In Governor Cuomo’s defense, he isn’t the first pro-abortion leader to throw up his hands in frustration at the advance of the pro-life cause and simply wish we’d go away. The pro-life movement, much to the consternation of abortion supporters, is thriving. It is getting younger and larger. Hundreds of thousands brave cold temperatures for the March for Life every year. There were even 40,000 marching for life in France last week! Yes, that France. Legislatures enact more pro-life laws than ever before. And abortion clinics are closing and abortion rates are dropping.
Governor Cuomo’s intemperate call for the banishment of pro-lifers from New York state is the sort of outburst that one should expect from a frustrated abortion lobby with no real arguments to make. Science is on our side. Public opinion is increasingly on our side – and particularly among the next generation. So rather than debate, abortion supporters are increasingly turning to their final 2 defenses: (1) Trying to silence pro-life speech, and (2) Attacking conscience.
When you can’t reason YOU TYPE IN ALL CAPS! Or if you’re an abortion advocate in the Texas legislature you attempt to scream so loud that you prevent an elected legislature – temporarily – from doing its job. This is a grown up version of the tactics pro-life student groups are all too familiar with. It’s akin to abortion supporters vandalizing prolife student groups’ fliers and memorials. But, often it’s the universities themselves that do the censoring. A Washington community college even echoed Governor Cuomo, telling a pro-life student group that they could not distribute literature on campus because “Washington is a pro-choice state.”
New York City has been one of the “leaders” in attacking pregnancy resource centers for simply offering an alternative to abortion to women – trying to unconstitutionally force them to speak the government’s own message against themselves. New Mayor De Blasio has pledged to continue Bloomberg’s effort to wipe out these nonprofit pregnancy resource centers in a city where 41% of pregnancies end in abortion. In a scene right out of 1984, the IRS has tried to compel prolife groups to cease any protests of Planned Parenthood as a condition of tax exemption. And Ohio even directly attacked pro-life political speech, imposing (until overturned by courts) substantial fines for “false statements” on the Susan B Anthony List because it dared to tell the truth that Obamacare funds abortions. SHUT UP!, they explain.
And when even attempts to silence pro-life speech fail, they try to go deeper, attacking even our conscience. In New York and New Jersey hospitals have tried to illegally compel pro-life nurses to assist in abortions in violation of their conscience. New York City has made it more difficult for pro-life students to opt out of abortion training in medical school. Vanderbilt even tried to make agreement to participate in abortion a part of the admission application. And while the vast majority of pharmacies will stock and sell Plan B, the existence of even a handful who choose not to do so for personal moral reasons is reason for protests by abortion advocates against those businesses – with participation by a governor – and state action to stamp out that objection.
Why aren’t abortion supporters content to have abortion on demand but with participation left to individual conscience? Because darkness hates the light. The existence of intelligent, ethical medical professionals and other people of conscience who refuse to participate in abortion reminds their soul that the taking of an innocent human life is wrong.
You may have heard about Planned Parenthood’s “I Had An Abortion” t-shirt campaign. The stated goal of this campaign, complete with ads with women sporting these shirts in major womens’ magazines, was to eliminate the stigma of abortion. It’s not enough to simply establish a constitutional right to abortion. They now demand its acceptance as morally right.
This is no surprise. Those perpetrating great evils always need to justify themselves by silencing those who speak the truth. In 1860 Abraham Lincoln delivered his Cooper Union Speech in New York City concerning the desperate claims of the proponents of the great dehumanizing moral evil of his day:
What will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly – done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated – we must place ourselves avowedly with them. [Laws prohibiting speech opposing abortion] must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.
Pro-lifers should be encouraged when Governor Cuomo outrageously proclaims that they have no home in New York. This is not the rhetoric of a winning argument. These are the last desperate gasps for breath of an ideology of death.
Casey Mattox is senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom.