Category Archives: pro-choice

Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood: Best Friends Forever or Coincidental Business Associates?

I heard the advertising for the “3 day” again today.  So, we are repeating a article that was posted about 4 years ago.  Remember there are pro-life alternatives to Susan G. Komen.  They are down at the bottom of this post.

 

Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood:  Best Friends Forever or Coincidental Business Associates?  by Hannah Carter, Director of Education

Like many families, my grandmother and great-grandmother both had breast cancer. The issue of wanting to fight what harms your family or friends is noble. So when I tell people that I do not support Susan G. Komen an organization that exists to “fight breast cancer”, I normally get the look of one: why would you abandon your family or two: oh there goes one of those extremists.

However, my reasons are not that extreme, but rather principled. I’m sure many of you reading this article have also been confronted with the issue of if I ‘m pro-life then how can I support an organization that supports the nation’s leading abortion provider. Hopefully, the following principles can shed some light on how to respond sympathetically, yet firm with why you cannot wear pink, or join the race, or all the various ways that Susan G. Komen is supported.

Principle # 1 Don’t give to organizations that promote the shedding of innocent blood.

If this were a list of commandments, we could start with Thou Shall Not Kill. However, Proverbs 6:17 states that one of the seven things God hates are hands that shed innocent blood.

Unfortunately, Susan G. Komen has given over $3 million dollars to Planned Parenthood which is the nation’s leading abortion provider. While Susan G. Komen makes claims that these grants go for breast exams, once the funds go to Planned Parenthood they are fungible. For example, you can throw two twenty dollar bills into a purse one from a friend and one from your own account, but when you go to pay the light bill you use both.

The same is true with Planned Parenthood’s money it receives from Komen. Whenever someone applies for a grant they can say that while this $5,000 is going to breast cancer research, 20 percent of that money is going to pay for administrative costs like keeping the lights on and paying rent. So in essence, the money that people are raising to fight breast cancer is also going to keep the lights on at Planned Parenthood.

Principle # 2 Know and Recognize the Risk Factors for the Disease You are Trying to Prevent.

There are certain risks that can increase an individual’s chance of getting breast cancer. While Susan G. Komen says that they believe in knowing your risk factors, they have repeatedly denied the link between breast cancer and one of the greatest avoidable risk factors, abortion.

According to Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, “29 out of 38 worldwide epidemiological studies show an increased risk of breast cancer of approximately 30% among women who have had an abortion.”

When a woman has an abortion she interrupts the natural process of estrogen production and breast development. When a woman first becomes pregnant her body produces a Type 1 carcinogen, cancer causing agent, estrogen in order to nourish and provide for the baby. If the mother has her child, her body stops producing as much estrogen and her breasts mature. However, if that process is interrupted, the estrogen production continues and her breasts stay in an immature state, making them more susceptible to breast cancer.

Groups like Susan G. Komen acknowledge that the level of exposure to estrogen throughout a woman’s lifetime is one of the greatest predictors for breast cancer. Sadly, they do not acknowledge that the increased exposure to estrogen after an abortion could increase risks of breast cancer as well. For an organization whose primary goal is “to have a world without breast cancer”, you would think they would try to let women know of all the risk factors for breast cancer, especially those that are preventable like abortion.

Recently, in an article,  Jill Stanek, pro-life author and blogger, asked a very thought-provoking question, “Is it really “morally permissible” to cause breast cancer in one room if screening for it in the next?”

Stanek also noted in her article that recently the ties between Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen are running deeper and deeper. See an excerpt below from Stanek’s article:

Three days ago a diligent pro-lifer in Washington state discovered on Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest’s IRS 990 forms that it has held a 12.5 percent share in Metro Centre, a mall in Peoria, Ill., since 2006. PPGNW is Washington’s largest abortion provider. (It is also currently under investigation for Medicaid fraud.) Metro Centre is owned by Eric Brinker. Eric Brinker is the son of Nancy Goodman Brinker, the founder of SGK. Eric also sits on SGK’s board. Eric was a stand-up guy and responded to most of my initial questions. He explained in an e-mail, “This share represents a minority, non-operating interest in the business which they inherited from one of the original shareholders, a resident of Peoria. I, Eric Brinker, have controlling interest in Metro Centre.” But when I pursued follow-up questions, Eric wrote he was no longer available. So there is much still unanswered. Why didn’t PPGNW cash in its inheritance? Why didn’t Eric buy? If the share was willed, it was worth something. The real-estate market was thriving in 2006. It appears both partners are OK with this now four-year-old business partnership.

