2013 was not a bad year for pro-life forces though there is still so much to do. Here is a list of things to both keep an eye out for and to be aware of in the coming year:
- March for What?
For over 40 years Washington has hosted the largest annual human rights rally in the world – however even the local newspaper can barely find room to print anything about it in its Metro section. Other papers and news outlets are generally worse. That is fine though. Most print newspapers are going out of print and newscasts are losing viewers largely due to new technology as well as people trusting them less and less to bring them news they actually want to read. Imagine if what happened to Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty had happened 20 years ago before Facebook and the like? Right now Phil and his family would be likely off the air (not that they would have minded though!)
Expect more of the same in 2014. But you know what? I’m too busy checking my Twitter feed to notice.
Check out Media Research Center for more.
- Congressional Avoidance, Or Will It?
In my opinion this is the most pro-life House of Representatives ever . . . at least if you look at their records and statements before getting elected. It used to be that in a divided government it wasn’t only about making laws but also about passing legislation that defined why American voters should elect more of your party than the other guy’s party. Partial Birth Abortion was vetoed by Bill Clinton prior to a pro-life President finally signing into law. However in 2013 Republican Leadership seems more content with the status quo than real positive change. At the very least Congress should be passing the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” and protections for religious liberty. At best they should be protecting parental rights in cases of young girls being coerced into sex and abortion.
- Once Again, Look to the States
Two years ago, partially inspired by failed attempts on the national level, many states moved to defund abortion-giant Planned Parenthood. This past year the focus, largely due to the exposure of abortionist Kermit Gosnell (convicted this past year of killing a woman as well as babies born alive), was on legislation that protected the unborn after twenty weeks as well as abortion facility regulations.
While I expect those two trends will continue into 2014, especially with new stories breaking constantly of more abortionists like Kermit Gosnell (and some states, see below, trying to make it easier for similar butchers to thrive). Lately though there has been a growing number of stories of Planned Parenthood and their ilk failing to report statutory rape or other abortions performed on young girls. In Washington State, one of the leading pro-abortion states in the country, the stories had gotten so bad the legislature even held a hearing on the subject of parental involvement in cases of young girls getting an abortion. Already Missouri has filed a bill for 2014 to protect both parental rights as well as children – here is to more states doing the same. To add fuel to the fire – a new app from Planned Parenthood encourage 12 year olds that “having sex feels good.”
- Supreme Court Steps Up – Or Will It?
At least two abortion-related cases this year will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. One, Eleanor McCullen et al v. Martha Coakley et al is a challenge to a Massachusetts state law that creates a “buffer zone” around abortion facilities to keep pro-life prayers and counsellors away from the facility. The second case to come before the Supreme Court is actually two cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius. According to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (the lawyers for Hobby Lobby) 46 for-profit lawsuits have been filed over the HHS mandate. To date, 33 have secured injunctive relief against the mandate, only six have been denied relief, one dismissed on procedural grounds, and five cases are pending review. On Friday, East Texas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University, Grace Schools in Indiana, Biola University in California and Geneva College in Pennsylvania all received injunctions. Conestoga Wood is being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom.
A loss on either case would be a blow to the pro-life community – especially on the conscience mandate. The John Roberts Supreme Court though, for better though usually for worse, is notorious for very narrow decisions. Regardless this is something definitely to watch as a win on both would be a definite blow to the pro-abortion side, which currently controls the U.S. Senate and the Presidency. Abortion would become a major issue in the 2014 mid-term elections and the too well funded anti-life side would be looking to the states to create some pushback – leading us to . . .
- Abortion strikes back
Without a doubt there were more pro-life victories than not this past year. And Kansas and Texas lead the way passing a number of laws protecting women and the unborn. With basically a stalemate on the national level pro-abortion folks are rumbling they need a victory. Expect them to look to the states to push their radical agenda. Currently 18 state legislatures are under Democratic only control (generally Democrats are more favorable to abortion than Republicans). In 12 of those states the Democrats also control the governorship.
In 2013, in a supposed effort to build more Kermit Gosnell horror stories, California expanded the list of unprofessionals who could actually perform an abortion, deciding this complicated and dangerous procedure doesn’t need to be done by a doctor. They also restricted (possibly unconstitutionally) access for peaceful protestors and prayers around abortion facilities. Washington State has legislation that would force all insurance to cover abortions and New York State has legislation that would ban any attempt to limit abortions, including parental consent or abortion facility regulations. New York City just elected a mayor who vowed to close down all pregnancy care centers simply because they are pro
-life. On the federal level the Democrats introduced the poorly misnamed “Women’s Health Protection Act” which would also turn back the clock to unrestricted abortions paid for by tax dollars. Expect state level versions to be introduced, especially in those 18 states (California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State and West Virginia.)
- The War on Women will continue
Are the Democrats correct there is a war on women? Yes. What they get wrong is that they are the ones actually waging it. As a rhetorical tool the Democrats just cannot help themselves when it comes to tossing the phrase around. to bolster their beleif it has been successful in cowering some in Congress. The misnamed “Violence Against Women Act” was passed with Republican Leadership approval in 2013 because of fear of the label being given to them by the Democrats and the media. The bill itself is mostly a slush fund for activist liberal groups, who in turn campaign to elect those mean Republicans out of office. The phrase was also effective in cowering some in Congress into changing the unborn pain bill into a less than perfect version of itself. In the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial election the fear of the “War on Women” label kept the far better man from winning.
With 2014 midterm elections looming expect more of the same. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has even vowed to do so. The more that pro-life politicians cower from the phrase “War on Women” the more effective bullying tool it becomes. Being pro-life should be synonymous with being pro-women . . . and no amount of rhetoric can change that.