Editor’s note. The presidential column appeared on page 3 of the September digital edition of National Right to Life News. Please share the contents of this 37 page issue with pro-life family and friends using your social media outlets.
By Carol Tobias, National Right to Life President
For more than 40 years, the pro-life movement has steadily moved forward, pressing on toward that day that unborn children are again welcomed in law and protected by law. I firmly believe we are winning the battle to protect babies from abortion but we must not rest or think we can begin to relax our efforts. We know the forces promoting death have not given up and gone into hiding in a corner somewhere.
With the ebb and flow of everyday life and culture, the battle sometimes seems tougher than other times. Let me discuss just a few of the battles our Movement is engaged in before recalling the progress we are making on so many fronts.
Pregnancy resource centers, that part of the movement dedicated to helping pregnant women in difficult circumstances, are under attack in several states and communities. California law requires these life-affirming centers to inform their clients where they can get an abortion–and that the state may pay for it. In the case of California, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the law and that decision has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A similar law in Illinois, as summarized by the Thomas More Society, forces “pro-life doctors and pregnancy resource centers to discuss abortion benefits and refer pregnant women for abortions despite their conscience-based opposition to abortion.” Several pregnancy centers challenged the law and, thanks to a federal judge in Illinois, the law has been put on hold until the lawsuit is settled. The Rockford-area judge, Frederick Kapala, wrote that the “act targets the free speech rights of people who have a specific viewpoint.”
We hope and pray these laws will be overturned by sensible courts but that battle may take a while. In the meantime, the pregnancy centers have to decide whether they obey the law, ignore it, or shut their doors, no longer able to provide the care and support that is so needed in the lives of often-scared and confused women seeking help.
It seems that Hollywood has taken the gloves off. More and more, the entertainment industry is bringing abortion into its movies and television programs. Stars are using their fame and fortune in unprecedented numbers to brag about their abortions, to heavily promote abortion, and to raise money for the $1.3 billion Planned Parenthood empire, the nation’s largest abortion chain.
Pro-abortion groups are pushing chemical abortions via the internet, making it easier, yet more risky, for women to kill their unborn children. And courts continue to strike down many protective laws passed by pro-life legislators who were elected by pro-life constituents.
When there are times that it seems the “other side” has become more active, more vocal, more aggressive in the fight, I remind myself of the advances we have made against abortion.
The number of abortions has dropped from an all-time high of 1.6 million in 1990 to less than a million in the last couple of years. A terrible number, but clear-cut evidence more and more women are choosing life for their babies, and ever-increasing numbers of people are getting involved in the greatest civil rights battle of all time.
I am reminded of our victories every time I see or hear “United States Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.” You know, I know that a President Hillary Clinton would have given us a justice as radically pro-abortion as Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
We are passing legislation that protects unborn babies who can feel pain. We are educating our country about the gruesome way many of those babies die– being killed by having their bodies dismembered and being torn apart limb by limb– and we are passing legislation to stop death by this horrific procedure.
We are strengthening right-to-know laws and making it possible for more pregnant women to see an ultrasound before making that life or death decision for their baby.
All too often, when parents are told their unborn child has some disability incompatible with life, they are encouraged to get an abortion. I am moved by the action of some states and right-to-life groups making an extraordinary effort to provide hospice information and comfort care to the parents of a baby who is born with a physical problem to such an extent that the baby’s days after birth are limited. These compassionate efforts provide families with a short time to make memories, rather than regretting a decision to pro-actively end the life of their child.
Our state affiliates and chapters are reaching hundreds of thousands of people each year through state, county and local fair booths, showing them the beautiful development of precious little human beings through the use of fetal models and encouraging those with pro-life convictions to get involved.
I am excited by young people like Conor and Destiny and Emily who used their summer to learn more about life issues at the NRL Academy, wanting to prepare themselves even more so they can make a difference for the vulnerable ones. They are representative of untold numbers of the younger generations determined to end abortion.
Certainly we have some challenging years ahead of us. But whenever a day brings some bad news, I always know that brighter news is just around the corner. Why? Because I know your spirit and dedication.
Thank you for all you do to save and protect the most vulnerable among us and their mothers.