In essence, Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen’s nephew own a mall together.

The bottom line is that Susan G. Komen is not accomplishing its mission every time it gives to Planned Parenthood.

Every time a woman has an abortion and part of the money to fund that center staying open came from Komen, they are putting women at a greater risk for breast cancer.

Every organization no matter how noble the cause they claim to represent needs to be held accountable.

The question is will you?

 

To continue your search for the ties between Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood, please visit:

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Awards 72 Grants to Planned Parenthood

http://www.bdfund.org/breastcancer.asp

Komen Giving to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz Down as Donations Drop

http://lifenews.com/nat6297.html

Planned Parenthood Deepens Link to Breast Cancer Group

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=134729

Susan G. Komen’s List of Grants to Planned Parenthood

http://ww5.komen.org/ResearchGrants/CommunitybasedGrants.html

Studies about the Link between Abortion and Breast Cancer

http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/index/

Report: Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood: A Visible Link http://www.lifeissues.org/AbortionBreastcancer/komen/fact_sheet.pdf

If you would like to give to organizations that are pro-life and do breast cancer research go to:

http://www.polycarp.org

http://www.bcpinstitute.org

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Yes On 26 Celebrates Victory at Mississippi Supreme Court

Our State’s High Court Allows Personhood to Remain on the November 8 Ballot

Contact: Greg Sanders, 662-523-6722

TUPELO, Miss., Sept. 8, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ — The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled today that Measure No. 26, the Personhood Amendment, did not violate the state constitutional rules governing citizen initiatives, and so the citizens of Mississippi will have the chance to vote on it in November. The Court thus rejected a challenge by the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights to keep the Personhood Amendment off the ballot, claiming that it was an improper attempt to modify the Bill of Rights.

For over two years, scores of men and women, sons and daughters across our fair state patiently and prayerfully labored to successfully bring forth the Mississippi Personhood Amendment, Measure No. 26, to its rightful place on the November 8, 2011, general election ballot. With over 106,000 certified signatures, the first hurdle to secure a constitutionally defensible means of protecting the unborn from the earliest stages of life was achieved.

Recognizing the grave threat a favorable Mississippi vote in November posed to the interstate abortion trade, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood imposed a second hurdle, by filing suit to strip this initiative off the ballot, and as a result, deny Mississippians their right to declare on November 8 that in Mississippi, under God, the unborn are persons, possessed of those “unalienable rights” to life as our Founders opined in the Declaration of Independence.

Thankfully, the Hinds County Circuit Court and now our Supreme Court rejected the arguments of these bastions of liberal, anti-Christian activism and affirmed the right of Mississippians to cast a vote for life — to say “yes” on 26 on Election Day. We applaud the Court’s common sense and correct ruling.

“With the first two hurdles overcome, only the third hurdle of Election Day remains for us to claim victory in our state’s personhood movement. We need Mississippi’s prolife public officials, pastors, and patriots to stand up and be counted in the days ahead as we seek to become the first state in the nation to grant civil rights to the unborn,” said Brad Prewitt, Executive Director of Yes on 26.

“There have been nationwide attempts to silence the personhood message, so we are very pleased that a high court has ruled against the ACLU and Planned Parenthood yet again. The nation is watching Amendment 26, and it is time now to move forward and pass this crucial prolife amendment to defend human life,” said Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA.

“Today we rejoice and celebrate this hard-won victory, but tomorrow we roll up our sleeves and return to work. Our opponents are discouraged, but not yet ultimately defeated. They will be back, spreading fear, confusion, and dire ‘sky-is-falling’ warnings about this simple Amendment, and we must be ready to rebut their baseless charges and set the record straight,” said Stephen Crampton, Liberty Counsel’s lead attorney for Personhood Mississippi in the case.

