By Carol Tobias, President
Editor’s note. This appears in the April digital edition of National Right to Life News. We are counting on you to forward stories from the issue to your pro-life contacts.
Through most of Bill Clinton’s presidency and into the George W. Bush administration, much of the national abortion discussion centered on determined pro-life efforts to ban the hideous partial-birth abortion “technique.”
The baby would be delivered in a breech position. The abortionist would deliver the baby’s entire body, except for the head, jam scissors into the back of the baby’s skull, open the scissors to enlarge the hole, and suck the baby’s brains out. The body of the now dead baby would then be delivered. The “procedure” was so violent it altered the abortion debate.
Nonetheless, the abortion industry fought to keep this revolting method of killing unborn babies legal. It was not until 2007 that the Supreme Court upheld a national ban by the narrowest of 5-4 margins.
At the time, a wise man told me the abortion industry should have accepted the ban on partial-birth abortion and moved on. Instead, through the extended battle, many eyes were opened, hearts responded with compassion to the horrible death suffered by these babies, and the pro-life movement grew exponentially.
Having learned nothing from their epic failure over partial-birth abortion, the abortion movement has decided to double-down. They not only defend late abortions but are pushing states to enact laws that allow unlimited abortion throughout all 40 weeks of pregnancy. And they are now edging over to embrace infanticide.
We need to understand that this is the goal of the abortion industry. They know they can’t win the battle in every state but they will try wherever possible, typically states where pro-abortion Democrats enjoy overwhelming margins in the legislature.
It is our job to expose them to the American public any and every way we can. Let me give you a few examples of just how far pro-abortionists are willing to go that you can use in conversation with others.
On January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, New York passed the “Reproductive Health Act.” In addition to legalizing abortion on demand, the RHA affords no protection to an unborn child who survives an abortion.
In response to this and similar anti-life initiatives, Congressional attempts to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act are getting more attention now than the previous congressional session. But even this—protecting abortion survivors—is opposed by the abortion movement.
Pro-abortion House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) refuses to move forward on the legislation, so pro-life members of Congress are pursuing what is called a discharge petition. If a majority of members of the House sign the petition, the bill will bypass the committee and be brought to the floor for a vote.
I had the honor of being present in the House gallery on April 2 when Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), lead sponsor of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, led a long line of Congressmen/women onto the House floor to sign the discharge petition.
They walked down the middle aisle to the desk where Scalise presented the petition and became the first to sign, followed by Wagner. The line for those waiting to sign wound down along a side wall, around the corner, and down another wall.
It was an impressive display, with 193 members (191 Republicans and two Democrats) signing the petition that first day. The number is now up to 198.
This should be an easy vote for any and all members of Congress. An overwhelming majority of Americans support protection for babies who are born alive during an abortion.
Members who oppose the bill should be forced to explain to their constituents why they oppose it; why they are willing to leave the fate of those babies to the abortionist who tried to kill the baby in the first place.
Here are some other examples of knowing our extremist adversaries. When President Donald Trump came into office, he reinstated the Mexico City Policy so that U.S. tax dollars would not be given to organizations that perform or promote abortion in other countries.
He subsequently expanded the reach of the policy with the “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance.” Then, last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the U.S. was closing loopholes in the policy.
The State Department will refuse to fund foreign NGOs that give money to other foreign NGOs engaged in the international abortion industry. The public is strongly behind the policy.
A January 2019 Marist poll, conducted for the Knights of Columbus, found that 75% of all Americans oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions in other countries. And yet, the abortion movement is pushing Congress to overturn this policy.
For example, Pelosi tweeted, “Millions of women around the world rely on U.S.-funded health assistance — and millions more will be arbitrarily left without care due to this shameful decision by @SecPompeo.”
Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen stated, “Communities have lost access to essential life-saving services such as HIV testing, antiretroviral medications, nutritional support, birth control and pregnancy care.”
Think about that for a moment. A few pro-abortion NGOs have refused US funds to provide the services mentioned because promoting and/or performing abortion was more important than these other services. (That money goes to NGOs that will accept the limitations.)
And one last item for “know your adversary.” During a 2013 press conference, Pelosi was asked about the moral difference between late abortions and those thousands of babies killed by the notorious (and convicted) abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Pelosi responded that “this is sacred ground when we talk about this.” For her, the ability to kill unborn children of any age is holy, untouchable.
By exposing our adversaries as the extremists they are, we continue to open the eyes of our friends and neighbors. As hearts and minds are changed, our efforts to protect all babies expand and flourish.