What’s airing on Pro-Life Perspective Today? “Abortion in America, Part 5: 1990-1992”

By Dave Andrusko

NRLC President Carol Tobias

Today completes the first of two weeks of Pro-Life Perspective posts on Abortion in America. National Right to Life President and PLP Host Carol Tobias picks the narrative in the summer of 1990 which saw two unlikely occurrences.

In July David Shaw, the Los Angeles Times’ media critic, wrote an historic  four-part series entitled, “Abortion and the Media,” documenting the widespread pro-abortion media bias.  You can read the late Mr. Shaw’s terrific series here.

And in August 1990, the AFL-CIO Executive Council rejected a proposal for the union to abandon its traditional neutrality on abortion and take a pro-abortion stance. In no small measure that was the result of grassroots pro-life union members who voiced their strong opposition to the move.

What a period it was. In  May 1991, in Rust v. Sullivan the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Bush Administration’s regulations that prohibited routine counseling and referral for abortion in 4,000 clinics that receive federal Title Ten family planning funds.

President George H.W. Bush nominated Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court who bravely overcame a vicious pro-abortion assault. That fall, Ana Rosa Rodriguez survived a third-trimester abortion attempt by New York City abortionist Abu Hayat, but was born with one arm severed at the shoulder. And a threat of a Bush veto maintained the Reagan-era ban on the performance of abortion on U.S. military bases, except to save the mother’s life.

1992 is best remembered for two events. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey the Supreme Court reaffirmed the core holdings of Roe. But the Court also discarded Roe’s trimester scheme, upheld certain restrictions on abortion, and adopted the “undue burden” test of abortion laws that currently requires the opponents of an abortion regulation to prove that the provision would create an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to abortion in order for it to be declared unconstitutional.

Also that year President Bush vowed that the radically pro-abortion Freedom of Choice Act “will not become law as long as I am President of the United States.”

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