When passed, the Mississippi Personhood Amendment will recognize what science and medicine have long established — namely that every human being is fully human and fully alive from the moment of fertilization — and will grant the unborn the full and equal protection of the law as the rest of us possess. In the days ahead, we pray that our work to protect the unborn might be successful and that our State of Mississippi might take that first step nationwide to stop abortion and to choose life over death.

www.yeson26.net

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Two Days (and a Night) at a Your Local Pregnancy Center

What follows is a rather typical experience in the life of a peer counselor, or patient care advocate, at a local pregnancy center.  Lovingly penned to share a particular encounter, it reflects the impact that your local center has in your own community…

 

You never know when someone will touch your heart and how God will guide your hand…

It was a regular Tuesday afternoon.  I had just come in for my four hours as a Patient Care Advocate, or PCA, at my local pregnancy center.  A young lady was waiting in the reception area.  I asked her if she had signed in and then told her someone would be with her in a moment. I privately did not think it would be me since I had just arrived and hadn’t gotten up to speed as of yet. But as God would have it, everyone else was busy  so I came out and introduced myself to Ashley (not her real name) and took her back to a counseling room.

During the initial paperwork I found out that Ashley was 19 years old and in a serious tw0-year relationship with the potential father of the baby.  He knew that she might be pregnant and was happy about it.  Ashley was a full-time college student and stated that she didn’t feel as if she had any major financial or emotional stresses except that her divorced parents might be disappointed and angry with her.  However, when asked about her  intentions should she be pregnant, she stated that either she would parent or have an abortion and that she was 50/50 about the decision at that time.

Adoption was definitively not an option. Ashley asked me if we performed abortions.  I told her that we neither performed or referred for abortion, but that I could give her abortion education. She said no.  The pregnancy test was positive and it was estimated that Ashley was seven weeks into her pregnancy.  She insisted that this could not be right, that she could not be that far along. The medical staff  offered her an ultrasound to help clarify the issue.  The medical director could not see her that day so we scheduled her for the next day at 1:30pm.  She left with the brochure “Before You Decide” and my assurances that we were there for her, whatever she decided.

I worried through the rest of the afternoon that Ashley would not come back the next day and that she might indeed schedule an abortion.  The nagging concern continued into the evening and I went to bed saying a prayer for Ashley and her baby before I fell asleep.  That night I had a very real dream of meeting Ashley the next day and of holding her hand and talking with her during the ultrasound. Ashley was smiling in the dream. I felt calm and comforted during the dream and awakened from it that way but with the clear command that I did indeed need to come in that day, even though it was not my regularly scheduled time.

I often have vivid dreams that are very real but never have I had such a clear feeling that I must do something specific upon awakening.  I admit that my own selfishness, and perhaps the Devil, kept me thinking throughout the morning that maybe I didn’t really need to go.  After all, I had lots to do and all of the counselors were wonderful and dedicated and maybe even Ashley would be better off talking with one of them. As the time neared for Ashley’s appointment, I even called the receptionist to see if she had shown up.

Finally, I got in the car and drove to the center.  Everyone was happy but surprised to see me. I told them why I was there. They, too, were amazed at the dream.  I was thrilled when Ashley showed up.  I told her how happy I was that she was there and asked if I might accompany her during the ultrasound and she said yes. She seemed much happier that day.  Our wonderful medical director worked her magic and there was Ashley’s baby on the screen – so very tiny and yet so very alive with a strong beating heart. The medical director explained that Ashley was more like 6 weeks into her pregnancy and pointed out the yolk sac and the tiny baby and how the image on the ultrasound at this point in the pregnancy resembled a diamond ring with the sac being the band and the baby  the diamond on the band – what a beautiful analogy!

Ashley smiled and asked good questions throughout the procedure and looked happily at the photos that the medical director so wisely placed in a card with the caption “An Image of Life’ on it.  It was then that I noticed and commented on the beautiful engagement ring Ashley wore on her left ring finger.  Ashley and I went back to the counseling room and I asked her how she felt. She said she was still undecided but that she was looking forward to showing baby’s father the photos.  I commented that she now had a beautiful diamond ring on her finger and a beautiful living  ring inside her.  She smiled at the analogy and laughed and looked at the photos again. I asked her how she felt about the baby and she said she still was undecided as to what she was going to do.

