Pro-Life Movement Faces Major Abortion Challenges in 2009 With Barack Obama

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 5, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Movement Faces Major Abortion Challenges in 2009 With Barack Obama

by Maria Vitale Editorial Columnist
November 5
, 2008 Note: Maria Vitale is an editorial opinion columnist for She is the Public Relations Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.

Will 2009 be the next 1973?

I have no recollection of that fateful day in 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court, through a tragic judicial fiat, established abortion on demand as the law of the land. Growing up in the post-Roe era, I can only imagine the dread felt by those valiant defenders of human life when the High Court officially denied legal protection to unborn children.

That one court decision brought about the deaths of some 50 million unborn children. It gave rise to a generation of women who had to live with the unthinkable grief and emotional pain of losing a child to death—a death which could have been prevented. It placed men, who are natural defenders of life, in the position of cooperating in the killing of their own offspring.

With the election of Barack Obama, we face a reprise of 1973. That’s because the President-elect has said that his first order of business as Commander-in-Chief would be the Freedom of Choice Act, legislation that goes beyond Roe in its radicalism.

The Freedom of Choice Act is designed to wipe out virtually all protective laws with respect to abortion.

In my home state of Pennsylvania, that could mean the nullification of the landmark Abortion Control Act, which provides for parental consent, informed consent, and a 24-hour waiting period for abortion. When the Abortion Control Act went into effect in Pennsylvania, the abortion rate dropped dramatically. Therefore, it stands to reason that, if the Freedom of Choice Act is enacted, abortion totals would rise in Pennsylvania and across the U.S.

Under the Freedom of Choice Act, taxpayer-funded abortions could have free rein. Research has shown that, when taxpayers are footing the bill, abortion levels rise. Equally disturbing, the legislation could make the heinous practice of partial-birth abortion legal again—a practice that is opposed by 70 percent of the American people, according to public opinion polls.

When the Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortion, Senator Obama stated, “I am extremely concerned that (Gonzales v. Carhart) will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman’s right to choose, and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade.”

Even if President-elect Obama does not get his way with the Freedom of Choice Act, he appears determined to appoint Supreme Court Justices who would consider Roe sacrosanct. The danger is that Roe could survive for generations to come, even as more generations of children are killed by abortion.

As pro-life activists, our work will become more vital than ever during an Obama Administration. We will have to strive doubly hard to prevent the erosion of the legislative and cultural gains made over the past 35 years. The unexpected fruit of the Obama years could be a pro-life movement that is stronger and more determined than ever to right the wrongs of pro-abortion policy.

True hope comes from a dedication to life in all its stages, a willingness to care for those who are unable to care for themselves. Let’s make a pledge that, no matter the threats to human life that emerge next year, we will do everything possible to make our nation’s 2009 better than its 1973.

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