By Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life
Human life begins at conception.
When we say this in public, the pro-abortion pseudo-elites look down their noses, claiming that conception is a process (which we know they want to last long enough to allow for abortifacients and in vitro fertilization). It was a marvelous gift a few weeks ago when scientific outlets released pictures of the actual moment of conception signaled by a flash of light – so we shared it with you on the cover of our Fall 2016 issue of MCFL News.
Some pretty disheartening things have happened recently but they, too, will fall. David Daleiden, whose Center for Medical Progress videos exposed Planned Parenthood as the body snatchers they are, was indicted on ridiculous charges. Those charges have been dropped in Texas. The Supreme Court overturned a perfectly sensible safety law in Texas. Planned Parenthood plans to use that decision to challenge any laws regulating abortion facilities. We are going to continue working for our Women’s Safety Act here in Massachusetts however, because the Court based its decision on “accessibility” in Texas. No woman in Massachusetts is more than an hour from a licensed facility, so accessibility does not apply here.
The right to lifers in Vermont are suing over their doctor-prescribed suicide law because the regulations put out by the state to implement the law actually force doctors to participate. Lower courts have turned down new laws to protect babies from abortion based on sex, race, or disabilities. That is typical of what has happened with new laws which went on to be upheld, like the Partial Birth Abortion Ban.
At a recent planning session, the MCFL Board was looking at the organization long term. I was stuck by a consistent characteristic. The day after Roe v Wade was announced, Mass Citizens incorporated, getting the pro-life movement right out in front in Massachusetts! In 1972, the pro-abs had put petitions on ballots in liberal districts across the state. Local pro-lifers mobilized to fight the ballot questions. Those people were in place, experienced, and ready to go on Jan. 22, 1973. That is the way Mass. Citizens has continued for 43 years – doing what needs to be done – which makes us prepared and capable for the next battle, whatever it may be. When we had a chance in 2010 to elect a US Senator who would vote pro-life, we were able to make 440,000 phone calls and distribute 180,000 pieces of literature. Now that doctor-prescribed suicide presents such a threat, we are the ones who are able to produce thousands of phone calls to committee members from their own constituents.
I mention these things because it seems to me that 2016 has turned into a very unsettling year. I think people are questioning whether their efforts make any difference. I want you to know the difference your efforts make.
Since the high point in the early 1990’s, the number of abortions in Massachusetts has dropped by more than 50% from 44,000 to 19,000. The educational efforts of Mass Citizens (speaking to 10,000 students a year), the MCFL Magazine, other media, Conventions, and a wide variety of events, have certainly contributed.
Michael New analyzes the results of the recently published Marist Poll which “… clearly show that the abortion plank in the Democratic party’s platform – opposing all pro-life laws and supporting Medicaid funding of abortion – is clearly out of step not only with the American public, but also with a large number of self-identified Democrats.”
New’s analysis continues, “53 percent of Americans think that abortion should either be illegal or legal only in the cases of rape, incest, or to save life of the mother; 52 percent of young adults (18-34) and 53 percent of women share this view; 58 percent of African Americans and 59 percent of Hispanics also think abortion should be either illegal or legal only in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother.
Prof. New observes, “many incremental pro-life laws enjoy a great deal of support: 62 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion; well over 70 percent support stronger regulations for abortion clinics – including requirements that abortion doctors have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals: 56 percent of respondents support the conscience rights of health-care professionals who do not wish to participate in abortions. Perhaps most interestingly, the Marist poll indicates that a substantial number of Democrats espouse pro-life views: 26 percent of Democrats identify as pro-life; 36 percent think abortion should either be illegal or only legal in cases of rape, incest, and [to save the] life of the mother; 46 percent oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. Clear majorities of Democrats support both stronger regulation of abortion facilities and the conscience rights of health-care professionals.”
You will find an article in the Fall issue comparing the platforms of the two major parties. The Democratic opposition to the Hyde Amendment is shocking. By not funding abortion through Medicaid, the Hyde Amendment has saved the lives of approximately 2 million babies. Now they want your tax dollars and mine to pay to kill future babies! This election cycle has been disquieting. Putting things in perspective, it boils down to the “Supreme Court, stupid”, as they say. Wanda Franz, former President of National Right to Life Committee, explains that the election of Hillary Clinton would destroy the pro-life movement. She would appoint young, rabid justices, thus ensuring that any pro-life laws would be struck down for generations. That would wipe out most of the laws in the country which have been saving so many lives. Then, of course, she would go after any groups like Mass. Citizens with whom she disagrees (remember the records in the White House) and so on.
I just finished a book-length essay by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. He divides judges into three categories: those who go by the text of the legislation (“textualists” as he considered himself ), those who go by what they think the legislators meant when they wrote the law, and those who rule on what they themselves think the law should be. Of course, only the first makes any sense and would result in “pro-life” rulings. Roe v. Wade is a classic example of the third as all of the rulings of a Hillary Court would also be.
This column first appeared in the Fall 2016 print edition of MCFL News.