Then, I told her that I had dreamed about her the night before. She laughed a little and said, “Now, you’re scaring me!” I told her how it was a happy and comforting dream and that she had truly touched my heart.  I was so very happy to be there with her, grateful that she had talked with me and allowed me to be with her during the ultrasound. Beyond that I didn’t know what to say – my intellect said “use your training and say more” but my heart said “just leave it at that, your being here is what was asked.”  When I hugged Ashley goodbye, I told her I loved her and that I hoped to hear from her.  And then I cried a little as I am now telling this story.     As of this writing I do not know what Ashley’s decision is but I thank the Lord who gave me the dream I had and the opportunity to fulfill it.  I pray that my dream for Ashley and her baby come true.

Let Georgia Right to Life help YOU get plugged in to local prolife activities through your local Georgia Right to Life Chapter.  YOU can make a difference!   Contact Suzanne Ward, Public Relations, at suzanneward@grtl.org.

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A Chance to Live

Day 0, conception Day 20, a heartbeat.  Day 43, electrical brainwaves sensed.  Week 9, baby has unique fingerprints.  Week 12, all body systems functioning.  These are some of the earliest signs of life for a human being, new life that begins the moment the first single cell is formed on day 0.  The Alan Guttmacher Institute states that 1 baby is aborted every 25 seconds.  By the time I finish this message, more than 16 of these new lives will have been eradicated.  The cruel reality of abortion today.  How can we let this go on?  Why are so many innocent lives so thoughtlessly discarded by the very people who caused their existence?

When I first heard of the concept of abortion, I was utterly flabbergasted.  What kind of woman would willingly give up the greatest privilege, the highest honour that only half of mankind has been blessed with – the honour of bringing life into the world?  What sort of man would turn down an offer to have tenderness, purity, and innocence born once again in this now troubled, taxing world?  And what possibility of a bright future would a society that supported this absurd decision expect to have, when the very building blocks that will one day produce great nations are being denied the right to see the light of day?  As I sat in my bedroom, pondering this tragedy that scars our daily lives, I found truly deplorable answers.

Whereas pregnancy was once exalted an a commendable contribution to society, it is regarded today as in the words of Armstrong Williams, a ‘burden on our individuality and lifestyle.’  Modern feminism has indeed devalued motherhood, as is made evident by the women who cry out for liberation from this slavery, from the swelling in their stomachs, that weighs them down like shackles.  And we, as a society, undeniably foster this notion, planting the bitter seeds in every mind that a woman with child is far less likely to succeed in the workplace, and in life.  Well, after spending seventeen years with the woman who brought me into this world and enriched my life with love and moral values, who single-handedly worked with determination to fulfill my every need and more, after so many fortifying and enlightening years with the woman I call ‘my ma’, I can confidently debunk this myth.  A mother can indeed be self-sufficient and successful in today’s world.

I understand that bringing up a child is no easy task, not for married couples, and certainly not for single mothers – which I might add, has become a popular trend of modern civilization, arising from our casual ‘modern’ attitudes to sex and the quick, guaranteed, publically accepted Plan B-  ABORTION.  My mom tackled the same challenges that so many lone mums face.  She did not have a trust fund to fall back on;  she did not have a partner to cut her some slack when shee was exhausted or ill….Yet not once did she wish to be free of me to be able to go back and undo my birth which would have spared her the toil, “THE IRKSOME RESPONSIBILITY”.  For her, I was the purpose, the motivation, the reward.  And I stand here today, proud and in awe of her for the individual that she has raised, and grateful that she believed that I was worth the sacrifice.  Because of her I believe that giving every child his/her right to LIFE is worth the sacrifice and it is definitely NOT ours to decide whether to extinguish or exterminate this right.

Unfortunately, deciding whether to carry the child to term is often further complicated, as 2008 statistics show.  Out of the 98% of abortions conducted in this country due to ‘personal choice’, 32% were done because the mother was too young or unprepared for the responsibility, and 30% due to the economic reasons.  Can you envision the countless lives, the valuable futures that would have been saved, had these women considered adoption?  I truly cannot imagine having to leave my baby in the hands of a stranger, however, entrusting him to a family than can care and provide for him as I cannot is a sacrifice that a mother’s selfless love makes possible.  But the rest of us should be ashamed for turning a blind eye on the 40 trillion dollars spent annually on abortion, ashamed of even being the self-righteous parent or ‘friend’ who pressured a woman into extinguishing that flame of life within her, ashamed of trivialising the nature of sex to begin with.  Wouldn’t you agree that it is our duty as human beings to instead, face the consequences and support those struggling parents, or at least take in these poor children if we are in a better position to do so, than to callously discard them, as mere products of carelessness?

Ultimately, it comes down to you and the value you place on life.  I stand before you to remind you of the incredible power you yield in determining the future of our world – it is up to you.  Is it even possible to forget, laws and politics, egos and ambition, the dreamy TV romances we seek in our own lives….Well, I am asking you, whatever your race or religion may be, to forget the rest of the world, just for a moment and strip it down to just you and the unborn child.  Could you really exploit such innocence, such helplessness and feel no piercing of your heart?  Could you end a life that might not have been created in the most desirable circumstances, but nevertheless is an extension of your own life – could you really do this and bear to look at yourself in the mirror?

We touch other people’s lives simply by existing – J. K. Rowling.  Let us make a conscious decision today to be life-giving and just in our daily existences, essentially, to be HUMANE, and let us honour every new life with the opportunity to do the same.

Amanda Figeredo
Dunwoody, GA

First Place Winner – 2011 Georgia Right to Life Oratory Contest
2011 National Right to Life Finalist

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PERSONHOOD GAINS MOMENTUM

It seems that Personhood is repeatedly in the news – and rightfully so.  Support is swelling right here in Georgia and across the nation for the personhood initiatives that seek to protect all human life from conception forward as a matter of constitutional law.  It would restore respect and effective legal protection for all human beings, including the unborn.  The idea is simple and bold and ultimately, may provide a direct challenge to the central holding of Roe v Wade, the landmark decision that made abortion legal in the United States.

In our time of science and technology, we know that life begins at conception.  It would seem that confusion still exists.  Modern medicine is not confused, however.  The unborn child is their patient in genetic problems, vitamin deficiencies, spina bifida and more.  Consider the case of Samuel, a Georgia boy, operated on at 7 months of pregnancy.  The surgery helped repair a major spinal defect and a healthy, active baby boy was the result. I have seen him captivate a room full of people with his bright, smiling face and of course, his favorite truck! Who is the patient, but a tiny unborn human being?  These days we protect turtles, wolves, eagles, and whales, and yet we “do away” with babies at the rate of over 400,000 per year.

Legalized abortion has been a part of the American cultural scene since 1973.  In the Roe v. Wade decision, Justice Harry Blackmun said that, “(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the 14th Amendment.”  If an unborn child is a person, then their right to life trumps their mother’s right to choose their death.  With the states passing of the Personhood Amendment the litigation would eventually be taken up by the Supreme Court. Whether the Supreme Court acts – or how – is an open debate.  Previous challenges and pro-life strategies have been viewed in the courts as an attempt to take away from the rights of the mother.  The recognition of unborn children as persons does not take away from the mother but recognizes unborn children with all legal rights and protection due them under the 14th amendment.

We cannot continue to diminish the value of any one category of human life – the unborn – without diminishing the value of all human life.  The personhood of the unborn child is the single point on which the entire debate turns.  This is not the first time America has been divided by a Supreme Court decision that denied the value of human lives.  The Dred Scott decision of 1857 was not overturned in a year, or even a decade.  The good news was that the minority persisted in their vision and finally prevailed.  It will take time to educate, clearly frame and present the issue at hand.   Change is possible,  however… and it begins with you and with me.

Let Georgia Right to Life help you educate your local chapter, your church or the citizens of your community on the value of Personhood.  Contact Suzanne Ward, Director of Public Relations & Education, at suzanneward@grtl.org.

