As hundreds of thousands of marchers gathered in Washington D.C. this week for the annual March For Life, NARAL president Ilyse Hogue penned a defensive op-ed in Politico, slamming pro-lifers for restricting “a woman’s freedom” and declaring 2014 to be the “year the pro-choice crowd fights back.”
Hogue’s piece is accompanied by a photo of Texas Democrat gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’s “pink sneakers,” worn throughout her filibuster of Texas’s new state law that bans abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy. Hogue’s defense of the practice of abortion is timed not only with the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the March for Life, but also with the fact that Davis, the pro-abortion crowd’s “national star,” has suffered damage this week. Davis has been discovered to have made false statements about her personal biographical information, even while under oath in federal court.
Having just ended a year which saw 70 new anti-abortion laws approved in 22 states (2011 had the highest number with nearly 90 such laws approved) and a record 87 surgical abortion clinic closures, Hogue sees real need to rally her troops:
Sure, 2013 was not a great year for reproductive freedom – 53 anti-choice measures were adopted at the state level, and we narrowly averted a federal government shutdown when House Republicans demanded that bosses have control over their employees’ birth control coverage (though we later had a shutdown, anyway).
Hogue writes, however, that not all was bad for the pro-abortion crowd:
But 2013 also showed record-high public support for the rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade: Twice as many pro-choice measures as the prior year were enacted at the state level, and voters turned out to vote into office a pro-choice governor in Virginia and soundly defeat the first municipal ballot measure to ban abortion after 20 weeks. In 2013, we saw a movement starting to embody the old adage that the best defense is a good offense.
Though Hogue states it will “take time for this shifting momentum to result in a full sea change,” the “shifting momentum” actually appears to be on the side of pro-lifers.
As Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America (SFLA), told Breitbart News, young people, who are often the crux of a movement, are clearly becoming more pro-life. Hawkins said that she expected about 2,500 SFLA members alone to participate in the March for Life.
“We are winning,” Hawkins said. “And getting young people involved is imperative in order to ensure the success of our mission, which is to abolish abortion in this lifetime.”
One of Hawkins’s SFLA leaders is Connor York, a young man at Oregon State University. York told Breitbart News, “I feel like I am working to change our culture. Lots of people are surprised to see young people working in the pro-life movement, and it’s very powerful when they encounter us.”
Hogue’s perception of the tide shifting toward the left and the pro-abortion groups may be amiss, just as her organization was amiss when it posted a “Thank you” to Pope Francis on its Facebook page, “from pro-choice women everywhere,” believing his statement during one interview, in which he discussed the many issues with which Catholics must concern themselves, meant that the pontiff was now joining the ranks of pro-abortion advocates.
Pope Francis, in fact, tweeted his prayers and support for pro-lifers during Wednesday’s March for Life:
I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) January 22, 2014
Hogue’s distorted perception of the Roe v. Wade decision itself has been underscored even by those on her political side of the aisle.
Though the NARAL president writes that the infamous case “enshrined into law a woman’s freedom to decide when, how, and with whom to have a family,” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told a University of Chicago Law School group last year that the decision overruled the democratic will by handing down a ruling made by “unelected old men.”
Ginsburg clearly indicated that the High Court’s decision in Roe served only to galvanize opposition to abortion and gave abortion opponents a symbol to target.
“My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum that was on the side of change,” Ginsburg said. The justice indicated that the Supreme Court should have, instead, “put its stamp of approval on the side of change and let that change develop in the political process.”
I can’t find anything in the Constitution that says you prefer the life of the mother, or the convenience of the mother if it’s an abortion by choice, over the potential life of the fetus. Look, I think women if they’re required to not have abortions could die… so I favor a woman’s right to choose. But I can’t find it in the Constitution. And everything I favor I don’t think is necessarily constitutionally based.
Hogue refers to pro-lifers’ arguments as “wearing thin.” But, how about hers?
Women in this country know that our economic security depends on our ability to decide when and with whom we have families. More and more middle-class families dependent on two incomes viscerally understand the inextricable connection between access to family planning and their economic outlook.
How unfortunate for Hogue’s followers that she is pushing a creed that hypes legalized abortion as the reason that women are able to have “economic security.” How can this be, when under Barack Obama, the most abortion-friendly president the nation has ever seen, United States women are seeing unemployment rates rise for their gender, most recently to 7.3 percent?
The problem for Hogue and the abortion industry will always be that they fail to acknowledge the dignity and sanctity of the life of the unborn.
As Lila Rose, president of Live Action, told Breitbart News from the 2014 March for Life: