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NRL News
Page 2
January 2010
Volume 37
Issue 1

Pro-Abortion President Barack Obama and Pro-Lifers One Year Later

By Dave Andrusko

A year ago I wrote, “Our job is to defeat proposals where we can, minimize the damage where we cannot, and to raise high the banner that signals that we are growing stronger as we rebound from a tough 2008 election cycle.” I added, “It can be done. With your invaluable help, it will be done.”

From the bottom of my heart let me thank each and every one of you for taking up that banner. You have waved it high, signaling with unmistakably clarity that you have only begun to fight.

To me your unstinting resistance to the most pro-abortion President ever was utterly predictable. Thanks in no small measure to an outpouring of information from National Right to Life you had taken the measure of Barack Obama long before he became one of the least-experienced men ever to assume the highest office in the land.

You knew from alerts and e-mail postings and blogs written by the experienced and savvy staff at NRLC that Obama sang from the same anti-life hymnal PPFA and NARAL have memorized. And courtesy of the information provided by National Right to Life News and NRLC’s web site,, you anticipated that Obama would add pro-abortion stanzas of his own when he wasn’t composing new siren songs of his own.

But while your calm, unwavering determination to thwart Obama’s radical abortion agenda at every turn possible is no surprise to me and the other staff of NRLC, it must be a source of amazement to outsiders. (As out-to-lunch as pro-abortionists are, they still knew there is no quit in our Movement.)

I’m sure the average citizen read many of the editorials and listened to many of the same redundant television anchors, all of whom advised us (as they and their ilk have at every pro-life setback since January 22, 1973) to mind our manners and “go away.” The casual voter probably half suspected that the weeds of defeat—Obama’s election and the arrival of new members in both houses of Congress open to abortion-ridden health care “reform”—would finally choke out the vitality of our faith that the cause of life would prevail.

Not a chance. We knew that the American people would wake up, roused by an Administration that is as far out of the mainstream on abortion as it is on so many other issues. As I write these remarks, the Obama ship of state is taking on serious water.

CBS News reported January 11 that Obama’s approval rating was at 46%, a new low. Only 40% of Americans approved of Obama’s handling of the economy, according to Gallup. How about his performance on healthcare reform? Only 37% approved, Gallup reported.

Asked whether Obama’s first year in office had been a success or a failure, CNN and Quinnipiac University found that voters were evenly divided at 45% each. Clearly, there is tremendous tension between the hopes that people invested in Obama and what their eyes and ears are telling them is the reality.

Obama’s extremist actions are chiseling away at the foundations of the myth of the above-the-fray, ideology-free moderate. On our issues, he is a dyed-in-the-wool, steely-eyed pro-abortionist. Not to be cruel, but the electorate is trading in the campfire story version of who Obama is, which so many people subscribed to for so long.

This hewing to the hardest of hard line pro-abortion orthodoxy is perhaps clearest in the health care restructuring proposal that Obama and the pro-abortion Democratic leadership were fashioning in secret as we went to press. To use a computer metaphor, from our perspective it is not a mere bug in the program (the Senate version), but craftily designed malware.

As explained by NRL Legislative Director Douglas Johnson, the “enactment of the abortion provisions in the Senate-passed health bill would result in substantial expansions of abortion, driven by federal administrative decrees and federal subsidies.” And then there are NRLC’s concerns over the rationing components. (See page one.)

No one knows how quick or how protracted the fight will be over health care restructuring. As explained in great detail in stories starting on page one and the back cover (to name just three examples), thanks to you, a proposal Obama and the congressional leadership wanted passed in August is running into tremendous headwinds. And, of course, we must never forget that Obama has many other pro-abortion arrows in his quiver which he will aim at the most vulnerable.

Please take advantage of all the information in this special commemorative edition which is enormously helpful in its own right and which points you to the many, many resources National Right to Life provides. Begin by reading the interview on page six that I conducted with Jacki Ragan, who heads our state organizational development department.

Carefully peruse page 10 which in capsule form outlines many of the most important tools pro-lifers use to “grow the grassroots.” Be sure to circulate the Petition found on pages 14–15, a marvelous way of growing your local chapters. And by thoughtfully using the extraordinary potential of Facebook (see page 8), you can reach out to find almost unimaginably large numbers of new recruits.

A last thought. The same day I wrote this editorial, I wrote my daily blog (Today’s News & Views) on an almost complete turnabout in California. Five years ago the state bought into the myth of embryonic stem cells as a medicinal magic wand and ponied up $3 billion through the sale of state bonds to conduct research. But that was then, and this is now. Referring to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Karen Kaplan of the Los Angeles Times wrote,

Now the institute has a more immediate goal, boosting therapies that are much further along in development and more often rely on less glamorous adult stem cells. It is concentrating its vast financial resources on projects that could cure conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, AIDS, sickle cell disease and various types of cancer.”

My point is a simple one: the truth eventually catches up—much too slowly, of course—and the pro-life answer is inevitably shown to be superior.

Hang tough. In the near-term work to beat back a pro-abortion, pro-rationing health care “reform” measure. In the medium term, build your chapters by educating your family, friends, neighbors, and fellow congregants.

If we do that, in the long term, you—the backbone of National Right to Life, aptly described by Henry Hyde as “the flagship of the Pro-Life Movement”—will carry the day for the littlest Americans.