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Georgia Leading the Fight for Personhood

 

THOMASVILLE — Georgia is a good place to live — especially for fetuses.

A recent poll suggested that 57 percent of likely Georgia voters want Roe v. Wade overturned. Roe v. Wade is the controversial 1973 Supreme Court ruling that established that most laws against abortion violated a constitutional right to privacy under the liberty clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, thus overturning all state and federal laws outlawing or restricting abortion that were inconsistent with the decision.

There have been more than 52 million legal abortions in the United States since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land.

read more here…http://timesenterprise.com/x947032027/A-place-to-live

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Encouraging news on the prolife front…

The New Pro-Life Surge
Political gains by U.S. conservatives unleash waves of
anti-abortion legislation.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra | posted
6/10/2011 09:24AM

The summer before Katey Tryon’s senior year of high school, she
got pregnant. Recently split from her boyfriend, she was sad and vulnerable when
she hooked up with her older brother’s friend. They had sex once. Six weeks
later, she was tired and her period was late.

“It was terrifying,” Tryon said. “I’m from a small town in Oregon.
My parents are pillars in the community. I was born and raised here, fourth
generation. So my sin was very apparent.” Tryon’s parents, both believers,
rallied around her. Abortion was out of the question. Two days before high
school graduation, Tryon gave birth to a girl and gave her up for adoption.

Tryon enrolled in a Christian college in Portland, determined to
turn her life around, but still felt vulnerable. “I started dating a guy who
embraced me for what I had just gone through, who understood that I didn’t want
to have sex until I got married,” she said.

But they started sleeping together, and one night the condom
didn’t work. Over spring break, at an intercollegiate softball tournament, Tryon
found out she was pregnant again. Her daughter was nine months old. “My world
came crashing down tenfold from the first time,” she said.

Abortion was never a serious option, she said, although “trust me,
it went through my mind. I recognize why other women go there. You want to get
away from your situation. We want to cover up our mistakes and have them all go
away.”

Tryon found support at a local pregnancy center, which sparked in
her a fresh sense of purpose. She gave birth to a boy and gave him up for
adoption. She went back to college, double majoring in social work and
sociology. Eventually she became the development director at Lane Pregnancy
Support Center in Eugene, Oregon.

In April, Tryon testified before the Oregon State Legislature
about how a pregnancy center changed her life for the better. A Senate committee
was considering a bill to force pregnancy centers to publicly post on doors, in
waiting areas, and in brochures that they are not abortion providers. If centers
did not post these notices in five days, they could be fined up to $1,000, up to
$5,000 if not posted in two weeks.

This is one of many new legislative initiatives on abortion, but
the majority of them are working in the other direction.

Flood of LegislationThe Oregon bill is one of 576 measures related to abortion that
have been introduced so far in 2011 in 48 states, according to Elizabeth Nash,
public policy associate for the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute.

Like the Oregon bill, many of them will never pass committee. Yet
by early April, 142 abortion-related provisions had passed at least one chamber
of a state legislature, compared with 67 in 2009. More than half of the 142
bills (57 percent) introduced this year seek to restrict abortion access,
compared with 38 percent in 2010.

About 40 new anti-abortion laws were on the books by mid-April.
They include:

  • expanding the waiting period requirement in South Dakota from 24
    hours to 72 hours, and requiring women to visit a crisis pregnancy center in the
    interim.
  • requiring a physician who performs an abortion in South Dakota to
    provide counseling on all risk factors related to abortion.
  • allowing any hospital employee in Utah to refuse to “participate
    in any way” in an abortion.
  • making it a felony in Arizona to perform or provide money for
    abortions sought because of a baby’s race or sex.
  • prohibiting insurance plans that participate in the state
    insurance exchange from including abortion coverage in Virginia, Arizona, Idaho,
    Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.
  • prohibiting the abortion of a fetus capable of feeling pain in
    Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, and Oklahoma. The organization National Right to Life
    has drafted a model bill for pro-life lawmakers to use.

