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June 2020

Use “double” in a sentence. No, in a story. Double-chinned John and his double-jointed wife Mary were in a quandary. “Shall we go to the double header or take in the double feature?” Choosing the latter, they walked double time to the show so they could buy two double-dipped cones before it started. The first movie was their favorite: Double Indemnity. They didn’t stay for the second because the film was double exposed, which gave John double vision. They returned home, where they watched the second game of the double header and saw a game-ending double play. Long day over, the couple retired to—what else?—their double bed.

Words don’t get much more versatile. “Double” communicates so many things and ideas. A double-decker is a vehicle, whether a bus, train, or even a plane. Unless it’s a sandwich. A double entendre is a word or phrase that has two meanings, one of which is on the risqué side. Then there’s the double dare, which in kid-speak means that if the darer-kid does an act, the other kid has no choice but to follow suit.

Much more relevant to the upcoming election cycle is the term “double standard,” a standard applied in different ways to different people. Go back a couple years, 2018 to be exact. President Trump nominated highly qualified judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the seat held by retiring justice Anthony Kennedy, who consistently upheld the right to legally kill the unborn. Kavanaugh’s writings suggest that he disagrees. For the Democrats, he became public enemy number 1-A, someone they needed to stop by all means necessary.

Senate Democrats thought they found a way to derail the nomination. Their secret weapon: Christine Blasey Ford. Shortly before Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing was set to end, Ford alleged that at a high school party, Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. But Ford’s allegations, never previously raised, could not be corroborated.

That didn’t stop the Democrats and their allies from jumping on the stop-Kavanaugh bandwagon. Democrat politicians, Planned Parenthood and other abortionists, the media, and pro-abortion celebrities, chanted the mantra, “I believe” Ford. Their purported reason: because she is a woman who came forward with a charge of sexual assault, it had to be true.  They tripped all over themselves trying to destroy Kavanaugh’s reputation. But ultimately, Kavanaugh won confirmation because there was no evidence against him, and equally important, because senate Republicans outnumbered the Democrats. Elections matter.

Fast-forward to the present. Just a few weeks ago, another woman made the news, though few people noticed. Tara Reade, a staffer for then-senator-now-presumptive-presidential-nominee Joe Biden, charged that in 1993 Biden touched, kissed, and digitally penetrated her without her consent. But unlike Ford’s uncorroborated allegation against Kavanaugh, Reade’s allegation has been corroborated. Six people—family members, friends, and a co-worker—have recounted their conversations with Reade much closer to the incident. Her mother called “Larry King Live” in 1993 to report a sexual assault by a prominent senator. A seventh person, Reade’s ex-husband, said in a 1996 court document that Reade had complained about Biden’s sexual assault. Biden has denied the charge; Reade has stated her willingness to testify under oath and has demanded release of Biden’s office’s records.

If you’ve not heard of Tara Reade, you’re not alone. The news media gave 38 times more coverage to Ford’s accusations than to Reade’s. Prominent female politicians like Elizabeth Warren, Diane Feinstein, and Nancy Pelosi, who publicly railed against Kavanaugh, are either publicly defending Biden or are remaining silent. Pro-abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Emily’s List trashed Kavanaugh but are mum as to Reade’s charges. And remember #Me Too? Its supporters were all over Kavanaugh as a purported sexual predator but have nothing to say about Joe Biden.

Strange, isn’t it? Or is it? On the surface, it seems such an obvious double standard. But looking deeper, it’s not that at all. It is the Democrats’ single-minded pursuit of their most important strategic goal: the continued legalization of abortion. The Democrats in charge couldn’t care less if their nominee is Joe Biden or Joe-from-down-the-block. They passionately care that their nominee will do everything possible to preserve abortion, as Biden certainly will. Supporting legal abortion means garnering votes from misguided voters, like the columnist who recently proclaimed, “I would vote for Joe Biden if he boiled babies and ate them.” And because abortion means profits for Planned Parenthood and its ilk, it also means getting the campaign funds needed to gain power. It’s all about power and money, nothing else. The rights of the unborn and the true needs of their mothers don’t mean a thing.

Now, fast-forward to November 2020. Our bishops have told us that ending legal abortion is a preeminent priority that the Pope supports. The issue is whether we are willing to take the necessary steps to end it, or instead, will allow it to become entrenched in our culture for decades longer. In the next four years, another Supreme Court justice will be replaced. The next president will nominate. The Senate will confirm. Elections mean everything.

So we must ask: do we believe in the pre-eminence of human life? Do we value its uniqueness in God’s Creation? And will we do whatever we can do to protect every innocent human life from a cruel and unnecessary death? There is no “moderate” position on abortion, or on life. There is no in-between. We are either pro-life or we are not. Pro-life is much more than words. It’s action. And to end legal abortion, it’s voting.

Who has the double standard? We’ll see in November. Maybe it’s us.


Paul V. Esposito is a Catholic lawyer who writes on a variety of pro-life topics. He and his wife Kathy live in Elmhurst, Illinois and have six children.

© Paul V. Esposito 2020. Culture of Life. Permission to copy and distribute for pro-life purposes is granted. Visit us at and on Facebook.

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