By Dave Andrusko
I never see Sunday talk shows live; like many of you, I am in church. But by watching the August 31 edition of ABC’s “This Week” online and then reading the transcript, I think I have a sense of what NRLC President Carol Tobias was up against in her appearance last Sunday.
Her own account, of course, which appears elsewhere on NRL News Today is the best explanation. And since I know you will read Carol’s account first, let me highlight just a couple of interesting points.
#1. David Brown represented the Center for Reproductive Rights which is one of the primary pro-abortion litigating firms. They are up to their eyeballs in challenging most of the components (but not all—not the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act) of Texas’ 2013 omnibus pro-life bill, HB 2.
My first thought was he could have plucked from the ranks of the newer Obama administration spokespeople. He looked about 14.
And it while it only made sense that National Right to Life should talk about pro-life legislation, I was shocked that they invited our President. Typically, news shows want the pro-life side represented by men and the pro-abortion side by women. This time, for once, the pattern was reversed.
#2. To her credit, guest host Martha Raddatz treated both sides with respect. But there is more than one way to skin a cat—in this case, tilt the discussion strongly against the pro-life side. On Sunday it was the set-up video (the “background” to the legal challenge to HB 2) narrated by Alicia Menendez of ABC’s sister network, Fusion.
It would be inaccurate to say there was nothing from the pro-life perspective. A pro-life representative was allowed to briefly make the case for the requirement that abortion clinics meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers.
But the overwhelming thrust of the “background” was heavily weighted in favor of the abortion clinics. The uninformed viewer would come away wondering why are those pro-lifers so mean, rather than why do abortion clinics fight every commonsense piece of legislation hammer and tong? And
#3. As Carol pointed out, the usual suspects, including the Huffington Post’s Laura Bassett, were besides themselves with glee. Bassett’s story is headlined, “Clinic Restrictions Are Not About Safety.”
According to Bassett, Carol had “strayed from the anti-abortion movement’s usual talking points.” Really? How so?
Bassett wrote, “Asked directly whether all the new abortion restrictions are about restricting access to abortion or about women’s safety, Tobias said, ‘It’s about both.””
That was it? That was the “smoking gun,” the “gotcha” moment? Talk about missing the boat….
Carol had broken no new ground. She calmly and articulately stated what every pro-lifer says and believes. We don’t want women dying in substandard abortion clinics and we don’t unborn babies dying in any abortion setting.
To the Bassetts of this world, it is either/or.
In fact either/or is the very foundation of the pro-abortionist’s understanding. It’s either the baby or the mother, and it’s always the mother.
Pro-lifers are both/and. We believe there is, and must be, a better way, an approach that assists both mother and unborn child.
Pro-abortionists pit mother against unborn child—the classic win/lose.
Pro-lifers labor to help mothers choose life for their unborn child, even when (especially when) the circumstances are most challenging. Our approach has been, is, and always will be win-win.
Hats off to NRLC President Tobias for very ably articulating the pro-life perspective.