Republican victories in the 2010 mid-term elections account for
much of the legislative surge. Republicans won control of the House of
Representatives and made gains in the Senate. But their success at the state
level was more significant. They took 29 governorships and 680 seats in state
legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

It’s the largest gain in modern history. The previous record was
held by Democrats in the post-Watergate 1974 election, in which they picked up
628 seats. Republicans now control the governor’s office and both legislative
chambers of 21 states, according to the National Conference of State
Legislatures.

“The November elections brought huge change in the state houses,”
said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life. “But we’ve been
tilling this ground for a while.”

The forward momentum began, Yoest said, when the Supreme Court
upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortion in 2007.

‘My life and the life of my unborn baby were forever
changed the minute I called for help.’—Katey Tyron, a director at Lane Pregnancy
Support Center

“They chipped away at the absolute right to abortion,” Yoest said.
“The Supreme Court said that states do have the right to limit abortion. That
was a seismic shift.” Pro-life advocates began to see how far they could get
with restrictions, such as parental notification and informed consent laws, she
said.

The legislation has been snowballing since the Republican sweep:
“Just in the first three months of this year, we’ve provided testimony on 17
life-related legislative matters,” she said. In previous years, the average
number of testimonies provided was two or three for the entire year.

Public Opinion ChangesRestricting abortion through new state laws seems to be highly
effective in reducing abortion rates.

“We see that the number of abortions has gone down by 22 percent
between 1990 and 2005,” said Michael New, political science professor at the
University of Alabama. “An important reason is the restrictions that more and
more states are passing.”

New examined the effects of three laws on abortion rates. Opting
not to fund abortions through Medicaid was most significant, dropping state
abortion rates by about 9 percent, he said.

“That’s a strong consistent finding,” he said, pointing to a
Guttmacher report that 20 of 24 peer-reviewed studies found that public funding
restrictions reduced the number of abortions. The second is informed-consent
laws, which require abortion providers to inform a woman about the potential
risks to her health, fetal development, and available assistance before an
abortion is performed. Those laws were connected with in-state abortion
reductions of 5 to 7 percent, he said.

New also analyzed parental involvement laws, which require minors
to either tell or get permission from their parents before having an abortion.
While these laws don’t have a large impact on the overall abortion rate, they
correlate with a 15 percent decline in in-state abortions obtained by
minors.

Recent pro-life legislation is changing gears, pushing for laws
that give women the opportunity to view an ultrasound before an abortion or
banning abortion after the fetus can feel pain. Fetal-pain laws have been a big
goal of National Right to Life. Director of state legislation Mary Spaulding
Balch told Christianity Today, “The Pain-Capable
Unborn Child Protection Act very clearly talks about the humanity of the unborn
child.” So far, abortion supporters have not initiated court challenges to the
new fetal-pain laws.

The effect on the abortion rate from pain-related or ultrasound
laws may not be dramatic, New said. Requiring ultrasounds can be tricky because
abortion providers have to self-enforce, and relatively few abortions are
performed after the second trimester, when the fetus begins to feel pain, he
said.

But those laws are still important, New said. “You have to make
progress incrementally. We have made more progress than we think. We’ve
convinced a lot of people that abortion is wrong. Most doctors and hospitals
want nothing to do with it.”

Indeed, public opinion now lines up against abortion for the first
time since Gallup began asking the question in 1995. In 2010, 47 percent of
Americans called themselves pro-life, while 45 percent identified as
pro-choice.

The pro-life advantage held through three surveys, prompting
Gallup to label it a “real change in public opinion,” one that’s showing itself
at the polls.

Last year’s health care debate put abortion back on the national
stage, and President Obama had to issue an executive order strengthening the
limits on abortion to get the health care reform bill passed.

In addition, the House of Representatives passed a bill this
spring that would defund Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in
the country. The bill failed in the Senate, but the victory in the House was
historic, Yoest said.

‘We see that the number of abortions has gone down by 22
percent between 1990 and 2005. An important reason is the restrictions more and
more states are passing.’—Michael New, political science professor at the
University of Alabama

“I absolutely think this is a swelling tide, regardless of what
happens in this particular skirmish. There is very much a future in terms of
bringing more and more attention to the massive federal subsidy of the abortion
industry.”

