are best arbitrated.
The Republican Party is a pro-life party. We believe that abortion is is a terrible thing, and that it ends a life. We believe that fetal stem-cell research provides a dangerously slippery slope for cloning and human embryo agriculture. We believe that end of life decisions are wrenching and devastating, and that where clear guidance is not left by the patient, life should be extended by all practical means.
Abortion, for whatever reason, ends a life. The choice to have an abortion is often framed as whether to have a baby or to not have a baby. It is more properly viewed as a decision to have a baby or to kill a baby. That said, these decisions are rarely casually made, and in most circumstances, they are as wrenching and emotional as any decision a human can face. Republicans understand this, and we have compassion for those who feel they are left with no other choice. Republicans work diligently to prove otherwise, supporting adoption, early childhood healthcare and education, and pro-family policies. At the end of the day though, Republicans understand that while a majority of Americans consider themselves pro-life, an overwhelming majority favors a woman's right to an abortion under at least some circumstances. We must work together as a party to achieve a consensus on what those circumstances are, and we must be willing to hear alternate views with compassion and understanding.
Fetal stem-cell research has been the subject of much mis-and-dis-information. Many reputable scientists believe that only fetal stem cells are dynamic enough to provide for the kinds of radical cures that such cells may make possible. Other reputable scientists believe otherwise, that stem cells available from other sources are just as effective. The science needs to play out, and President Bush's compromise on this issue was a wise one. Since the Obama Administration has partially repudiated that stand, Republicans must continue to fight for tough restrictions on the use of fetal stem cells. Republicans must also realize though, that an embryo growing inside a woman is a different thing altogether than an embryo frozen in a lab. While both represent life, one is on the path to viability, the other on the path to the trash heap. Consistently hewing to a line in which fetal stem cell research and abortion are equated is the kind of intolerance to compromise that will repel fiscal conservative/social moderates from the party.
End of life decisions must be in the hands of the patient. If the patient has declared his or her intentions, the state should not interfere. If the patient has not left such intent, the state must always default to the protection and extension of that life.