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Why our Movement is so upbeat as we enter 2016

by | Jan 29, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

potentialfootballLet’s examine at how the two sides look at the current state of the abortion battle as revealed in many of the stories and columns and commentary found in this the January digital edition of National Right to Life News, the “pro-life newspaper of record.”

On one side are pro-abortionists so shaky about their prospects, so nervous about the drift of the battle over abortion that they pounce on even their most dedicated congressional allies if the timbre of their pronouncements sounds off ever so slightly.

That would include House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) and Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fl.) The latter was pilloried for daring to question whether younger pro-abortion feminists were sufficiently gung-ho for the nearly 69-year-old Hillary Clinton. The former was censured for telling The Hill that she wasn’t for abortion on demand. As always is the case with Pelosi, that was just a rhetorical ruse but it upset NARAL whose ears perked up when they heard Pelosi say those words.

On the other side are pro-lifers brimming with confidence. A Republican Congress has just passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood for a year and repeal parts of ObamaCare. That it was vetoed by a pro-abortion president only shows that we need someone in the White House who respects life.

How did NRL, working with congressional leaders, thread the needle? The House of Representatives could (and did ) pass bills to block PPFA from receiving federal funds. But 60 votes are needed to overcome filibusters by Democratic senators, for now an impossible hurtle to overcome. What to do? Block most federal funds from Planned Parenthood in a “budget reconciliation” bill.

As NRLC explained, “A budget reconciliation bill can be passed, at most, once a year, and complicated rules limit the types of provisions that a reconciliation bill can carry. But a budget reconciliation bill has the great advantage of being immune from filibuster in the Senate.”

Naturally, running-on-fumes President Obama vetoed the bill but during the debate House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) explained, “When a Republican president takes over next year, we can use reconciliation again.”

And then there is HB2, the 2013 Texas omnibus pro-life measure, which will be heard by the Supreme Court on March 2 with a decision in late June or early July. Pro-abortionists have gone to DEFCON 1.

It’s essentially the end of abortion if (1) abortion clinics must meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs); and (2) abortionists must have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital for situations of medical emergencies. The latter has already gone into effect.

They see a slippery slope if the justices uphold HB2. Who knows how many states will adopt similar laws? Many, I would suspect.

And there another test case in the judicial pipeline: the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.” The legislative logic is very similar to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which was upheld by the High Court in 2007.

The states enacting the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act (so far Kansas and Oklahoma but with others in the making) are not asking the Supreme Court to overturn or replace the 1973 Roe v. Wade holding that the state’s interest in unborn human life becomes “compelling” at viability. Rather, the states are applying the interest the Court recognized in the 2007 Gonzales case [upholding the federal ban on partial-birth abortions], that states have a separate and independent compelling interest in fostering respect for life by protecting the unborn child from death by dismemberment abortion. Further, the state is recognizing their compelling interest in protecting the integrity of the medical profession with passage of this law.

The pro-abortion fear and apprehension comes close to a kind of resignation.

One other hugely important point. Planned Parenthood is a $1.3 billion “non-profit” with a political arm and plenty of Democratic allies in Congress. Yet as you know, only a presidential veto saved the nation’s largest abortion provider from losing most of its federal funding for a year.

This is the most recent chapter in a book-length fight to rein in federal funding for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Ten years ago, even five years ago, this might have seemed a pipe dream. It is no longer. Why?

For one thing, thanks to the work of grassroots pro-lifers there are many, many more pro-life representatives and senators in Congress. That is necessary, but not sufficient. While we maintain, even increase our numbers, we also need a pro-life president.

For another, PPFA’s one-time pristine public image has taken a tremendous hit, thanks in large measure to the undercover videos taken by the Center for Medical Progress. Evil flourishes in the darkness. The CMP video shone a light on an industry that cannot tolerate sunshine. No wonder PPFA has sued CMP’s leader David Daleiden.

Finally, there is the cumulative effect of calling evil, evil. If you watched the Republican presidential debates, you saw candidate after candidate call PPFA on the carpet. Many millions of people who may have had a fuzzy image of PPFA as some sort of benign provider of “women’s health care” learned otherwise.

For these reasons and many more, as we enter 2016, our Movement is more upbeat than ever.

Editor’s note. This appears in the current digital edition of National Right to Life News. Like all of the exciting content, it can be accessed at www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRLNewsJan2016.pdf. Please forward to your social media contacts. Thank you!

Categories: Pro-Lifers