FROM THE PRESIDENT

Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

 

2004 IS A PIVOTAL YEAR

I will remain in this position [as NARAL president] through the end of April 2004 so that I can work with our members and allies to lead the March for Freedom of Choice that will bring a historic number of pro-choice Americans to Washington, D.C.

My retirement from NARAL Pro-Choice America does not mean I am withdrawing from pro-choice activism. Quite the contrary: I will now be able to devote myself fully to the most pressing challenge our movement faces today: electing a pro-choice President in 2004. The next four years will almost certainly see at least two Supreme Court vacancies. If George W. Bush is allowed to fill those seats, it could mean the end of reproductive privacy and the end of Roe v. Wade. I intend to do everything I can do to see that does not happen.

NARAL Pro-Choice America's true impact is measured not in dollars raised, elections won or [judicial] nominations defeated, but in the countless women whose lives have been saved and children whose lives have been enriched by our work.

--From Kate Michelman, statement announcing her retirement from the presidency of NARAL

 

Ms. Michelman's retirement message not only lays out NARAL's political program for the year 2004 but also summarizes the pro-abortionists' willful moral confusion and blindness to the facts.

Several years ago, Ms. Michelman could no longer suppress what, deep down, she knows to be the truth. "Abortion is a bad thing," she told an interviewer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her fellow pro-abortionists reacted with outrage to this deviation from the party line. Ms. Michelman recanted and then tried to deny that she had spoken the truth in the first place, but the Philadelphia Inquirer stood by its reporter; there was a tape recording.

"Abortion is a bad thing" because it kills babies--over 44 million since the legalization of abortion in 1973. Have these "children's lives been enriched" by the pro-abortionists' work? "Abortion is a bad thing" because it devastates women--emotionally and spiritually and, all too often, physically.

Ms. Michelman and her fellow pro-abortionists aren't stupid. They should know the numbers of children killed by abortion better than we do. In many instances, they know from personal experience how much and how deeply abortion hurts women. Yet, they deny and obscure what abortion really does. Beyond mere propaganda to convert others to their cause, their claim that abortion is good ("lives of countless women saved," "children's lives enriched") serves as an _expression of a quasi-religious doctrine. It justifies what they are doing.

For 2004, Ms. Michelman and NARAL are on a mission: elect a pro-abortion president and Congress, prevent the appointment of judges who respect the Constitution and the separation of powers, and recapture lost ground in the state legislatures. In this mission they have well-financed allies: the America Votes project with a budget of $85 million, the America Coming Together (ACT) political action committee with a budget of $75 million, and the co-organizers for the March for Freedom of Choice on April 25, 2004, in Washington, D.C., namely, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Feminist Majority, and National Organization for Women.

The organizers of America Votes and America Coming Together come, in part, from NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the pro-abortion PAC EMILY's List. They also have intimate ties to organized labor. Their aim is to mobilize the anti-Bush and pro-abortion voters and intimidate pro-life candidates.

As usual, pro-lifers will have to neutralize the pro-abortionists' advantage in money with their own hard work, good organization, time invested in the pro-life cause, and monetary sacrifices.

It won't be enough for us to know that our cause is just and that, at some point, truth will prevail. We must work hard and sacrifice much now for this to happen.

The pro-abortion camp is in a nearly irrational state of fervor, willing to throw every last resource into the battle. We must match their determination.

Aside from the groups mentioned there will be another set of opponents. I speak of those who, in every election year, dismiss pro-lifers as being "single-issue"-oriented, supposedly in violation of principles of social justice, and therefore unworthy of participation in the political process.

The accusation is explicitly or implicitly based on the "seamless garment" of social justice concept.

The only way to deal with the accusations is to meet them head-on. First let us recall what Cardinal Bernardin, the originator of the concept, said on this point: "Human life is the condition for enjoying freedom and all other values. Consequently, if one must choose between protecting or serving lesser human values that depend upon life for their existence and life itself, human life must take precedence. Today the recognition of human life as a fundamental value is threatened. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of elective abortion," (from a statement titled "Deciding for Life," issued on Respect Life Sunday, October 1, 1989).

Those who treat the right to life as just one of equally important issues covered by the "seamless garment" are guilty of an unacceptable simplification. The right to life constitutes the core fabric of the "seamless garment." Without this core fabric the garment disintegrates. Without life the other rights "endowed by our Creator" cannot be enjoyed. The aborted child has no need of the other "social justice" provisions of the "seamless garment." Because the right to life is the fundamental right, it is entirely proper for us to concentrate our efforts on it. It is odd that the right-to-life movement is again and again accused of being "single-issue"-oriented, while any number of "progressive" organizations may be so without being criticized. It is even odder that being "single-issue" on a fundamental issue is bad, while being single-issue on a lesser one is not. Too often what motivates these accusers is not a desire for true social justice but an overwhelming need to be "progressive."

Don't be intimidated--and work hard for the right-to-life cause.