On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we reaffirm its historic commitment to protect the health and reproductive freedom of women across this country and stand by its guiding principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters, and women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care. Today and every day, my Administration continues our efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and minimize the need for abortion. On this anniversary, we recommit ourselves to supporting women and families in the choices they make and redouble our efforts to promote safe and healthy communities.
“The front lines of defending those rights are really in the state capitols, while there’s a bit of a stalemate on reproductive issues at the federal level,” said Anna Scholl, director of ProgressVA, which opposed Virginia’s widely publicized new law requiring women seeking abortions to undergo ultrasound exams. “The states are where the decisions that affect women, the soccer moms in the suburbs, are really happening.”…
While the antiabortion bills passed in Virginia grabbed the biggest headlines in 2012, 18 states restricted access to abortion services last year, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Arizona led the charge with seven antiabortion bills, while Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin each enacted at least three measures.
In a sign that NARAL Pro-Choice America may be taking a more aggressive stance, the national abortion-rights group recently announced that its new president will be Ilyse Hogue, a former leader of MoveOn.org, a liberal advocacy group known for in-your-face tactics. “This is a critical moment to engage a new general of young people in the conversation about what choice means in a modern age,” Hogue said in a written statement.
The pro-choice movement has good reason for pessimism. These articles show that pro-lifers have developed some legislative strategies that have been quietly effective at lowering the incidence of abortion. More important, pro-choice groups are publicly admitting that they are having trouble engaging young people. When NARAL president Nancy Keenan announced her resignation in May 2012, she expressed concern about an “intensity gap” among young people. Indeed, NARAL’s own survey data indicated that young pro-lifers seemed to see the abortion issue as more important than young supporters of legal abortion. Other survey data supports this: The General Social Survey (GSS) has been asking the same battery of question on the legality of abortion since the early 1970s. During the 1970s and 1980s, young adults were significantly more “pro-choice” than average. However, surveys taken between 2000 and 2006 show that the Millenials are actually the most pro-life demographic cohort. An additional survey taken by the Polling Company this summer found that young people often feel more comfortable restricting abortion in certain circumstances than older Americans do…
Of course, the 2012 election was a disappointment. However, as I often remind pro-lifers, electoral politics is important, but it is not the only game in town. The pro-life movement has become increasingly entrepreneurial, strategic, and innovative. And we have to work harder and smarter than our opponents. After all, the government does not pay us to protect unborn children. Similarly, we have little support from elite institutions in academia, the media, and the entertainment industry. Older initiatives such as sidewalk counseling, local pro-life chapters and crisis pregnancy centers continue to do invaluable work. However, newer outreach efforts including Students for Life of America (SFLA), the Silent No More Campaign, 40 Days for Life, and LiveAction films have already produced very impressive short-term results. Overall, it should come as no surprise that our opponents are concerned. And I have every confidence if we stay the course, victory will someday be ours.
Florida senator Marco Rubio marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade with the following statement:
Today marks the tragic anniversary of one of America’s most blatant instances of judicial activism that paved the way for the destruction of innocent unborn life. Since this decision, tens of millions of our nation’s unborn babies have been denied the chance to celebrate a birthday, begin kindergarten or go on to contribute their God-given talents to our world.
As a U.S. senator, I am privileged to serve in a position that allows me to fight for the lives of the unborn. I will continue to fulfill my duty to fight to reduce the number of abortions. As with many of our nation’s most important debates, the battlefield of this issue is in the hearts and minds of the American electorate, and I pray that we can one day live in a society that fully cherishes every life from conception until death.”
Members of the Congressional Pro-life Caucus on Tuesday marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade by highlighting the stories of women who regret their abortions.
“Women who have been so hurt by abortion [are] truly the untold story that needs to be told on Capitol Hill and everywhere else in the United States,” said the co-chair of the caucus, New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith, who called the years since Roe v. Wade “40 years of government-sanctioned violence against women.”…
“Future generations will look back on America and wonder how and why such a seemingly enlightened society — so blessed and endowed with education, advanced science, information, wealth and opportunity — could have failed to protect the innocent and inconvenient,” Smith said. “They will wonder how and why a Nobel Peace Prize-winning president could have also simultaneously have been the abortion president.”
The hypocrisy of it all, however, is that while the President publicly acknowledges the value of “even one life” when it advances his own political agenda, he fails to acknowledge as much when it comes to protecting the lives of children soon to be born. In that same speech, he proclaimed that “when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now.” Well, who is more vulnerable than those who find themselves at the mercy of others to honor their existence and receive them into our world? Are these—the truly vulnerable—not worthy of the protection of which the President speaks? Why is it that their cause is never the subject of one of his lofty addresses to the nation? Has he ever even mentioned the March for Life that takes place in his own back yard and ought to be worthy of at least a scant mention? If indeed we have an obligation to save “even one life,” when will we hear our President rally Americans to stand alongside women who find themselves in these less than ideal circumstances to offer the support they need, to encourage parents to choose life, and to promote the option of adoption? Instead, he has committed himself to the most liberal of abortion agendas—so much so that as a Senator he couldn’t even bring himself to support the Born Alive Act that would save the lives of babies ALREADY BORN and needing medical aid. Further, he believes taxpayers should betray their consciences by paying for his abortion agenda. This same President has stated he didn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby,” and remarked that it was “above my pay grade” to answer a pastor’s question: “At what point does a baby get human rights?” Yet now we are to somehow believe that children are the priority in his current aggressive campaign against the Second Amendment?
It’s natural to focus on events that have happened instead of those that haven’t, and on people we have interacted with as opposed to those we’ve never met. But today it seems worth reflecting on some of those people we haven’t met: the 54 million who have died in abortions in the past four decades.
It’s hard to mourn them because we know virtually nothing about them, except they once existed. So much of them remained potential. We don’t know how many of them would have been eager and well-behaved, and how many would been hellions, and how many would have been, like most of us as children, a mixture of earnest affection and efforts and tantrums. We don’t who of them would have been the clowns, mugging it up behind a teacher’s back. We don’t who of them would have been quiet dreamers, spending long hours staring at the clouds and thinking. We don’t know who of them would have been able to hit home runs, and who would have been able to do math equations in their head in the blink of an eye…
It’s curious to notice who isn’t there. But it’s even stranger that we spend so little time wondering who they – and we – would have been if they were still with us.