The Reasons why Pro-Lifers Fared so Well in 2011

By Dave Andrusko

(left to right) Tony Lauinger, State Chairman of Oklahomans for Life and Executive Vice-President of the National Right to Life Committee; Mary Spaulding Balch, director, NRL Department of State Legislation; and Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska RTL.

The story was one of those flattering accounts that would make any pro-life organization blush. While there are some unique qualities specific to Nebraska, the reasons Nebraska Right to Life was so successful this legislative session (“Abortion foes grab upper hand”)  are largely the same reason Kansas and Oklahoma and other states did so well (www.omaha.com/article/20110612/NEWS01/706129912).

Written by Martha Stoddard of the Omaha World-Herald, the argument is that the wave of victories represented a “convergence of several factors.” At the risk of stating the obvious—that it’s obvious big legislative changes only come about when several vectors point in the right direction—this is true.

So why was Nebraska RTL able to pass laws that took advantage of the provision in ObamaCare that allows states to “opt out” of  the health insurance exchanges created by the law, require parental consent for minors to get abortions, and block the use of webcam for drug-induced abortions by requiring that the abortionist actually be in the room with the woman?

·         The departure of a thorn in the flesh. In this case a veteran pro-abortionist  who knew how to throw sand in the gears of the legislative process. Term limits forced him out, but the principle is the same: sometimes it is only a single legislator (or a single committee or the governor) that can thwart pro-life majorities.

·         The impact of fired up, innovative newcomers. Stoddard reports that two freshmen played key roles in passing pro-life legislation this year.

·         What Stoddard calls “campaign efforts by anti-abortion groups,” which is, in reality, shorthand for the patient work of Nebraska RTL PAC. One pro-abortion lobbyist said pro-lifers now “have a super-majority — and they’re going to press their hand as far as they can.”

No one is quoted as saying this in the story, but we know this to be true. There are tremendously effective pro-life organizations in a growing number of states. When they work in tandem with Mary Spaulding Balch, the director of National Right to Life’s Department of State Legislation, laws can get passed even in states that are far less friendly than Nebraska.

When you receive your June issue of National Right to Life News, be sure to read the interview with Balch, who summarizes and explains the many pro-life victories this session.

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