CounteroffensiveAll this leaves the pro-choice movement “definitely defensive,”
said Nash of the Guttmacher Institute. “We need to make the case for why these
services are important.”

The public questioning of Planned Parenthood is “a major shift,”
said Melinda Delahoyde, president of Care Net, a network of more than 1,000
pregnancy centers.

Care Net’s pregnancy centers are among the targets of the
pro-choice counteroffensive. New York City’s new disclosure law is “the most
difficult thing we’re facing,” she said. The law, like the one Tryon testified
against in Oregon, requires all pregnancy centers to post in waiting rooms and
in all literature whether they offer or make referrals for abortions,
contraception, and prenatal care. The American Center for Law and Justice is
challenging the constitutionality of the law in federal court.

In January, a federal judge struck down a similar disclosure law
in Baltimore, calling it an unconstitutional violation of free speech and
“viewpoint-based discrimination.”

“It puts onerous regulations on pregnancy centers,” Delahoyde
said. “It opens centers up to costly lawsuits—a right to action by aggrieved
persons. There are very harsh restrictions put up all over against pregnancy
centers, and we know their goal is to shut us down.”

But most of the bills targeting pregnancy centers fail to pass.
Two bills in Virginia—one that proposed to limit the revenue pregnancy centers
receive from license plates, the other to require disclosure that abortions are
not offered at the centers—were withdrawn in March. A resolution praising the
work of pregnancy centers was passed instead. Another disclosure bill in
Washington made it out of committee but failed in the House of
Representatives.

When pro-choice groups can’t get bills passed at the state level,
they look for local municipalities where they can get propositions passed,
Delahoyde said.

Care Net prepares their centers for the legislation, she said. “We
send our public relations and legal people on the road. We provide a united
front at the state house, and that’s very effective.”

Alliance Defense Fund also provides legal help through hundreds of
attorneys connected to local pregnancy centers, she said.

“We train extensively,” Delahoyde said. “We are pressing forward.
Look, there are so many encouraging signs. The pro-choice brand is
eroding.”

Pendulum SwingsWhen Tryon gave birth to her second baby in December 1992, she was
part of a trend. U.S. teen pregnancy rates had swelled to their all-time
high—almost 12 percent of teenage girls—in 1990, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Abortion rates peaked at the same time, with 1.4 million abortions
performed in 1990, according to the CDC. Public support of abortion was also
high, with 56 percent of Americans labeling themselves pro-choice, according to
Gallup. Just 33 percent self-identified as pro-life.

Some 20 years after Tryon was a pregnant teenager, the pendulum is
swinging the other way. She is now an articulate leader at a pregnancy center,
wife of a worship pastor, and mother of three school-age children.

“As a teenager, finding myself in an unplanned pregnancy was scary
at best. Thankfully, I turned to a pregnancy resource center that provided not
only free and confidential services to me, but treated me in a fair and
professional manner, provided me life-giving options when I needed them most,
and eased my fears,” she testified before an Oregon Senate committee.

“My life and the life of my unborn baby were forever changed the
minute I called on them for help. After being educated about all of my options,
I chose an adoption plan that not only gave my baby a hope and a future, but it
also gave it to me.

“It is devastating to think that the vital services I received so
many years ago could be torn from those that so desperately need them today. I
urge you to vote ‘No’ on this bill.”

That bill in Oregon never came to a vote. But neither did another
bill calling for a ban on abortions after 19 weeks.

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra is a journalist based in the Chicago
area.

Copyright © 2011 Christianity Today. Click
for reprint information.

Related Elsewhere:Previous coverage related to abortion legislation and life
ethics
includes:

State Laws That Lower Abortions | Examining legal measures
enacted to lower abortion rates. (April 4, 2011)

Live Action, Planned Parenthood, and a Year of Change|
Surveying two months of dramatic news on the abortion front in the U.S.
(February 24, 2011)

Abortion Case: Womb vs. Egg | Ethical issues abound in case of
British Columbia couple who wanted surrogate mom to terminate pregnancy after
baby was found to have Down Syndrome. (October 15, 2010)

CT covers more political developments on the politics blog.

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