As election talk increases and pro-lifers debate their best strategies, an article this weekend reminds me of an assertion that many may see as controversial but which I think we can reasonably conclude: The election of president Obama was the best thing for the pro-life movement in years.
Before you stone me for defending the most pro-abortion president United States history, consider the complacency that prevailed when we had political leaders who were seemingly more pro-life. It was easier to sit back and just say “abortion is bad. Don’t have one.” But we went on about our days. Little vision drove us; little reality sunk in.
When the 2008 elections rolled around and we were faced with President Obama, pro-lifers began to examine his voting records and views on abortion. His alignment with Planned Parenthood was alarming. And his prompt appointments of pro-abortion judges on the Supreme Court told us that we were looking at a lifetime of his legacy. We got scared.
Many positive things happened. Pro-lifers got loud, politicians ran on pro-life platforms in the mid-term elections. And the face of abortion in the nation, while sharply divided, also began to change for the positive.
In 2011, states passed a record number of abortion restrictions, with 92 new laws taking effect in 24 states.
Momentum has continued in 2012 in what has become a two-year major overhaul in many of the states’ abortion laws.
The laws range from imposing new penalties on doctors to requiring women to undergo more medical procedures, but they all serve to make it more difficult for a woman to legally end a pregnancy.
Of course there’s no scientific correlation between Obama’s election and an overhaul of abortion laws. We, theoretically, could have seen the same thing if McCain had been elected, but even pro-abortion experts agree, it’s a backlash from Obama’s election:
Both sides in the abortion debate say the flurry of lawmaking is a legacy of the 2010 elections, which ushered conservative lawmakers and governors into office around the country. Nineteen statehouses changed from Democratic majorities to more conservative Republican majorities, and others, already Republican, saw more Republicans elected on socially conservative platforms.
“This year, we’re seeing more action than what you’d expect for an election year,” said Elizabeth Nash, the Washington, D.C.-based state issues manager at Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortion and reproductive health policy.
“We’re still seeing effects of the election of 2010, when very conservative legislatures and governors were elected, and they are continuing on a path of social issues, and that strategy includes abortion,” Nash said.
A simple law of physics says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. What happened in the United States is that pro-lifers were shaken awake by the election of a man who advocated abortion with few restrictions, who walked into the Oval Office and started signing documents to increase abortion funding (reversing the Mexico City Policy, for example, in his first week in office) and who then pushed through a health care plan that would expand abortion more than any other time in US history, and includes and abortion “premium” all Americans must pay.
And pro-lifers said “No more!” And we roused a bit from our slumber and peeked out from under our rock.
Part of me wonders what would happen if we elected a relatively pro-life president again. The fact is, while the president is vitally important because of the Supreme Court appointments he makes which last a lifetime, there is much more that needs to happen than blaming all our woes on one leader.
We have focused on “getting that man out” because of his abortion stance. But what we should be doing is focusing on getting light in. Of course we advocate voting for people who support LIFE, but we have to do more than leave our nation to a lone politician. The best thing that ever happened to the pro-life movement in recent history was the election of President Obama because it roused us a bit. We need to take this momentum and use it to thrust us forward even more, no matter who is in the White House or how pro-life our state may seem. We need to consider that our slumber is partially responsible for the death of babies and rise up.
The article this weekend is an encouraging reminder of what a unified people can do for a purpose. No election on earth should be determining our unification or lack of it. Only our heavenly election should determine anything, and in that comes a call to stop the shedding of innocent blood. So let’s be encouraged by this article and the many new pro-life laws, but let’s not be complacent no matter what happens. The nation isn’t governed from Washington DC, but from the throne room of Heaven (Psalm 2).