Setting the record straight: my conservatarian stance on abortion, life

Sara Marie Brenner

Sara Marie Brenner

Yesterday, what I asked as a valid question turned in to a long day of tweets on Twitter, with several hundred replies coming through my account. Maybe Twitter needs to create a “temporarily stop” button.

This all started when I asked a person — who I thought was a friend on twitter — what she thought of a bill in her home state. The legislation would require a woman to carry a baby to full term if she was raped. If a woman had an abortion, it would be considered to be “tampering with evidence,” as that baby could be used as evidence in the rapists trial through DNA matching and by the mere fact of its existence.

Of course, this may lead to fewer women filing rape charges, because if a woman wants an abortion and it is only allowed if she wasn’t raped, then she isn’t going to follow through with rape charges. Nonetheless, I was simply asking this other person on twitter what she thought. She supports the bill, and I support the right for states to be the laboratories of experiment.

What this conversation became was a discussion over whether abortion is acceptable in the case of rape and incest. I do believe, however, that on a federal level the government should take a more libertarian approach to social issues. This is why I choose the term “conservatarian.”

If these same people who believe President Obama is Muslim (which I do not) allowed his supposed religious beliefs to be implemented on a federal level, what then? At a state level, however, we can better control the legislation and the representatives are closer to the people. I am a conservative, despite the attacks that occurred on Twitter yesterday. Since college, my life has been dedicated to the conservative cause, and I am not about to allow a few divisive people on Twitter to undermine that or take it away from me.

Unfortunately, all of this led to what I thought it would — the left seeing this as an opportunity to further divide and conquer us. Just look at what my official Twitter stalker and timeline troll, Tim Simms, wrote (warning: read with the understanding that most of what Simms says about me is false and twisted, just as some conservatives did on Twitter yesterday):

I even chose to comment on Simms’ post, and I have a screen shot that I’ll share if it’s removed or edited.

So you see, the divisiveness that was coming from my Twitter timeline yesterday — from others on Twitter accusing me of being “pro-choice” and “not conservative,” and the few who accused me of being a “baby killer” or “murderer,” served only to allow the left to sneak in through a flung open door. This is why we lose elections — the left will circle the wagons around anyone questioned, while conservatives choose to eat their own. And in this case, it’s one who is a true conservative who fights for the cause on a daily basis in her work and in her spare time.

The tweets became hateful pretty quickly, and I’m not the only one who felt that way:

But why?

A baby with a heartbeat, in the womb, sucking its thumb.

A baby with a heartbeat, in the womb, sucking its thumb.

Yea, that’s what I thought. But they didn’t. Maybe in 140 characters I simply couldn’t explain well enough. But, in 140 characters, those on the other side of the conversation certainly were able to lash out quite well.

My positions on the issues

Since people tweeted yesterday labeling me as a “pro-choice,” “faux conservative” who wants to “weaken the GOP” (if you know me, you’re laughing now), let me explain what my position is on abortion and life issues:

  • I support life. I am pro-life. I am Catholic and believe that God is the Creator of all things. 
  • I believe, as the Catholic Church believes, that Plan B can be part of a rape kit. I also believe that this can be used for rape and incest cases, specifically, and that we should not judge a raped woman who may make a choice within the first term of her pregnancy that came from rape. That is between her and God. This may be where some disagree with me.
  • I support encouraging adoption in all cases of an unwanted pregnancy, rather than abortion. I believe this is the best alternative.
  • I support the GOP platform that federal tax dollars should not be used in funding abortions.
  • I believe that Planned Parenthood, in receiving federal dollars and performing abortions, should not be federally funded. They can claim all they want that the money is not used for abortion, but since they will not allow a full auditing of their books there is no way to prove this.
  • I do not support abortion as a method of birth control, at any stage in the pregnancy.
  • I believe that if the life of the mother is truly at stake (as in, she will die – not just a headache), then the mother should have a choice of how to handle the matter. I believe it is wrong to tell her that she must carry the baby full term in that instance. What if she has other children already? Are they to grow up without a mother? Is another solution possible so that the baby survives too, such as an artificial womb?
  • I support the Heartbeat Bills that are being introduced in state legislatures throughout the nation. When there is a heartbeat and you can see the form of a life, how can someone say that is not a human being?

