Yesterday marked the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision which made abortion-on-demand the law of the land in America. Today hundreds of thousands will march in the nation’s capital to demand justice for the unborn. Rick Santorum has an article in the Wall Street Journal about abortion. Santorum, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination and has been a steadfast defender of the unborn in his public life, says:

We don’t judge hearts but we do judge records. President Obama’s record of support for abortion is radical and extreme. He stood alone not to defend life but to oppose the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in the Illinois State Senate. He opposed ending the horrific procedure of partial-birth abortion. He supported federal funds for abortion through ObamaCare and told Catholic Charities that there was no room in the inn if they wanted to help women abused by sex traffickers and be pro-life at the same time…

I am disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in his country.

Being a political creature, running for political office, Santorum adds: “I am disappointed that the other three Republican candidates in this race for president simply check the box. The unborn need leaders who will stand for life; so does the soul of America.” Not sure that is really fair. Mitt Romney has been a flip-flopper or has had a change of heart (depending on your perspective and level of charity) and Newt Gingrich had a pro-life record in Congress although one might question whether he was a leader or a follower within the Republian Party on these issues. But Ron Paul, well, Rick Santorum has blatantly misrepresented Paul’s commitment to defending life. Last week, Paul was interviewed by LifeSiteNews — an extraordinary act for any politician less than fully committed to the pro-life cause — and outlined a principled, coherent, and intelligent plan to counter the Culture of Death. An excerpt:

So why should those who vote pro-life first, vote for “Dr. No”? Paul suggested the answer requires a broad-angle lens on the state of affairs, including the struggle in higher echelons for control over America’s soul. When it comes to choosing the next U.S. president, he says, conservative Christians, including pro-lifers and homeschooling families, should be looking for someone willing to turn against the tide of greater centralized power.

“They [progressives] would like to excommunicate us, so to speak, from the social system, because we have Christian values,” said Paul. “Once you give the government this power to make these decisions, then we’re in trouble – even though some people might think, oh, well, we’re in charge, and we’re going to make the right decisions, and we’ll always tell [citizens] the good things they should do. I don’t think it’s possible.”

Any of the four GOP contenders would be better than Obama, but pro-life Americans should not settle for better. Santorum and Paul stand out as opponents of abortion, in both word and deed, and either would make a fine standard-bearer on the life issues in a general election and as president, capable of making the rhetorical case against the Democrats’ position of abortion-on-demand.

This assumes that that Republians are not using the abortion issue for political purposes, that they have a genuine interest in ending abortion. Some frustrated pro-lifers hold the cynical view that the GOP would rather have the issue to win votes because as we enter the fourth decade of abortion-on-demand, the Republicans seem to have done precious little to curb the abortion license over the past few decades. That ignores the phenomenal work being done at the state level to curb abortion and the realities that even control of the White House or Congress does not mean a president or party can easily implement his or its agenda.

Of course, laws needn’t change to get the ball moving on abortion. Polls began to edge in favour of the pro-life side after the U.S. Congress began debating partial-birth abortion (which Santorum did better than anyone) and using the bully pulpit of the presidency to talk about abortion will do much to help the cause of protecting the unborn. In other words, pro-lifers need a Republican who is, at the very least, unafraid to talk about abortion. That would seem to be Santorum and Paul.