Suppose we're convinced that a certain issue is more important than any other, and it's on the level of urgent moral necessity to do whatever we can to make progress on that issue and that issue, even if it sets us back quite a ways on other issues. I don't think that's true of the issue of abortion. Having pro-life leaders on the national level isn't better than having pro-choice leaders if the pro-life leaders are going to do things that are even worse than the status quo on abortion. I wouldn't vote for someone who thinks abortion is wrong if the person also thinks we ought to put the majority of the population in machines for eight hours a day that cause intense pain and shorten their lives conserably, merely to make the lives of a few elite people comfortable. While I think abortion is evil and unjust, I'd rather make little progress or even move backward on that score if it's a choice between that and moving into a society that's so bad that the abortion status quo pales in comparison. Those who tolerate grave evil are still better than those who would deliberately perpatuate a greater evil.
But even if we consider a certain issue to be so all-defining that we think we should care very little about anything else, I think we have a moral obligation to prefer someone who is closer to us on that issue than someone else who is further from us on the issue, even if we think both of them hold immoral views and are too tolerant of evil. This may well end up being the case with the 2008 presidential race for pro-lifers if it turns out that the two frontrunners get their respective party nominations. Rudy Giuliani is pro-choice. So is Hillary Clinton. According to the pro-life view, both of them are willing to tolerate serious evil, and that is immoral. However, even given the false premise that abortion is the only morally relevant issue, it simply doesn't follow that pro-life voters ought to stay home or vote for a third party if those two candidates receive their party nominations.
Even if abortion is the only issue under consideration, Hillary Clinton is far worse from a pro-life perspective than Rudy Giuliani is. When he was mayor of a very liberal city, he did virtually nothing to increase women's rights to have abortions, and the abortion rate went down. Some of that may have been just part of a national trend going on at the same time, but it doesn't seem as if he cared enough about the issue to promote abortion rights, never mind to expand them. Rather, he seems to have been expressing a pro-choice view mainly because he's not too motivated by pro-life concerns and not because he holds Hillary Clinton's view that the right to abortion is so inviolable that we should never restrict it under any circumstances.
He seems open to letting states decide, as is his general view on many issues. He worked in the Reagan Justice Department, which suggest some kind of judicial conservatism, and he has gone on record supporting judicial nominees like Roberts and Alito, as opposed to those like Kennedy, O'Connor, or other Republican appointees who have safeguarded Roe v. Wade. Even if the pro-life voter can't trust how faithful he'd be to that, he obviously isn't so dedicated to the pro-choice view that he'll let it affect anything else he does as if it's one of the most important rights one might poseess, which is exactly what Hillary Clinton would do.
So in the end, I just cannot see how someone could in good conscience believe that the pro-life view is all-important and then not vote for Giuliani if the choice is between him and Hillary Clinton. It seems completely at odds with the pro-life goal to recognize that you have some ability to influence which one of these two would be president and then not to influence things so to prevent the worse of the two. So even given the false assumption that abortion is all-important, the idea of staying home or voting for a third-party candidate strikes me as simply undermining the pro-life movement. Those who do that are working at cross-purposes with pro-life goals and are thus betraying the one thing they think is all-important.
What's worse is if you recognize that other issues are important, and if you tend to agree with Republicans against Democrats on those other important issues. If you do, it should take very little comparison between these two candidates to realize that Giuliani should be far preferable to almost any conservative. I've said many times that I prefer to nominate someone like Mitt Romney for the Republican spot in this race, but it just seems immoral to me to care about the abortion issue and then to allow someone much worse than Giuliani to win out of distaste for his pro-choice views. Therefore, I find myself declaring on the basis of this argument that James Dobson has betrayed the pro-life movement by vowing never to vote for the better candidate if the two candidates are too close on this issue for his comfort.