Among many other welcomed results, the willingness of the Supreme Court to hear Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act today has exposed long-simmering divisions in the “pro-choice” movement. Amy Littlefield, “the abortion access correspondent for The Nation,” laid them out in brutal detail in an essay published this morning the New York Times.
Much of “Where the Pro-Choice Movement Went Wrong” is inside baseball. Our focus will be on two of the issues Littlefield raises.
First, she laments that the titans of the pro-abortion movement have placed an undue burden on the judicial system. What the courts –including the Supreme Court—giveth, the courts can taketh away.
With two abortion-related cases before the justices, Littlefield writes that there is a “sense of the movement being forced to reckon with its mistakes.” And “Chief among those mistakes was the relative neglect of grass-roots groups in states where the battle over abortion access has been quietly waged for half a century.”
In a backhanded compliment, she understands that the Pro-Life Movement worked from the bottom up, the exact opposite strategy than our benighted opposition. “By the late 1970s, the leading anti-abortion group at the time, the National Right to Life Committee had a staggering 3,000 local chapters,” Littlefield write. “NARAL, meanwhile, devoted so few resources to its state affiliates that by the 1990s its national field department quit in protest, according to Gloria Totten, NARAL’s political director from 1996 to 2001.”
Despite pouring more resources into organizing, that organization weakness persists to this day.
Get the latest pro-life news and information on Twitter. Follow @LifeNewsHQ
Second, Littlefield laments that pro-abortionists did not challenge laws protecting unborn babies beginning at the 20th week.
In 2013, when Texas passed an anti-abortion law that gained national attention thanks to an 11-hour filibuster by a state senator, Wendy Davis, the Center for Reproductive Rights challenged provisions in the law that related to building standards and hospital admitting privileges, provisions that forced half of the state’s clinics to close. But the organization left untouched the section of the law that banned abortion 20 weeks after fertilization.
That decision did not go unnoticed by National Right to Life. We wrote about it on numerous occasions.
But what choice did they have? If they challenged that provision of the law, they would offer all the usual rationale: Abortions are “rarely” performed after 20 weeks; some women “discovered” they were pregnant very late; and abortions in the baby’s development this late are only performed when the baby would be “born dying.”
The first explanation is “accurate ”only if you accept that 10,000 to 13,000 abortions is “small,” but the latter two are blatant falsehoods as we have documented repeatedly by quoting the abortion “providers” who actually perform these abortions. And, of course, litigation opened the door to a discussion of the ghastly pain unborn children suffer when they are torn apart.
The Center for Reproductive Rights knew all this and understandably took a pass.
Littlefield’s article makes for fascinating reading. Take a few minutes out and read “Where the Pro-Choice Movement Went Wrong.”
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.