The Supreme Court's legalization of abortion reached its 39th anniversary Jan. 22. On the occasion, Baptist Press asked some pro-life advocates the following question:
Nearly four decades after the Roe v. Wade decision, which recent development do you consider the most encouraging regarding the future of the pro-life movement in the United States?
Here are their responses:
-- Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission:
"That is a difficult question, because there have been so many positive developments recently. I think there are three I would mention, and two of them are related.
"Number one, the fact that pro-life is the new majority. The polling shows 51 percent of Americans consider themselves to be pro-life, which is a drastic shift from just a few years ago.
"And that's inter-related with the second factor, which is the youth movement in the pro-life cause. It turns out that since 1973's infamous Roe v. Wade decision, pro-life parents have been having their babies and raising them to be pro-life, and pro-choice parents have not been having their babies, or at least not as many of them, and so they have not been raising them to be anything. So for two generations now, a disproportionate number of children who have been born have been born into a pro-life environment, where they have seen their little brothers and sisters' sonograms stuck on the refrigerator door, and they are even more adamantly pro-life than their parents. I was at a rally protesting the largest abortion clinic outside of China, which is now in my hometown of Houston, where the entire seventh floor is dedicated to late-term abortions killing viable babies. I was joined at that rally by large numbers of young people, multi-ethnic, holding signs which said, 'We survived Roe. Roe won't survive us.' As reported recently in World magazine, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, watched the 2010 March for Life and told Newsweek, 'My gosh, they are so young. There are so many of them, and they are so young.' Indeed. We're winning, and the other side knows it. That's why they're trying to lock in full-blown coverage for abortion in Obamacare and take it out of the hands of the people.
"The third factor, of course, is Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Alito, who are the gifts that just keep on giving on this and many other issues. As someone who is a baby boomer, I would never have believed that the Supreme Court would be the most conservative branch of the federal government, but at the moment it is."
-- Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life:
"This past year saw unprecedented attention given to the abortion industry and their appallingly high levels of taxpayer subsidy. For the very first time, we saw a Congressional committee launch an official investigation into the nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. This was an historic development with significant implications. Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, told her supporters that 2011 was the worst year in the organization's history. Seeing that kind of dent in the polished facade of the abortion giant is a terrific development for the pro-life movement."
-- Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List:
"After nearly 4 decades, the pro-life movement has reached the tipping point that comes just before a successful breakthrough. There is much to be excited about -- including the uniform agreement among Republican presidential hopefuls that we should defund Planned Parenthood and end all taxpayer funding of abortion and the wave of pro-life gains in state legislatures across the country which has led to the passage of over 60 pro-life bills. There is a consensus now among all demographics that America is a pro-life nation and enthusiasm, hope, and passion for protecting the lives of unborn children is rising."
Tom Strode is Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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