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
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, www.nrlc.org,
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.
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
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
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.