Interestingly, my state’s pro-life group, Ohio Right to Life (ORTL) did not support the Heartbeat Bill. My husband was a co-sponsor on the legislation. They did not support the bill because they were concerned that it was too extreme and would not stand up in the SCOTUS. Did I attack ORTL for not supporting the bill? Of course not. We all have the same goal of eliminating abortions altogether, and I will continue to support ORTL because we agree on the ultimate result.

On another note, if you are so militantly pro-life that you believe I am pro-choice, how can you support the death penalty? I was told in tweets yesterday that I either support life or I don’t, yet those same people support the death penalty. This is another conversation for another day, but it is a consistency that we all need to consider. If we are inconsistent in our beliefs, it weakens our positions on the issues.

How to move forward

Yesterday’s occurrence on Twitter should be a wake-up call to conservatives who really want to have an impact rather than just griping and yelling about policies. If you agree with someone on 99.5% of the issue, why in the world would you attack them? Instead, find the common ground, and move forward. The goal is eliminating abortions, so let’s work together to do that. Calling me names and labeling me in false ways serves only to further divide and conquer the conservative movement, which is exactly what the liberals want to do.

It will be interesting to see whether those involved in yesterday’s conversation respond to this in a negative or accusatory manner. That would only lead to more divisiveness, and further prove my point.

If there is one thing we can learn from the Democrats — circle the wagons. If you disagree with a someone on a splinter of an issue, discuss it professionally, and then find the common ground where you can work together. The Tea Party and establishment Republicans in Congress would be wise to heed this advice, as well, so that we can actually get some things done for this country that could help to advance our goals. I am not saying that we compromise on our values, which is how I know some will twist this plea. Instead, I am saying that we must find the issues and parts of issues on which we agree, and advance those together as Republicans (if you are pro-life, the Republican party is your only chance).

And I don’t even think we need to set aside faith issues — but I understand the point. This is where the “conservatarian” part comes in. Allow the states to deal with these issues.

Amen to that.

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  1. Wow, I had a crazy busy day yesterday and missed this whole thing. Way to stand strong Sara Marie!

  2. Michael Ruffing says:

    Good of you to make the case for unity.Purity is a goal for which to strive, but we should know, it hardly attainable. We’re not progressives building a utipia, damn it. Take the 99% and kick the crap of the pro-murder party. I would love to discuss the theological, moral, legal, et al aspects of the low number of rape issue, over a beer celebrating the reversal of Roe/Wade! Geez-uz, lets focus passions to beat the pro-murder party and Planned Parenthood!

  3. Nobody on Reddit wanted to hear you bullshit. I’m glad you got deleted.

  4. bluechefs says:

    Sara, I witnessed the whole episode yesterday, but did not reply so as too not interject myself into the debate. I too am pro-life and observed that you asked the trick question that no pro-lifer has been able to answer affectively yet; “what about cases involving rape or incest”. I respect the way you handled yourself and how you have responded. When and if you ever find the correct answer to the classic trick question that probably covers less than 1% of the reasons for abortions, let me know
    @spiveystuart, @misplacednews, or @justacapitalist (they are all me). Multiple accounts as a defense for the #gulog

  5. I admire your chutzpah Sara Marie, you calmly stated your case and presented everything very succinctly in this article. I’ve shared it with the Marion County OR GOP team – we have these disagreements within our ranks as well, and it’s good to see how other conservatives handle it.

  6. I was angry seeing what happened yesterday as well. We conservatives respect and value the individual’s mind, spirit, abilities, etc… Liberals/socialists/communists are the ones pushing collective groupthink.

    How many debates have we all had where a liberal cherry pick some crazy stance a random conservative holds in a weak attempt to box us in? As if there are only two choices:
    1) March in lock step with this crazy stance
    2) Turn your back on conservatism in its entirity.

