ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Republican National Convention is overflowing with social conservatives who care deeply about the pro-life cause. And - for awhile at least - some doubted John McCain's fervency for that cause.
"We had this situation where people were not sure, and then we had Saddleback, and then we had the platform, and then we had Palin, and it was just an explosion of excitement," said Kelly Shackleford of the Free Market Foundation.
Shackleford helped shape the prolife platform.
Click the play button for more on the GOP prolife platform with CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent Paul Strand, as well as an interview with Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America.
"Every prolife leader in the country, all the national groups, has now said this platform is the strongest prolife platform in the history of the Republican Party," he said.
Not everyone agrees.
Jim Wallis, author of The Great Awakening and the head of Sojourners, said, "The abortion rate is way too high. It's alarming."
Wallis wanted language that would call for all parties to at least work together to reduce abortions. Now he's protesting because the GOP didn't include the wording.
"To be really prolife is to try and actually, practically reduce the number of abortions," Wallis said.
Prolife leader Marjorie Dannenfelser says there's no reason to work with politicians she believes don't really want to slash the abortion rate.
She said, "They want to talk, talk, talk, talk, talk about helping reduce abortions, but there is absolutely no real effort to reduce them."
She says Sarah Palin is her kind of politician - one who never calls for abortion, even when it might mean hardship for her or her own family.
Dannenfelser said, "She had an unexpected joy in a Down's Syndrome child, and now she has an unexpected difficult situation with her daughter. But her response is love, the response that you want every mother to have: 'I loved you before; I trained you; I raised you up in the way to go; you made a mistake; we live in an imperfect world; I still love you and still love your child."
She's enthusiastic about McCain and Palin both being so openly prolife. But in the end, does that matter?
Voters know presidents can't really do that much about abortion, except for in one key area - the judges and the Supreme Court justices they pick. That's because they can hugely affect every American for decades.
For instance, look at how unelected judges legalized abortion via Roe vs. Wade.
"We figured there'd be 50 state laboratories that would help to sift and resolve that issue rather than unelected jurists," Sen. Orrin Hatch said.
Gary Marx of the Judicial Confirmation Network says prolife voters know the next President could well pick one, two even three new Justices.
"They want to see that decision about abortion sent back to the states and they think that we are on the precipice of the Supreme Court doing that with one more vote," Marx said.
Delegates here seem assured by past comments McCain has made about what kind of judges he would pick. Now any doubts they had about him on the prolife issue have seem washed away by his pick of Palin.
*Original broadcast September 3, 2008.