Strategy for success evades pro-lifers

Commentary by Judie Brown

When I saw a column written by pro-life activist Jane Frantz in the Appleton Post-Crescent, it really took the wind out of my sails. She wrote about her epiphany in the pro-life movement following her own abortion, but she pointed out something that reminded me of the reasons why pro-lifers continue to tread water politically.

Frantz opined, "After three and a half decades, I wonder how much longer we can afford to do the same things, expecting different results."

Her observations about pro-lifers “authoring and defending woefully inadequate legislation" is but one of the problems we face on the political front, but I happen to think that it is precisely the politics of abortion that has drummed our message into oblivion.

As one evangelical preacher told the New York Times recently, “They said they were tired of hearing about abortion 52 weeks a year, hearing about all this political stuff!” He was speaking about the deacons of his own church.

This minister is saying that the trained leaders of his congregation do not want to hear about or talk about the political aspects of abortion. How tragic; but at the same time, how revealing. It means there is something terribly wrong within the movement.

This troubles me a great deal. What this comment reveals is that in the 34 years since Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the act of abortion has become the “abortion issue” in the minds of many Americans. From that mindset, it follows that the manner of fighting direct, cold-blooded murder-which is precisely what an act of procured abortion is-has become a question of party, compromise and incrementalism.

In other words, the "politics of abortion" has robbed the person who dies during an abortion of his identity as a human being.

One pro-life web site asked visitors: "Are you in favor of states introducing legislation to ban all abortions, even if legal advisors recommend waiting until there are more justices on the Supreme Court who will uphold such a ban?"

Though the vast majority of those who responded said "yes," one has to wonder why such a question would be asked in the first place. It is the goal of the pro-life movement is to end the slaughter, not regulate it. Why, then, isn't the pro-life movement waging battle in every state in America to end this scourge? Why isn’t the pro-life movement striking at the heart of the abortion beast with proposed state constitutional amendments that would protect every preborn child? Isn’t personhood our goal, after all?

And what of the pro-life legal “experts" who would tell us “the timing is not right?" What could this ridiculous statement possibly mean when we face a slaughter with numbers so mind numbing that nobody can even begin to imagine the piles of dead bodies about which we speak.

Jim Bopp, general counsel of the National Right to Life Committee, told Frank Pastore in a interview that proposing a total abortion ban-and losing-could be “devastating” to the pro-life movement. That statement pinpoints precisely what I find so unbelievable. He is clearly satisfied for the moment. Bopp believes that because more Americans are pro-life today and regulations on abortion are said to be working, we should be celebrating.

But such thinking leaves out the most critical point: abortion is an act of murder.

Bopp opines, “There have been many battles lost, wars lost, countries lost, because battles have been fought prematurely and imprudently. Our job for the unborn is to use judgment and prudence to do what is possible, not to risk it all on some risky strategy in which the only prospect for success is for divine intervention.”

Such comments smack of political posturing which has been the problem within the politically inspired pro-life movement for years. Of course the strategy we pursue requires divine intervention, as well as divine inspiration and perhaps most important, total trust in God’s will.

If we were talking about any other class of citizens and the violent act of murder being perpetrated against them daily, would the public be happy with regulating how or when the murders took place? Would we merely want to make sure someone gave their permission before the murders took place?

Would Americans approve of the continued murders if they were assured that the government was not paying for them? Of course not! So what is so very different about the murder of the innocent preborn children? Why is the scenario for saving them so pragmatic? Where is the outrage?

Because so many have been busy politicizing the act of abortion, the vast majority of Americans no longer understand that abortion is an act that results in death. It seems that many prefer to accept the "political reality" of the situation and continue on their merry way, regulating here, defunding there, and politicking on the way towards a loft goal that never really appears on the horizon.

Perhaps that satisfies the politically correct, but it disgusts me.

The Thomas More Law Center's Robert Muise wrote, “After 34 years of abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy, it is time to rethink pro-life strategy.” He added, “It would be a tragic mistake to be content with a strategy that makes ending abortion secondary to other regulatory efforts or worse yet, a strategy that avoids it altogether.”

My view of this ongoing struggle between political experts and those of us who understand the tragic price being paid by dead babies is that it is time to develop a different pro-life strategy-one that places the personhood of the child at the front of the struggle and builds toward that goal by taking solid steps that do not appear to approve the very act we know is murder. Avoiding personhood by suggesting that the time is not right or the number of justices on the Supreme Court is not yet sufficient is to repeat the arguments of the past 34 years.

I’ve heard it all before and the stench of compromise is incredible.

A new strategy is called for; and to my mind, those who resist talking about it are the root cause of the problem. To them I would say: Get off the fence and join the battle to end the murder of America's future. The troops are moving out-with you, or without you.

Release issued: 2 Nov 07