Ad­vo­cates for life

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

As they do ev­ery year on Jan. 22, pro­lif­ers last week marked the an­niver­sary of Roe v. Wade with the March for Life — a tens-of-thou­sands-strong gath­er­ing that winds down Con­sti­tu­tion Av­enue to the Supreme Court build­ing. Not only is the march a time to protest the tragic 1974 court de­ci­sion — with its “em­a­na­tions and penum­bras” — it is also a mo­ment to re­flect on the state of abor­tion in Amer­ica and how, by a com­bi­na­tion of rea­son, hu­man­ity and pa­tience, pro-life Amer­i­cans have man­aged to keep abor­tion as one of the most im­por­tant moral is­sues of our day.

Pro-choice ad­vo­cates might scoff at what­ever progress their op­po­nents think they have made since 1974. They would surely point out that a ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans still ap­prove of Roe; that the Supreme Court has up­held Roe on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions in var­i­ous forms; and that, even with the ad­di­tion of Chief Jus­tice John Roberts and Jus­tice Samuel Al­ito, there’s no se­ri­ous threat of over­turn­ing Roe.

Yet pro-choice ad­vo­cates like to as­sume that ac­cep­tance of Roe as a pol­icy sug­gests a na­tional con­sen­sus on abor­tion in all its it­er­a­tions. This is demon­stra­bly false. Most Ameri- cans when polled are ap­palled at prac­tices such as par­tial-birth abor­tion. Most Amer­i­cans also con­sider the slay­ing of a preg­nant mother to be a dou­ble homi­cide. The prochoice lobby, how­ever, stren­u­ously de­fend par­tial-birth abor­tion and ei­ther op­pose or re-

In the po­lit­i­cal realm, since 1974, no Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date has been elected with a pop­u­lar ma­jor­ity who wasn’t uni­formly pro-life. Bill Clin­ton, the last prochoice Demo­crat elected pres­i­dent, never re­ceived a pop­u­lar ma­jor­ity. Even pres­i­den­tial as­pi­rant Sen. Hil­lary Clin­ton has felt the need to try to strike a mod­er­ate stance on abor­tion. Two no­table Democrats who pre­vailed in high-profile races against pro-life Repub­li­cans in Novem­ber are them­selves pro-life: Democrats Bob Casey, who de­feated Penn­syl­va­nia Sen. Rick San­to­rum, and Heath Shuler, who de­feated North Carolina Repub­li­can Charles Tay­lor. The po­lit­i­cal les­son is clear: A can­di­date who es­pouses the ex­treme views of Planned Par­ent­hood and NARAL Pro-Choice Amer­ica with­out reser­va­tion is at a dis­tinct dis­ad­van­tage in to­day’s Amer­ica.

This is clear progress and much of it is owed to the marchers who ev­ery year gather in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal to de­clare, as Pres­i­dent Bush said in an ad­dress to the rally, that “ev­ery hu­man life has value.”

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