I think the principles in the original article make sense: that is, that voting is a prudential judgment not on what the candidates say they will do but on what the voter believes in his or her best judgment that they will actually do. I have often been disappointed by candidates who espouse a pro-life message and then later do nothing to make it less likely that a pregnant mother who would rather avoid an abortion will avoid seeking one. (If the elected official isn’t even doing this much, the likelihood of preventing a pregnant woman who is hell-bent on obtaining abortion is totally nil.)
Yes, I think there are too many people in politics who cynically put stances on their agenda that mean nothing or next to nothing. By cynically, I mean the intention is to garner votes with no intention of fulfilling the promises made in order to get them. If you think a candidate’s pro-life support is cynical and not real, it should not be a mark in favor of support.
Holding a pro-choice stance that is not meant is problematic, in and of itself, yes, since it is encouraging other people to accept abortion as a moral choice or support for abortion as a positive good. If all other things were equal, this would make a difference. All other things are very rarely even close to equal, but it happens.
The third situation is that in which the office being contested has nothing to do with abortion policy. In that case, I would still not want to advance the career of someone who was very strongly pro-abortion. If the candidates were lukewarm on the issue and it had nothing to do with the contested office, the issue would have less importance.
So no, a candidate shouldn’t be able to get a check in their box merely for throwing out “pro-choice” on their campaign literature. That standard is just asking for abuse.