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NRL News
Page 2
April/May 2010
Volume 37
Issue 4-5

Seeing the Future—and the Future is Us!

By Dave Andrusko

Blessed with the attention span of a gnat and habitually driven by the gnawing sense that I always need to do more research, I had just completed the first few keystrokes of this editorial when I felt the need to bounce back to my e-mail for the 10th time in the last 10 minutes. But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, for my detour took me to a lovely column written by pro-life former Senator Rick Santorum.

As some of you know Rick and his wife, Karen, lost a child, Gabriel, a few years ago. Karen subsequently wrote a very powerful little book, Letters to Gabriel. Rick’s most recent column had run that day (May 5) in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and he talked about Isabella Maria, his youngest child.

Two years before, doctors told the Santorums that “Bella’s” condition was “incompatible with life.” She was born with three No. 18 chromosomes, rather than the normal two.

Rick enumerated the grim statistics: “About 90 percent of children with the disorder, known as trisomy 18, die before or during birth, and 90 percent of those who survive die within the first year.”

But Bella was blessed with loving parents. Although, medically, it’s been a real challenge (among other things, “two close brushes with death”), Bella will have celebrated her second birthday by the time you read these remarks.

Rick’s perspective? “All children are a gift that comes with no guarantees,” he explains. “While Bella’s life may not be long, and though she requires our constant care, she is worth every tear.”

The fighting spirit of that little child, her parents’ indomitable will in the face of their child’s inevitable early death, and the insights they gained into “the negative perception of the disabled among many medical professionals” are the common denominators that run through so many stories we’ve written about in this issue of National Right to Life News and in our online blogs, Today’s News & Views and National Right to Life News Today.

There is a richness to the texture of the lives of pro-lifers like the Santorums and like you. You understand that every child—healthy or ill, planned or “accidental”—provides (as Bella has) “a course in character and virtue.”

Pro-lifers keenly understand that life can throw us some serious curves, and thus don’t expect perfection, let alone demand it, in their children or in their everyday lives. There is a side benefit to being on the receiving end of a steady stream of media epithets: we’ve developed a thick skin. Thus, when a pro-abortion militant such as Barack Obama is elected President, we ignore the demands to “go away.” We briefly mourn and then gear up to minimize the damage at the same time we look forward to the day when more members of Congress understand that Obama (and the pro-abortion Democratic congressional leadership) are completely out of step with the American people.

What about our counterparts? Absent the character education that comes from being the media’s whipping boy, pro-abortionists are already wilting.

When the public opinion winds blow in their face; when (as Newsweek, the unofficial chronicler of the Abortion Establishment, laments) the “intensity gap” between pro-life and pro-abortion members of Generation X so favors the defenders of life; when states aggressively take advantage of the opening in ObamaCare that allows them to prohibit the inclusion of abortion in the state “exchanges” created by the bill, the anti-life response is panic and a desperate search for a new “strategy” to try to hoodwink the American people.

Be sure to carefully read this edition of the “Pro-Life Newspaper of Record,” which is rich in local and international news. It is on its face enormously good news, for example, that there has been a 35% decrease worldwide in maternal mortality. Making that wonderful development even better is (as a study published in The Lancet illustrates conclusively) that this had nothing to do with spreading the abortion plague and everything to do with spreading clean water and better medical facilities and increasing the number of skilled personnel. (See pages 4–5.)

There is a lot of information about NRLC’s national convention, the meeting ground for pro-life activists from around the country, who will come to Pittsburgh June 24–26 to drink deeply from the well of outstanding education. (See pages 14, 16–17, and 20.) You need to be there!

And what could be better news than the pro-life surge in the state legislatures? (See pages 1 and 13.) More and more states are adding real substance to laws that require informed consent by requiring that women at least be given the opportunity to look at an ultrasound of their child prior to making an irreversible decision to abort.

Even syndicated columnists, such as Kathleen Parker, who see themselves as straddling the pro-life/pro-choice line, “can’t muster outrage over what can be viewed as both medically pragmatic and morally defensible”—providing women with the opportunity to view an ultrasound before making an irrevocable decision. After all, she asks shrewdly, “Is it unacceptable that a life-preserving decision might result from greater knowledge?”

Which brings us to Nebraska. In years to come, I assure you that historians will look back at the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” as a turning point.

Just as the grim details about partial-birth abortion shocked the public’s conscience, so, too, eventually will the knowledge that abortionists are ripping apart unborn babies capable of experiencing pain. That will firm up even the mushiest of the mushy middle.

Let me conclude with this from the aforementioned Newsweek column. Nancy Keenan is president of NARAL. Writer Sarah Kliff observes, “And what worries Keenan is that she just doesn’t see a passion among the post-Roe generation—at least, not among those on her side. This past January, when Keenan’s train pulled into Washington’s Union Station, a few blocks from the Capitol, she was greeted by a swarm of anti-abortion-rights activists. It was the 37th annual March for Life, organized every year on Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe. ‘I just thought, my gosh, they are so young,’ Keenan recalled. ‘There are so many of them, and they are so young.’”

Keenan saw the future—and the future is us!