This morning we were provided a draft copy of the new GOP platform on life.

The Trump campaign and GOP officials were honest and forthright. They asked for our input and advice, because they genuinely care about Catholics and the pro-life movement. They know their party is made up of millions of dedicated pro-life people of conscience. And they also know the Democratic Party is ready to pounce if Republicans lose in November. Bottom line: The new GOP platform is unmistakably pro-life.

It states: “We proudly stand for families and Life. We believe that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that no person can be denied Life or Liberty without Due Process, and that the States are, therefore, free to pass Laws protecting those Rights.”

There is also new language that includes specific calls for “supporting mothers and policies that advance prenatal care.” This emphasis is exactly what we’ve been asking for. Is it perfect? Of course not. Portions of the older platform were omitted. Further, the new language includes pledges to oppose late-term abortion, while protecting “access to birth control and IVF.” These are concessions that we opposed. We made that clear.

You can’t do politics without prudence. And in the United States, you can’t do politics without taking seriously the political circumstances of the moment, political parties, and the media – while working to limit the harm created by 50 years of abortion lawlessness. St. John Paul II helped explain the moral dimensions of this dilemma in his famous encyclical Evangelium Vitae (see especially paragraph 73).

Winning isn’t everything. But winning is a prerequisite to helping move the ball. Nobody is interested in some pro-life Pickett’s charge up platform hill.

Let’s not forget that Our Lord told his disciples: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

As Catholics, we believe that all life is sacred and worthy of protection. This must happen both in Washington, D.C. and state by state – the goal is plain: a culture and legal regime that protects all, from conception to natural death. The GOP is the party of life. But not a perfect party. We will always be Catholic first. Party platforms are not a set of dogmas that demand unwavering fidelity. They are exercises in political principles and compromise intended to build coalitions and win elections. They can and do change. The GOP platform gives us room to maneuver and make progress.

Come November, the choice for voters is clear. The most pro-life president in history, or the most pro-abortion president in history.

Debates over the platform will continue, but right now we are focused on helping elect Donald Trump.