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Lessons learned from three battles to keep abortion out of state constitutions

by | Jun 29, 2024

By Dave Andrusko

Left to Right. Peter Northcutt, Amber Roseboom, Lynda Bell, and Peter Range.

Three pro-life experts, battle tested in the fight to keep abortion out of their state constitution, shared “how to transform the setback of state initiative losses into future successes”

Peter Northcutt is the executive director of Kansans for Life; Peter Range is the Chief Executive Officer for Ohio Right to Life; and Amber Roseboom is the President of Right to Life of Michigan. The panel shared lessons learned at the closing General Session of Friday’s first day of National Right to Life’s 53rd annual conference.

Their insights are invaluable as many states are seeing or will see similar campaigns to enshrine abortion in their state constitutions.

Northcutt discussed how the “Value Them Both” amendment tragically failed to pass in August 2022, defeated by a campaign built on lies, including the false assertion that women would die. Looking ahead, Northcutt talked about post-amendment victories in Kansas where for the first time pro-lifers were able to override a pro-abortion governor’s veto. Not just once but seven times!

Northcutt spoke of two “miracles” that allowed pro-lifers to overcome one particular veto: a lone Democrat who broke ranks and voted in favor of overriding the veto and a pro-life legislator who had been injured but was wheeled into the chambers to cast a pivotal vote.

Range spoke of how pro-lifers in Ohio controlled both legislative branches by super majorities and the governorship. They lost because pro-abortionists cynically co-opted Faith, Family, and Freedom for their own purposes.

He talked about how effective the Democratic machine was in turning out voters who cast a “yes” vote. That included overwhelmingly those who knew very little about  “Issue 1.” Range also discussed the larger cultural factors that favored pro-abortionists.

As was the case in Kansas and Ohio, pro-lifers were massively outspent in Michigan in the fight to defeat “Proposal 3.”

Roseboom explained that the pro-abortion playbook included an insistence that Prop 3 was not the least bit radical followed by a slew of pro-abortion bills that passed once the measure was ratified.

She discussed how pro-lifers must take back the issue of choice. “Life: the Other Choice” is a wonderful example. You can see two samples of this television ad here.

A great panel that furthered the audience’s understanding of “The Path Forward”

Categories: NRLC