President Barack Obama, abortion, the Supreme Court, and healthcare dominated pro-life news in 2009. As we look back on 2009, the first with a new pro-abortion president, it seems to me that the pro-life movement essentially is on the defensive.
Thanks to a pro-abortion president and Congress, pro-life advocates spent most of their time this last year attempting to hold back the opening of the floodgates ushering in an expansion of abortion and taxpayer financing of it.
With the health care debate continuing into the new year, those efforts will be forced to continue — although the potential for pro-life gains in the 2010 elections provides significant hope for the future.
So, with that in mind, the following are the top ten pro-life news stories of 2009, ranked according to impact byLifeNews.com:
1. Health Care:
The health care debate has become the central focus of the pro-life movement during the latter half of 2009 and for good reason. If the abortion language in the final bill is anything like what is currently in the Senate version of the legislation, the result would be the greatest expansion of taxpayer funding of abortions since the 1970s when the Hyde Amendment was adopted.
The Senate bill not only would allow the forcing of taxpayers to pay for abortions but would let the Obama administration force insurance plans to pay for them as well.
The end result? With Hyde getting credit for stopping more than 100,000 abortions annually, the health care bill could result in a 10% or greater increase in abortions — all financed with government money.
2. Barack Obama promoting abortion:
The influence of the president of the United States on abortion policy can never be underestimated, despite some who still think the president doesn’t have any impact.
LifeNews.com has the most comprehensive chronicle that I have seen of Obama’s pro-abortion actions, but the most consequential ones include his overturning of the Mexico City Policy and allowing tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to flow to abortion businesses like Planned
Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International that not only do abortions by lobby pro-life nations to overturn or water down their laws.
Obama also reversed the prohibition on funding the UNFPA, which works hand-in-hand with the Chinese officials who implement the one-child policy and enforce it with forced abortions and other human rights abuses.
Obama has installed not only abortion advocates but former abortion advocacy group staffers in key places where abortion policy will be affected. He is working to overturn conscience protections, funded abortions in DC, zeroed out abstinence funding, and will continue promoting abortion at every turn.
3. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor:
Amid the health care debate, Sotomayor has been quickly forgotten, but her impact on the high court and abortion and pro-life issues may be felt for decades to come.
Sotomayor http://www.lifenews.com/nat5086.html never gave the pro-life movement the smoking gun it needed to show how extreme of an abortion proponent she will be on the high court. But her own judicial activist comments, membership and participation in groups that endorse abortion, and with Obama, pro-abortion senators and groups saying she’s “one of us” — that gave pro-life groups enough anecdotal evidence to oppose her.
Obama will likely have another chance to appoint a pro-abortion zealot to go along with Sotomayor before the 2012 elections roll around. The appointments will have the effect of cementing legalized abortion for another generation.
4. Barack Obama promoting embryonic stem cell research:
It hasn’t received near as much attention as it should have because of his abortion actions and because of the health care debate, but Barack Obama is the first and only president to fund new embryonic stem cell research where tax money will directly go towards the active destruction of human life.
Pro-life advocates also have reason to be concerned that this is just the beginning. With other issues providing news cover, Obama can push the overturning of the Dicker-Wicker law that forbids funding the purposeful creation and destruction of human life for scientific research and could push human cloning for research purposes. The Obama administration may also be the first to allow, through the FDA, human trials with embryonic stem cells that still pose problems when used with animals.
5. Americans are Pro-Life:
2009 was marked by the release of several polls showing a majority of Americans are pro-life on abortion. A Gallup poll showing 51 percent of Americans call themselves pro-life received the most attention, but more than a dozen polls on abortion itself and abortion funding had pro-life majorities popping up every time.
One poll that should have received more attention but didn’t: a new CNN survey with 63% saying they oppose all or most abortions, one of the highest measurements in recent years.
6. Notre Dame:
The scandal of scandals in the Catholic community came when the mother of all Catholic colleges decided not only to allow Obama the opportunity to give its commencement address but bestowed on him an honorary degree. Even evangelical pro-life advocates joined their Catholic friends in condemning the action — which saw Father John Jenkins and the Notre Dame trustees thumb their nose at the Catholic bishops, who years earlier told Catholic schools to not give a platform to abortion advocates and who directly condemned the decision.
With pro-abortion “Catholic” groups claiming to be pro-life yet promoting Obama in 2008 and pro-abortion health care this year, the scandal is merely a predictor of more intense battles to come within the Catholic community.
7. George Tiller:
The shooting death of George Tiller, the late-term abortion practitioner from Kansas, rocked the abortion world. Sadly it gave pro-abortion groups and the mainstream media yet another chance to paint the pro-life community as violent even though every pro-life group under the sun condemned the killing. And it came at a time with the local groups working against Tiller were on the threshold of getting his medical license revoked for legitimate reasons.
8. James Pouillon:
In September, a local man who didn’t like the use of graphic pictures of abortions took it upon himself to shoot pro-life advocate Jim Pouillon. The shooting death was notable for the nearly complete lack of coverage from the mainstream media, a very delayed reaction from Obama, and zero condemnation from pro-abortion groups.
9. Abby Johnson:
Greeted with a collective yawn by the mainstream media but wild enthusiasm by the pro-life movement, Texas Planned Parenthood abortion business director Abby Johnson resigned in October. Johnson’s resignation came about when she saw an ultrasound of an abortion procedure — confirming what pro-life advocates already knew about their power and use. Johnson has since exposed what a lot of pro-life advocates already knew about Planned Parenthood’s abortion business and industry. Planned Parenthood tried to shut her up but eventually lost in court.
10. Planned Parenthood:
As appears to be the case every year the exposing of the Planned Parenthood abortion business again makes the list. This year saw our friends at Live Action exposed a center in Wisconsin lying about abortion and fetal development, another hiding statutory rape, and other pro-lifers a California center injuring a woman. it also used underage girls in clinical trials. Fortunately, the abortion business closed several centers during the year.
Attacking Pregnancy Centers:
It didn’t receive the national attention that it might in future years, but pro-abortion groups are upping their aggressive attacks on pregnancy centers. Their effort culminated in the passage of a new law in Baltimore that makes pregnancy centers post a sign saying they don’t do abortions in an attempt to cut down their number of clients and boost abortion customers. Look for more of these kinds of attacks and state legislatures and cities across the country in 2009 as NARAL and Planned Parenthood are emboldened by this year’s victory.
2009 will be known as the year pro-life Democrats took a big hit in their legitimacy and reputation. Bob Casey feuded with his bishop over abortion, kept up appearances until voting for the pro-abortion health care bill, and continued his spotty voting record. Then, Ben Nelson made Democrats 60 for 60 in the Senate in backing abortion funding. Bart Stupak, if he holds in the House, may find himself as the only national pro-life Democrat with any credibility. With just one Republican in either chamber of Congress backing the bill and a pro-life Democrat switching parties recently, the partisan divide on abortion is growing
40 Days for Life:
The peaceful, prayerful grassroots movement is replacing the more vitriolic and sometimes-illegal abortion protests of the 1980s and 1990s. And the results are even bigger as abortion centers are shutting down, staff converting, and women making pro-life decisions. The twice-annual event is becoming the new face of pro-life direct action for good reason and even getting pro-life friends in other nations to re-establish long-dormant pro-life activity.