    To a groupthinking liberal there really IS only two choices.

    We’re better than that. At least, I thought we were…

    • Thank you, Jason. I think there are only a few without the respect for others’ views in the conservative movement. But, we cannot be group thinkers or we will never have the creativity to get us out of the mess we are in now as a nation.

  7. Seriously, why was you posting on Reddit? We hate Conservatives.

    • Seriously why are you posting on the Brenner Brief? It does not appear that you have anything of value to add to the conversation other than your vulgar words and hate. I am guessing you have a hard time looking at yourself in the mirror which is why you project out the things you do. I will pray for you and any “cunts” who may get in the way of your smashing. Remember God loves everybody, even you!

    • At least you are admitting that you are the ones with the hate. Conservatives don’t hate liberals. And while YOU may hate conservatives, there are conservative subreddits available in which conservatives post. So, nice try, but you don’t own the internet.

      • I must respectfully disagree with this statement. Some conservatives, not all, hate liberals and vice versa. I am a liberal and agree with your article. But I have read a lot of your bloggers on here and I’be never encountered so much hate from people who call themselves Christians. I, personally, don’t hate anyone who can have an intelligent argument without resorting to name calling. Maybe I read the article wrong, but it seems like you were being attacked by people on the right, not the left. The bill that you are talking about doesn’t need the left to further divide the right because the bill itself is doing that. It’s very extreme and puts the woman in a horrible position. But the groupthink that ‘all liberals’ think the same couldn’t be further from the truth.

        • @arealchristiangal – and I must disagree with your statement, at least in part. I have been the focus of hateful, vicious, verbal diatribes threatening my life and those of my loved ones by the LEFT in response to simply stating facts pointing out the hypocrisy of a certain leader’s policies, spending and international funding.

          Irrespective of that, you might be seeing the conservatives’ human reaction to having been suspended by FaceBook, Twitter or any other social media by the left for simply being in support of such things as the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment, states’ rights or a host of American Foundations. It is only human to feel that one needs to fight fire with fire, thus proving that the Right is just as ‘human’ as the left.

          To further call out the Right as hateful and imply ‘Godlessness’ is, at best, an MSNBC tactic.

  8. Thanks for the shout-out 😉

    My position on abortion (and conservatism) is kinda complex, but I’ll try to elaborate. Forgive the long comment, but I wanted to get it all off my chest:

    When push comes to shove, abortion comes down to the definition of when life begins. I believe, like most conservatives, that it’s at conception, but I can’t “prove” it anymore than I can prove someone else is wrong for saying that a blastocyst is just a bunch of cells. It becomes an argument of semantics & line-drawing in which approximately half the population will not agree with the other half. Trends may shift one way or another, but realistically this is NOT going to change.

    So, I do ere on the side of freedom and perhaps that puts me in the “pro-choice” category by definition, but I do think there are some limits that make sense, some that Sara has already mentioned:
    1) First Trimester Only. By the time the first trimester is over, all of the baby’s organs & systems have essentially formed (even if they are not fully functional yet) Perhaps when the fetus still looks like a tadpole one can argue on its human nature, but at this point, there is no denying it. Not to mention, it shouldn’t take someone more than 13 weeks to decide they don’t want a pregnancy. Late-term / partial-birth abortions are just inexcusable. Perhaps a slight extension for rape/incest if there was some trauma or the woman was afraid to report.
    2) Exceptions for the Health of the Mother: People have a right to make their own judgement call if it comes down to a case of baby vs. mother. I happen to be Jewish, and the priority is always the mother. However, let it be noted I don’t believe that “convenience” is considered a health exception.
    3) Exceptions for a terminally ill / severely disabled child: I don’t think I could terminate if something was severely wrong with my child, but I think that should be the family’s decision. Nobody should be forced to carry a child that they know won’t survive, or will live a short, pain-filled life. For the same reason I support a family’s right to make their own end-of-life decisions (or the decision for an incapacitated family member), I think these situations are tragic enough without using the law to potentially make the situation worse. I know someone who miscarried and feels strongly about this, and I can’t disagree with her.
    4) No Federal Funding for abortions: Sara explained this well. I agree 100%.
    5) Mandatory waiting period for abortions, to ensure that women have time to think about it. While I feel every woman SHOULD have an ultrasound to see what life is growing inside her, I don’t like the idea of the government poking its head into medical procedures (I’m against socialized medicine) so I would say no to laws forcing ultrasounds.

