I remember that night in 2012, as I’m sure many of you do, when we realized that Barack Obama had been re-elected president of the United States. I was heartbroken, knowing that the day we could protect all unborn children had been pushed off for a number of years. Since then, I’ve been looking forward to 2016, the year we can correct the course of this nation, using our ability as citizens of a great democracy to elect a new leader– one who values and respects human life; one who will work to protect all human life, born and unborn.
2016 is finally here! And we have a lot of hard work ahead of us so that we can celebrate the election of a new president. Our faithful NRL News readers know what is at stake in this election, but you may have family or friends who wonder if elections really matter. I urge you to share this column with them in the hopes that they will be as determined as you and I are to elect a pro-life president.
The president appoints judges to the federal bench
State right-to-life groups have been extremely successful both in passing legislation to protect unborn children and their mothers to the extent possible under current law and pushing into new ground to see what the courts will allow. In recent years, we’ve seen laws enacted that would protect from abortion those unborn children who are capable of feeling pain, prevent the killing of unborn children using the dismemberment abortion method, or limit the ability of abortionists to prescribe a chemical abortion over the internet without ever meeting the pregnant woman in person. Going in the opposite direction, the state of California has begun to impose restrictions on free speech at pregnancy resource centers, requiring that centers tell clients where they can get an abortion and that the state may even pay for it.
Many of these laws are challenged and brought before a judge, often a federal judge. What kind of federal judges will be reviewing these cases? Judges appointed by another Obama-type president, or a pro-life president?
Obama has had the opportunity to appoint two of the nine justices on the Supreme Court, more than 25% of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals and more than 40% of all federal district court judges. Unfortunately, his appointments will have an impact on our laws for many years. If a pro-abortion president is elected this year with the opportunity to appoint more judges, our court system will be totally dominated by judges who do not value the dignity of human life or see the Constitution as protecting innocent human life.
The president signs or vetoes legislation
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a number of pro-life bills, among them the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Unfortunately, pro-abortion Democrats are able to block these bills in the Senate by requiring 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.
A major issue for the pro-life movement has been the federal tax dollars received by Planned Parenthood affiliates. Pro-life leaders in the House and Senate were able to construct a budget reconciliation bill that would block most federal funding to Planned Parenthood. Because of laws and rules governing budget reconciliation bills, this bill required only a simple majority in the Senate, not a filibuster-proof vote of 60. As expected, President Obama, a staunch advocate for Planned Parenthood, vetoed the bill.
This lays out for us the need to keep, and build on, our pro-life majorities in the House and Senate. Our battles are more difficult if we succeed in electing a pro-life president but we don’t have a Senate to pass bills. We also need the extra insurance—if we get a president who doesn’t place a high priority on protecting unborn children, we need pro-life majorities in Congress to stop him/her where possible.
The president affects not just abortion in this country, but around the world
The president of the United States has the most powerful position in the world. The person holding this office has incredible power through administrative appointments and the use of executive authority.
A pro-life president can implement the Mexico City Policy so that International Planned Parenthood and other groups that perform abortions overseas, and lobby to change foreign abortion laws, will no longer receive U.S. tax dollars. A pro-life president can deny funds to the United National Population Fund, which supports China’s population control program, which relies heavily on involuntary abortion. The US ambassador to the UN and the abortion philosophy of those heading up the State Department have a tremendous impact on what happens to unborn children around the world. Will these appointments be made by a pro-life president?
Will the Justice Department continue to view pro-lifers as terrorists? What will HHS do with Obamacare, and enforcement of laws restricting federal funding of abortion and protections for pro-life conscience rights?
I’m just touching the tip of the iceberg as to how important the presidency is and can’t state emphatically enough the importance of this upcoming election. If you want to protect unborn children, do everything you can to elect a pro-life president this November.
LifeNews Note: Carol Tobias is the president of the National Right to Life Committee.