After Texas: Where Does The Pro-Life Movement Go From Here?
On July 18, Gov. Rick Perry signed the bipartisan HB 2 into law, which bans abortions 20-weeks into a pregnancy. It’s another victory for the pro-life movement, and their struggle to build a culture of life in this country. In Colorado, North Carolina, and Ohio, pro-life legislation is being passed. Undoubtedly, pro-abortion activists are on the defensive, but the fight isn’t over. Live Action’s President, Lila Rose, is adamant that her organization’s educational efforts will continue until the unborn are given full legal recognition and protection under the law. That’s their legislative end game. Yet, is focusing on late-term abortion the area where pro-life activists can siphon off pro-abortion support?
Late-term abortion is almost universally rejected by the American public, with only 14% supporting such that a procedure should be legal in the third trimester. Is this the area where the pro-life movement can continue to build support for more pro-life legislation? In a discussion with Lila Rose about this issue, she said:
It’s the job of our movement, and particularly Live Action’s emphasis, have been in educating about the violence of abortion – and the humanity of the unborn child. A lot of that education has focused around the later term – second and third trimester – but we need to be educating about the child in the first trimester just as much. And the focal point of our movement should be the unequivocal statement that there’s no difference between the single cell zygote and the human rights of the child at full term. We need to be protecting the human being from the moment of their biological life, and that’s the mission of the pro-life movement. And we can never lose sight of that, especially in our educational efforts. So, I think, legislatively, you see a reflection of what is already accepted in our culture, which is that late-term abortion, is horrific and brutal. But our job, as educators, is to ensure that people understand the horror of abortion as it relates to the first trimester, so they can reject the killing of children as early as the first trimester.
Yet, that may have to be put on hold in light of the upcoming 2014 midterm elections. With Obamacare threatening to tank liberals’ agenda, Democrats will pivot the debate away from jobs and the economy – and towards the social issues. Abortion, some say, is at the forefront in the battle over Congress next year. Concerning providing political cover for pro-life candidates, Rose reasserted that Live Action is nonpartisan. And that they monitor both pro-abortion and pro-life candidates concerning their influence in advancing – or opposing – the abortion agenda.
Live Action News on our educational efforts are certainly going to be documenting any politician’s stance that is having an influence on abortion. Whether they’re pro-life or pro-choice, in fact, because we want to make sure that those who are pro-abortion are being called out for their extreme policies. So, that’s certainly our job as for the reporting arm of Live Action. And a quick note on the Republican vs. Democrat dynamic, we’re a nonpartisan organization. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, the human rights issue of abortion should be a no-brainer for a politician to say, “ok, I’m going to step out and stand up for women and children by protecting life, and legislating to protect life in the womb. So, I’m wondering, as many Americans are, including Democrats, especially those who are Democrats, where are the pro-life Democrats?
Concerning messaging, the Texas abortion battle brought out the worst in pro-choice rhetoric. The New York Times ran an op-ed about how one woman was “proud” of her mother’s abortion. Jessica Grose, who ironically writes a mommy blog for the Times, hoped that more women rejoice when they abort their “parasitic” babies. When asked if this rather depraved commentary would hurt the pro-choice movement in the long run, Rose noted that:
It’s an old and out of touch voice that claims to speak for women – the voice of the pro-abortion movement – which says that abortion is somehow empowering to women. Women – today – understand – many of them because of the pain they may have endured because of abortion, having abortion, or because of their lost brothers or sisters – or nieces of nephews – or cousins or friends. Over a fourth of all Americans have been killed by abortion over the last thirty or forty years. Women – today – are overwhelming recognizing that abortion doesn’t empower them. That abortion is the ultimate disempowerment of a woman because it turns her against her own flesh and blood. It tells a woman that she’s not enough. That she can’t do it. That she needs abortion. This violent act of hurting her own body – and her own emotional, psychological, and spiritual well being in killing her child – that she somehow needs abortion to be empowered. When a woman walks into an abortion clinic, she’s anything but empowered. She’s really facing suffering, and a feeling of a lack of power when she’s sitting on the abortion table – with her feet in stirrups –that’s a position of disempowerment. And usually it’s before an often-male abortionist, who has a record that would make any woman leave the building if they actually knew the history of medical malpractice, sometimes even sexual abuse activity, that some of these abortionists are involved in. So, the new voice that is coming out is that we can do better than abortion. And that human life matters so much that we – as a nation – can stand up for each other. Stand up for our women in tough situations, and stand up for our children, so that they don’t become the victims of the violence of abortion.
Regardless, Rose stated that there are numerous pieces of legislation where both pro-choice and pro-life camps can come to an agreement.
I think that anyone who claims that they’re pro-choice can join the pro-life movement in supporting the bills that are common sense regulation of the abortion industry. They can support the pro-life movement in promoting – and supporting – pregnancy resource centers that provide real choices, other choices and alternatives to abortion. And can promote common sense regulation that protects victims of sexual abuse. That ensures women have informed consent when they’re going in for an abortion. There’s a whole range of common sense legislation that is completely in the ballpark for a so-called pro-choice supporter to get behind. And it’s astonishing to see that so-called “women’s health advocates” have actually been fighting –tooth and nail – against any abortion regulation and restriction. They put abortion above protecting the health of women. They put the interests of powerful abortion businesses, which are a multi-million dollar industry, above the protection of women. And that’s shameful. And is the reason why the tide is definitely turning –in public opinion – against the s0-called pro-choice position. Because it’s recognized for what it is, which is a sham – it’s not really pro-choice. It’s pro-abortion. And it’s pro-powerful abortion interests that are making millions of dollars off of the sufferings of women.
Concerning whether Live Action would lend a hand in other ongoing battles dealing with the protection the unborn, like in Colorado, Rose said:
I think what’s happening in Colorado. What’s happening in North Carolina…what’s happening in Ohio – I mean there are efforts and initiatives happening all over the country at a growing level to tackle abortion, and to ensure that – to seek some protections –at least – for women and children. And what our role in all of this is at Live Action is to fuel these fires through the powerful – and persuasive – educational efforts and campaigns that we do on a daily basis. And we certainly stand with any legislation that is going to protect the child in the womb, but we believe the end game for our movement has to be a human life amendment, or the complete protection of the personhood of the child from the moment of conception. That is the legislative endgame in order to ensure law secures the human rights of the child. In the meantime, another important step is ensuring that all taxpayer funding for abortion providers is immediately stopped.
This is a long war. While most American may oppose abortion in most, or all, cases – the pendulum hasn’t swung all that convincingly to suggest the pro-abortion movement is down and out. As Allahpundit at Hot Air said last winter, “[It] looks like there’s plenty of room to marshal public support for greater restrictions on second- and third-term abortions, but an absolute ban on the practice would be a very heavy lift.” Nevertheless, pro-life organizations, like Live Action, are unfazed – and will continue their struggle to defend the unborn. As with any political battle, let’s see what happens.