    I think the reality is that abortions aren’t going anywhere. I’ve never been in a position to be dealing with an unwanted pregnancy and I don’t know the feeling of desperation that some women who have abortions have dealt with. I’d like to think that I would chose life, but I’m at a stable point in my life, married and (in fact) pregnant with my 2nd child. I try not to judge people too harshly, I just hope that I can be a voice of reason towards life, not because my religion (or any other) says so, but because it just seems like the right thing to do.

    For me, despite not towing the party line on social issues, fiscal/constitutional issues are just too important to ignore. I happen to support gay-marriage, but what use is that if everyone’s too poor and dependent on the government to enjoy such freedoms? Liberalism hurts the very people it’s supposed to help, as their politicians keep blaming “the rich” and passing more and more laws to ensure that people “behave” properly until we have no rights left. The similarities to 1930’s Europe are staggering. The number of friends I have who TRULY believe that socialism is the way to go is shocking.

    So, people can write me off and call me a baby-killer or what not, but the reality is, I have opinions that I HAVE thought about deeply, and I have voted Republican in a lot of recent elections despite not agreeing completely with the party on everything. Am I a “true conservative”? Maybe not. But those of you are are should want my vote and be receptive (not dismissive) of people like me. Obama & Co. succeeded in terrifying a lot of low-information voters that Republicans were going to set women and minorities back 50 years. Ridiculous? Of course. But in-fighting did NOTHING to counter that argument. Remember, we don’t have the media on our side, we have to be able to deliver a conservative message without alienating those who think a bit differently.

  9. The Abortion/Pro-Life issue is at least two fold, and therein lies the problem:
    1. Politics – Should the Federal Government overturn laws in States who have decided, at the will of their constituents what is to be allowed and what is not allowed? According to the Constitution, NO. States should pass laws that reflect the values and will of the people of that State as long as it does not interfere with Federal Laws. Herein is the issue with Roe v Wade; the Supreme Court interjected itself into States’ laws and literally made a “Federal Case” out of it.
    2. Religion – Religions with varying degrees of adherence to their respective texts have different views of birth control and abortion (they are NOT the same thing, in my opinion). Just as the Pilgrims, from different Christian Denominations, fled Europe to be free from the dictates of the Church of England who sought to control those various interpretations, so do today’s moral and religious persons have disagreements on abortion’s validity and what limits, if any, should be put on such an activity.

    Just as there has never been consensus between those who Baptist by sprinkling, by immersion, or those who believe that Baptism by the Holy Spirit is the only pathway to Heaven, so I see this argument between various abortion factions. No one group is going to ‘win’ without suppression of the legal religious rights of the other.

    Are there valid arguments from the various religious standpoints? Of course there are, these are moral, operational standards by which those people live (no matter how wrong we see them).

    So what are really ‘fighting’ about? We are fighting about States having the right to reflect the opinions and views of the citizens’ of that respective State. If a State wants to allow abortions up till full term, so be it – but I will NOT live in such a State. If a State wants to promote adoption over abortion and only have abortion as an option in the case of the life of the mother, so be it – I would feel honored to live in such a State.

    The Federal Government has taken away the RIGHT to live in accordance to our values and beliefs by interjecting itself into States’ social and moral regulations – This is OUR FIGHT, to have the right to live where our values are respected and upheld. We Must Return to the Basics of the Constitution to ensure the Freedom and Liberty our founders intended (no matter how society has changed since then).

