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
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
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
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
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
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
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!