Pro-Life Debate Prep

Marjorie Dannenfelser

10/10/2012 12:01:00 AM - Marjorie Dannenfelser
In the four decades since Roe v. Wade first opened wide the floodgates of abortion in America, those of us fighting to protect the unborn and their mothers have had, unfortunately, no shortage of public relations gaffes and poor explanations for the greater public.

That is perhaps why so many pundits agree that despite Mitt Romney’s strong performance in Denver, President Obama need only mention the “war on women” in one of the remaining debates to bring him to his knees. Even though pro-life self-identification is more prevalent than the President’s position of taxpayer-funded abortion on-demand, the fact that Republicans are the ones painted as “waging war” shows this may be a real concern.

It need not be. According to Gallup, the majority of Americans agree with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and take the “pro-life” position. We need only clearly articulate it and dispel the Obama campaign’s willful untruths.

For example, pro-life Americans support women’s health and the rights of women, and men, to plan their families.

The difference between Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the majority of Americans that identify themselves as “pro-life” on one side, and President Obama on the other, is that we believe abortion is wrong. Governor Romney has said he supports the reversal of Roe v. Wade. States should have the right to enact commonsense limits on a procedure that ends one life and wounds another.

Pro-life Americans are also pro-religious freedom – in the way our founders intended it and past presidents have upheld it. President Obama has launched a needless and reckless fight with religious schools, charities, hospitals and businesses, forcing them to provide sterilizations and abortion drugs that violate their moral convictions. That’s just wrong. A majority disagree with President Obama on this issue. We want an end to this abuse of conscience.

Furthermore, an overwhelming majority (72 percent) of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion. That’s why the pro-life movement cheered when Governor Romney committed to asking Congress to end funding of agencies that promote and provide abortion. This is not a new issue. Forty years ago, when Congress approved the first family planning grants, it said these funds could not be used in a program where abortion is a means of family planning. They wanted a bright line, a bipartisan bright line between abortion and family planning.

Well, that law hasn’t changed. Planned Parenthood has changed. In 1970 Planned Parenthood did not perform abortions. Today, they have veered way off course and are the largest abortion provider in the United States, ending the lives of 329,445 unborn children in 2010 alone. In the same year, abortion made up 91 percent of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy services, while prenatal care and adoption referrals accounted for only 8.6 percent (31,098) and 0.2 percent (841), respectively. That means for every one hundred pregnant women that walked into Planned Parenthood, 91 of them walked out having undergone an abortion.

For every one adoption referral, Planned Parenthood performed 392 abortions. That’s not family planning. That’s not options counseling. That’s an abortion mill.

So, “war on women?” President Obama is so committed to abortion on-demand that he even opposed a simple measure in Congress to make sure that an abortion is never performed just because an ultrasound has confirmed the baby is a girl. A baby should never lose her life because someone prefers one sex over the other.

On behalf of the majority of Americans who consider themselves “pro-life,” we expect and hope that this issue will come up during this month’s debates. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan need only set the record straight and remind voters what a second Obama-Biden term will mean for the unborn and for the freedom of conscience we cherish.