    Let us FOCUS on the Constitution, restoring our Republic and pursuing our Liberty instead of allowing our moral value system short circuiting that task. You see, Liberals don’t have this issue simply due to their lack of religion and morals….let’s not let them have the upper hand.

  10. The more I get to know Sara the more R.E.S.P.E.C.T. she gets… LOL She is right. Let this be a lesson to us all in this party. And, frankly any pro-life Democrats who have yet to realize there is no place in that party for them anymore. Speaker Boehner said it the other day and he would know. They are trying to “annihilate” our party. Are the tiny rifts between issues that we generally agree on as a whole, so significant that we are going to hand this country off to people like Mr. “cuntsmasher”? By the way, I am sure it’s more like wannabe “cuntsmasher”. Are we going to hand it over to people who think they are men because they tell women on posts to “watch your fucking mouth”. Or people like that who are pro-choice so they don’t have to owe child support when they shirk parental responsibilities? Or people who expect the other taxpayers to pay for their children and cause 15.1% poverty rates every year? Wake up GOP!

  11. I’m going to (foolishly) respond to your post and some of the responses here. I say foolishly, because I believe I’ll be labeled as extreme and excoriated for what I say, not by The Brenner Brief (Sarah and I have actually talked about this), but perhaps by other conservatives and certainly by the pro-death community at large. I’ll take the hit.

    Life begins at conception. Two haploid cells (each cell contains half the DNA necessary to support life), sperm and egg, join together and create one diploid cell that contains its own DNA, separate from the mother who carries the child. (For an amazing video showing the process from single cell to birth, watch this short videl: Once a woman realizes she is pregnant, that one cell has divided into so many cells and grown so that it now has a detectable heartbeat. It also has a functioning (although not fully developed) brain and nervous system. At this point, the only difference between the child in the womb and you, the reader, is the years. YOU were allowed to fully develop. YOU were not dismembered in your mother’s womb and sucked out, piece by piece. Your mother was kind enough not to have the doctors remove half the amniotic fluid that surrounded you only to have it replaced with a saline solution that burned your delicate skin on the outside, of course, as well as the inside when you swallowed this new poisonous fluid. YOU were blessed that your mother didn’t subject you to the procedure of being grabbed and forcibly removed from your safe haven until only your head was left inside so a pair of scissors or other sharp object could be shoved into the base of your skull and then opened so that you would die.

    If these descriptions are disgusting to you, they should be. That is what abortion is. That is what abortion does. It is brutal, barbaric, life-ending and should have no place in a civilized society. And yet it does. Not only that, but the Godless promote it! It’s something to celebrate (Happy 40th Anniversary, Baby, or even to “Thank God and country” for ( Is this who we are as Americans? Is this what we’ve come to?

    We’re so concerned that we might offend the we believe the best way to handle these things is to “tone down the rhetoric.” Is it rhetoric when the innocent are being slaughtered? If people in your town were being systematically forced from their homes to be tortured and murdered, would you stand silent? No! As a society, we recognize murder is wrong! You would stand and fight to defend the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And yet, so many of us are afraid to speak out when it’s done to the child in its mother’s womb. We lose our voice. We lose our courage.

    Democrats are not at all afraid to take extreme stands on issues every day. The media cheers them for their “open-mindedness” and “progressive vision.” And the more garbage they spew, the more it becomes acceptable in our society, and to our detriment. Who would have ever imagined there come a time when defending the most defenseless would be considered extremist? It’s shameful. It really is. These babies absolutely cannot speak for themselves. They rely on you, and me, to be their voices. To plead for their stay of execution. And what crime have they committed? That they were conceived, whether by rape, incest, a night of drunken indiscretion, or hormones gone awry, is not their fault. Yet their punishment is death.

    The death culture would have you believe that because a child is unplanned, they are unwanted and therefore unloved. I submit to you that is a lie. Unplanned does not mean unwanted or unloved. There are men and women across this country just waiting for the opportunity to love this child which society views as expendable, as trash. These are human lives we’re talking about here. They are future sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, doctors, lawyers, Conservatives, Liberals, Republicans, Democrats, teachers, activists, pilots, philosophers. In short, they are our future. And we’ve thrown away 55,000,000 of them so far. How many more will have to die as a sacrifice to self?

