An Assessment of the Pro-Life Movement During the Obama Years
by Steven H. Aden, Esq.:
Last week on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., hundreds of thousands of marchers soldiered together in near-zero wind chill temperatures to send an annual message of silent witness to the President, the Congress and especially the Supreme Court: that abortion is a great moral wrong, and will never be a “civil right;” and that we will continue to march, advocate, educate, counsel, legislate and litigate until every innocent life is protected in American law and culture.
Coming as it always does at the beginning of a new year, the March is also an opportunity to take stock of where the Pro-Life Movement is, and where it’s going. By any account, 2013 was a year of tremendous results and progress, by God’s grace and through ever-increasing cooperation and coordination between pro-life forces.
Let’s think about where we are first. Five years ago almost to this date, the U.S. inaugurated the most pro-abortion President in its history. He came into office in the midst of the worst economy since the Great Depression – a perfect opportunity for Big Abortion because they always claim that abortions go up during tough times because mothers can’t afford to have children.
Political and financial support for Planned Parenthood and Big Abortion flooded in. Planned Parenthood felt the love coming from the White House in a very big way; Planned Parenthood government funding now stands at an all-time high – over half a billion dollars a year.
The first thing Big Abortion and its friends in Washington tried to do was make it illegal for states to make abortion illegal – at any time for any reason – through the so-called “Freedom of Choice Act.”
Media support for abortion reached nearly universal levels, with only a few dissenters in national media. Celebrity support has also become all the more shrill, reaching near-hysterical levels at times.
The medical profession, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, strongly supports abortion at virtually any time for virtually any reason.
New technologies were introduced to make abortion easier and more widespread, like chemical abortions and abortion by web cam. And anti-pregnancy resource center laws are being passed to attack and bring down life-affirming alternatives.
All these arrows are only pointing one direction, right? If there ever was an Hour of Opportunity for abortion advocates to finally put the issue to rest and see us all go home, this is it, isn’t it?
Well, no, actually.
The Freedom of Choice Act failed – the bill never came up for a vote.
Then, Big Abortion saw what it called a “tidal wave of new laws” – nearly 300 new state laws to outlaw or restrict abortion. Although Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights have done their worst to try to get these overturned by the courts, the end of the year came with a bang as the Supreme Court denied their request to put a stop to a Texas law that has already shuttered fourteen abortion mills.
For the whole year, over eighty abortion mills around the country closed their doors forever.
The Centers for Disease Control just announced that abortions have dropped almost continuously since 1980, and we’ve seen a 16% drop in the abortion rate in just four years. By this time next year, we expect to see as much as a 20% drop in abortion, or two hundred thousand lives saved. That’s about the total population of Arlington, Virginia.
Our movement has already taken the country back to abortion levels not seen since the mid-1970s, soon after Roe legalized abortion in all fifty states.
And young people are leading the way, in the streets at the March and in front of abortion businesses, as well as by their example; the abortion rate for teenagers is now less than half the rate it was in 1990. In other words, the Pro-Life “Youth Movement” has already cut abortion in half among its own age group! No wonder abortion mills are closing all over America. At this rate, Big Abortion will be bankrupt real soon.
So March on, my friends, and cue “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” because “It was a very good year.” And while we hope and pray that we will not have to be on the Mall on January 22, 2015, rest assured that if Roe is still the law of the land, we’ll be there.
Steven H. Aden serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom in its Washington, D.C., office, where he directs ADF’s Center for Life.