Roe after 40: Where we are as a Movement
By Dave Andrusko
As sure as the sun rises in the east, you knew the mainstream media would—in the interests of “balance”—decide that the Pro-Life Movement is riven with the same internal squabbles that beset the Pro-Abortion Movement, which is clearly in search of a new identity. And for good measure, we would also be told that suddenly pro-lifers have “discovered” that unborn babies have mothers and, in a strategic shift, now embrace them both.
Where to begin, on the day that a massive number of pro-lifers will descend on Washington for the annual March for Life?
I could start with one of the most amazing lead sentences I have ever read in the popular press (it’s from today’s USA Today): “Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to fill the National Mall on Friday to protest the 40-year-old landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the first trimester.”
Talk about good news/bad news. FINALLY, an acknowledgement that the colossal crowds which fill the Mall—and many side streets and avenues surrounding the National Mall—amount not to “thousands” or “tens of thousands” but hundreds of thousands. Wow!
This concession to the truth, only to be immediately followed with the ritual reiteration of the myth that Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton legalized abortion ONLY in the first trimester.
We’ve also written a half-dozen times or so about PPFA’s campaign to refashion the pro-abortion ‘brand.’ Ixnay on “pro-choice.” Now it’s…whatever. Essentially, the retooled nomenclature is a variation of “who decides?’ which creaks almost as loudly as “pro-choice.” Some pro-abortionists agree, many strongly disagree, but no matter. The makeover is a stark admission that increasingly the American people are not buying what they are peddling.
It is true that pro-lifers disagree over secondary questions such as whether the use of graphic photos of aborted babies is a net plus. Many say that without them, abortion’s shocking horror can be lost. Many respond that their use is counterproductive, maintaining that the way to approach all those who are “conflicted” about abortion is through showing the beauty of living unborn life, for example through ultrasounds.
But our Movement is unified on the essentials—abortion is unjust, unfair, and, in a real sense, un-American, trashing as it does the Declaration of Independence’s insistence that we protect life as well as liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Thus we have no need to hide/disguise who we are or what we are trying to accomplish.
What about the insistence that pro-lifers have now—in a monumental fit of cynicism–decided to talk about unborn children AND their mothers? One pro-abortionist, Rekha Basu, writing in the Des Moines Register this week, claimed that after Obama and his supporters successfully created the illusion of a “war on women” that
“the anti-abortion community has realized it needs to tweak its rhetoric to sound less as if it’s trying to deny women choices and more as if it’s trying to protect women. ‘You and I know it’s about the babies and their mothers, not about us,’ Dave Andrusko wrote in National Right to Life News of the campaign. Another essay calls women ‘abortion’s second victim.’”
Hello? We’ve been writing about and supporting women in crisis pregnancies since the beginning of our Movement. It is an article of faith for us that helping women is an important good in and of itself. Helping women who are under enormous pressure to abort also increases the chances that this child will survive, meaning a win-win for mother and baby.
And there is a thriving outreach to women who have aborted, which makes no sense to people like Basu who believe what we do is all for show. If you think about it, what they are really saying is that we are as cynical and manipulative and insincere as they are!
Our Movement is alive and well and growing. You saw that not just in the huge attendance at the March for Life today. And not just in all the state-based rallies, many of which we have written about in this space. Not just in all the protective legislation passed these past two years. Not just in the laments of pro-abortion leaders that younger women are more passionately committed to the pro-life cause (by double!) than their “pro-choice” counterparts.
We thrive because, as Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) said this week, ultimate failure is not any option.
“Despite these and any obstacles, we will never quit. In adversity our faith and trust in God is tested, but it also deepens and overcomes and forges an indomitable yet humble spirit.
“The pro-life movement is comprised of some of the noblest, caring, smart and selfless people I have ever met. They make up an extraordinarily powerful, non-violent, faith-filled human rights struggle that is growing in public support, intensity, commitment and hope.
“The pro-life movement is not only on the side of compassion, justice, and inclusion; we are on the right side of responsible science and of history.”
He concludes with these prophetic words:
“Someday future generations will look back on America and wonder how and why such a seemingly enlightened society, so blessed and endowed with education, advanced science, information, wealth and opportunity could have failed to protect the innocent and inconvenient.”
And it will primarily because of one reason and one reason only: you!