    As a final thought, whether you’re mostly pro-life or entirely pro-death, if I’m wrong about when life begins and that child is allowed to reach its potential and be born, who has been hurt (not inconvenienced), what constitutional right has been violated? Conversely, if you’re wrong, are you really willing that someone should DIE in order that you should have your way?

    • You’re arguing the case against abortion, while no one is advocating abortion. Just wanted to make that point clear so that people do not mistake your explanation abortion as meaning that the column was advocating abortion.

      • I was trying to explain why the pro-life within the conservative movement are so ardently so. Because it is a matter of life and death, there is no room for compromise on this issue.

  12. First off this entire thing is a ridiculous piece of legislation. A bill requiring the victim to be void of choice twice is epic dumbassery. The second most ridiculous part is the “Rape as the reason abortion is legal” argument. IF Abortion was only legal for rape victims there’d only be .5% fewer abortions.

    I would be in favor of CHOICE for the victim of the rape. But I don’t want the choice to stop with the abortion. I want the choice for her to apply justice to her rapist. She should decide HOW to deal with the asshole. Ball bat? 2X4 with nail in it? Firing squad? The rapist should be tied up and butt raped with a pineapple. And it should be televised!

  13. Sara,

    I’ve discussed this subject with you on twitter in the past. Some arguments do not work at all in the 140 character limit environment. I think we are 90+% in agreement. However, it is a bit of a logic fail to say abortion is wrong, BUT . . . . . It is either an intrinsically evil wrong or it’s no big deal. My grasp of logic makes it impossible to consider middle ground on this subject. I am for the maximum penalty conceivable for rapists. However, I am equally opposed for any penalty for the child of a rapist or an embezzler, or drunk driver, etc.
    I will not attack you on this or any other subject. We ARE on the same side even if not 100% in agreement on every issue. I do hope in time you are able to take a fresh look at the issue and will recognize that once we make exceptions for this and that we can no longer say abortion is wrong. If it is wrong to kill one child it is wrong to kill any child. If it is okay to kill some kids why is it wrong to kill other kids? What makes some children more deserving of life than others. I am incapable of the mental gymnastics necessary to sort that out.

  14. And this is the reason I am having 2nd thoughts about participating in any discussion on Twitter anymore. I am for individual rights and argue the case for most conservative positions, including pro-life, from that perspective. I have never been as abused by anyone on twitter more than those on the right when you step out of line from their positions however. I have been ridiculed and insulted with hashtags from supposed free thinking Libertarians far more than Left ever has insulted me. I have a lot of respect for people like Sara but the echo chamber on the right makes intelligent discussion near impossible anymore.

    • Understood Kent, which is why we brought this to light. The conservatives who were being hateful will hopefully see the problems they’re causing. They weren’t just standing up for their own beliefs, which would have been fine. Instead, they’re doing so in such a way that it leads people — like you — to not want to be part of the conversation. That’s just wrong. If in their arguments they silence others, that is no way to hold a conversation, be conservative or represent the Christian values they used to support their opinions.

  15. In point of fact, the Catholic Church does not permit the use of Plan B. It is, by definition, either contraceptive or abortifacient. Neither is permissible under any circumstances.

  16. Since the pro-choice crowd has made this a federal issue, due to the passage of Roe v. Wade I do think it is a necessity for the pro-life movement to treat it as a federal issue as well. But this doesn’t mean that states shouldn’t pass pro-life legislation presently while abortion is still legal nationally. I don’t have a problem with your position.


  1. […] and politics, The Brenner Brief creator, editor and radio host Sara Marie Brenner shared her column My conservatarian stance on abortion, life with her readers to set the record […]

  2. […] Ms. Brenner is all about unity and defeating the left’s message why was a blogpost written which was then sent out automatically to what the site states as over 18,000 people?  Why […]

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