For most of my life, had you asked me whether I could vote for a pro-choice presidential candidate, my immediate reply would have been “no.” Protecting unborn children — undeniably alive, distinctly human, possessed of their own genetic identity — is the commitment of a compassionate, welcoming society.

Yet my “no” has always been qualified. It does not mean I could support a pro-life fascist or a pro-life segregationist. Opposing abortion does not make up for the betrayal of fundamental democratic values. And the pro-life Republicans I have supported — say, George H.W. Bush or Mitt Romney — were broadly qualified to do the president’s job. Being pro-life does not grant general permission for dangerous ineptitude.