For Right to Life
Compassion is overcoming convenience, life is defeating despair, and hope is vanquishing a lifetime of regret.
Note: This op-ed first appeared in the Jan. 22 edition of The Washington Times.
On this 35th anniversary of the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott, life is winning in America but life is still losing in Washington, D.C.
Despite the best efforts of the pro-abortion movement to defend abortion on demand, more Americans embrace the sanctity of life than ever before. While more than 50 million innocent human lives have been ended by abortion since Roe v. Wade, abortions have declined by nearly 20 percent in the past 15 years. That’s more than 881 lives saved per day — each a poignant reminder of why we can never relent in the defense of life.
Most of these children have not been saved by political action, but by the power of personal persuasion. Every day, in crisis pregnancy centers and across kitchen tables, the truth about abortion is being told. Compassion is overcoming convenience, life is defeating despair, and hope is vanquishing a lifetime of regret. Thousands of women who have suffered through abortion are saying correctly that women deserve better than abortion. Life is winning in America, one life at a time.
But life is losing on Capitol Hill. With the arrival of the new majority in Congress, the Democrats wasted little time trampling on the right to life.
In their first 100 hours, they passed legislation to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans to fund morally objectionable stem-cell research. Because a pro-life president and a pro-life minority in Congress took a stand against destructive embryonic stem-cell research, the scientific community had the time to develop miraculous new technologies that make the old research as unnecessary as it is unethical. And yet the Democrats promise us more votes to subsidize research that destroys embryonic human life.
Although pro-life legislators prevailed in the first life battle of this Congress, there is another funding battle that goes to the heart of the abortion movement in America. To win the battle over life in our nation's capital today, we must learn from one of the greatest examples of the past.
William Wilberforce, a 19th century British parliamentarian, is credited with ending the slave trade in Great Britain. Wilberforce understood that to win a great moral debate, one must combine efforts to win the hearts and minds of people with efforts to end public policies that promote and support the objectionable trade. The policies he championed in the British Parliament brought an end to slavery by bringing an end to the financial gains the slave trade enjoyed.
In order to end the practice of abortion in the United States, we must bring an end to abortion trade profiteering. Remarkably, the largest financial supporter of abortion providers in America is the American taxpayer.
And, Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortion in America, performing more than 264,000 abortions in 2006. It also received more than $300 million in federal, state and local government grants and contracts in 2006. This should not be.
While Planned Parenthood is forbidden from using federal taxpayer dollars to perform abortions, each dollar it gets from taxpayers helps offset operational and overhead costs, thus freeing up “other funds” to promote and provide more abortions.
It is illegal under the Mexico City Policy for taxpayers’ foreign aid dollars to fund organizations that promote abortion overseas, and it should be illegal here at home, too. It is time for a "domestic Mexico City Policy.”
To that end, last year I introduced both a bill and an amendment to cut off these funding streams. The Abortion Provider Prohibition Act and the amendment, which garnered 189 votes this past summer, would restrict any federal family planning funds from going to organizations, like Planned Parenthood, who perform abortions on demand and for any reason.
Life is winning in America but life is under attack in Washington, D.C. Only by electing men and women of conviction who will end the use of taxpayer dollars to promote a culture of death in research or through family planning funding can we hope to take the profit out of the abortion trade in America.
On this anniversary, let us say with William Wilberforce, “Never, never will we desist till we … extinguish every trace of this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, looking back to the history of these enlightened times will scarce believe that it has been suffered to exist so long a disgrace and dishonor to this country.”
His words hold equally true to abortion as they did to slavery. Let us summon the courage and perseverance and creativity of Wilberforce until life is winning as much in the law as it is in the hearts of the American people.
Contact: Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind.
The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly. Click here to learn more about the IFRL.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Life is Winning in America