LifeNews.com

The 12 Days of Pro-Life Christmas: Marking Victories in 2011

by Charmaine Yoest | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 12/26/11 11:55 AM

Opinion

It’s been a tremendous Year in the Life of Americans United for Life. We celebrated 40 years of service, working to ensure that everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law.

Historic votes took place, and pro-life legislators, armed with AUL’s model legislation, research and support, passed new laws to make their states, and this great nation, a place where all are valued and where fewer tax dollars are wasted in support of the abortion industry.

The pro-life community has much to celebrate as the year draws to a close. In the spirit of the music that marks the season, one song in particular seemed perfect for illustrating how your commitment to Americans United for Life over the last 40 years has helped create an impressive body of work.

The 12 Days of Pro-Life Christmas
One – ONE Historic Investigation of Planned Parenthood. . .
For the first time, the Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Florida), began an investigation of the billion-dollar abortion behemoth. The Committee has asked Planned Parenthood to turn over financial records and materials to provide explanations for the conduct of an organization that is the nation’s largest abortion provider. With the mid-year release of “The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood,” AUL has been front and center in leading the charge to investigate the scandal-ridden organization.

Two – TWO unprecedented votes to Eliminate Planned Parenthood Funding. . .
For the first time in history, the House voted twice to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Three – Americans learned that THREE Hundred and Sixty-Three Million in taxpayer dollars go to Planned Parenthood every year. . .
Change begins with awareness: Americans learned how much money Planned Parenthood is receiving from taxpayer dollars. Polls show that 7 in 10 Americans do not want to support abortion with their hard-earned dollars. The one-third of a billion dollars that Planned Parenthood receives, along with the tax monies going to other abortion providers, has become a high-profile issue.

Four – FOUR Testimonies before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justices. . .
Over our history, AUL has been invited to provide testimony during the confirmation hearings of Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. And as AUL continues to be a resource on Capitol Hill, our pro-life voice in confirmations to the high court will continue to be heard.

Five – FIVE States Restricted Insurance Coverage of Abortion. . .
With help from AUL, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Virginia enacted restrictions on insurance coverage of abortions within state Exchanges created as a result of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Six – SIX Issues of Defending Life. (Number seven waiting in the wings. . .)
AUL’s signature contribution to the legislative landscape, a guidebook of model legislation that is constitutionally sound and ready to be defended has been changing the face of the nation. This year’s issue will include 43 pieces of model legislation on life-related issues.

Seven – An unprecedented level of pro-life activity in the states: SEVEN-TY pro-life bills passed!
In 2011, more than 70 life-related bills were enacted in legislatures across the country. AUL was instrumental in the passage of 28 laws protecting life. Altogether 47 states, seeking to protect women and their unborn children, considered more than 460 bills.

Eight – The EIGHTH Circuit Court called on AUL to detail the psychological risks of abortion to women in abortion. . .
At the cutting-edge of arguments aimed at curtailing unrestricted abortion is a debate over the mental and physical implications of the procedure. One key study, for example, finds that women who undergo abortions are at a more than 80 percent increased risk of subsequent mental health problems attributable to the event, according to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry by Priscilla K. Coleman, Ph.D. This study, along with others, is part of a growing body of work on the physical and mental health ramifications of abortion on women. Because of AUL’s prominence in documenting such findings, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently asked AUL to re-file an amicus brief detailing the risk of suicide following abortion. The request came as part of the Circuit’s extremely rare move to rehear arguments on South Dakota’s law requiring that women be informed of the risk of suicide that can follow abortion (“suicide advisory”).

Nine – NINE AUL attorneys are turning their passion and knowledge into public policy and law. . .
AUL’s nine attorneys work tirelessly to defend life in law. There are also Nine Supreme Court Justices, who are the focus of AUL’s strategy to Reverse Roe. 29 abortion cases have been heard by the High Court since and including Roe. But it will only take one special case to make the difference for life.

Ten – Title X, a federal program well-known as a conduit of taxpayer cash to the abortion industry, coming under increasing scrutiny…
In addition to Title X, Medicaid also constitutes one of the largest sources of federal funding for Planned Parenthood. As the rates of government funding received by Planned Parenthood and the number of abortions it performs increase at nearly parallel rates–AUL has been working with the House and talking with a recalcitrant Senate to get the American taxpayer out of the business of abortion.

Eleven – 2011, a year in which we saw historic first votes on life-related legislation in the Congress. . .
The successful reinstatement of the Dornan Amendment, protecting life in the District of Columbia, was an important pro-life victory in 2011. Budget battles occupied a lot of federal legislative time, as office holders considered how much money should go to the well-funded abortion industry. The House voted twice to end federal funding of the nation’s largest abortion provider. The Protect Life Act and the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act were among the key votes that AUL scored this year.

Twelve – 2012, a year in which AUL and AULA will be in the center of the action with its Life Counts 2012 plans for pro-life victory. . .
Strategic plans for innovative messaging are underway that will remind people of the timeless truth that all of us are created equal and worthy of the right to life.

Thank you for partnering with us! You make our work defending life in law possible — We have so much to celebrate this year. And we could not have done any of this without you! Merry Christmas!

LifeNews.com Note: Charmaine Yoest is the president of Americans United for Life.