By Judie Brown
Not surprisingly, the culture of death's architects are exhilarated by the election results and have thus produced some unbelievable statements. One of the most dreadful ramblings in print comes from the Denver Post, in the person of Emilie C. Ailts. The title of her editorial, "Turning the page on divisive abortion politics," represents something quite curious, for I think the entire idea of "divisive abortion politics" is an oxymoron created, in large part, by the pro-life side community.
In the afterglow of President Ronald Reagan's election in 1980, pro-lifers commonly believed that we could, as a movement, align ourselves with a particular political party and thereby make the gains needed to end abortion. I realize that hindsight is always useful, and that is why I have to confess that the decision to mix the defense of personhood with partisan politics reaped an outcome that is largely revealed to us by the 2008 election results.
By literally politicizing the question of ending murderous acts against innocent preborn children, we did in fact confuse the question. Pro-lifers juxtaposed an expectant mother's ethics (or lack thereof) toward her preborn baby with electing people of a particular party to advance the pro-life agenda. That agenda began in 1973, with a commitment to ending abortion period – no exceptions, no compromise. It deteriorated, over time, into the current debate over whether we should abandon our goal in order to fight off the coming pro-abortion promise contained in the Freedom of Choice Act, about which I have previously written.
There is no such thing as abortion politics, but in light of the 2008 election results, pro-abortion forces are working to gain the upper hand by legally denying, once and for all, the fact that every act of abortion results in the death of an innocent person and is in fact an act of murder. It's time for the pro-life movement to get over its love affair with partisan politics and get back to fighting for babies.
The only way to fend off FOCA is to focus on personhood, pure and simple.
Moving on to Ms. Ailts' comments, she writes:
Little has been offered to explain what this election says about Americans' position on reproductive rights – a startling omission considering voters elected a pro-choice president, sent 19 new pro-choice individuals to Congress, and rejected a near-total ban on abortion (South Dakota) and a parental-notification requirement for minors (California).
Locally, Colorado voters overwhelmingly rejected a constitutional amendment that would have laid the foundation to ban all abortion by granting constitutional rights to fertilized eggs.
According to every poll we have seen, Americans who went to the voting booth were not thinking about what the act of abortion does to a child or even the pro-abortion spin phrase "reproductive rights."
They were worried about their bank accounts, their homes and their jobs, and wanted to turn the page on which party controls the White House. So Ms. Ailts misses the point, though I am sure she already knows the truth of the matter.
Since her man won, why not spin it her way? Who is to challenge her?
Why did pro-life efforts fail in many states where struggles were waged? I think there are several reasons for this, but the most crucial is the need for explanation, or as I would have described it, evangelization of those going to the voting booth. First of all, they had to be informed, and they had to understand the stakes and how their vote would affect the fate of a human being whose life hangs in the balance because his mother might choose to kill him.
Voter education was also needed to expose the fact that most of those seeking political power, starting with Senator Obama, were not forthcoming in their views on matters of life and death. That sort of education should have occurred during presidential debates, but it did not. It also should have occurred in pulpits, from one end of a given state to the other, but it did not. In other words, the primary places where Americans learn what they typically will not learn from television, radio or the internet were silent . . . a silence that, I fear, could be deadly in the long run.
Yet voters sent a clear message regarding reproductive rights: They're tired of divisive attacks on a woman's right to choose abortion.
Not true, Ms. Ailts. Voters made their decisions largely based on fear and when it comes to abortion, out of ignorance. I cannot tell you how often I have heard, in the days after the election, from people asking me why their priests, bishops and pastors were not preaching about the act of abortion, the sin of abortion and the eternal suffering that could result for those who promote abortion. When the pulpits are silent while the economy is plummeting, it is only natural for voters to shift toward financial concerns rather than concerns for their fellow human beings.
Our activists worked in recent years to enact laws in Colorado to ensure rape survivors have access to emergency contraception; to ensure our young people receive comprehensive, scientifically and medically accurate sex education so they can make responsible decisions in their intimate relationships; and to empower low-income Coloradans to prevent unintended pregnancy by increasing access to Medicaid's preventive family planning services.
As I read these words, it is obvious to me that what Ailts has given us in this list of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado's accomplishments is a laundry list of reasons why the focus on personhood is mandatory – perhaps critical – in a way it has never been before.
The fact that emergency contraception kills preborn children absolutely must become the focus of pro-life efforts in America. Had this been done effectively with clinical evidence and testimony from professionals such as Chris Kahlenborn, M.D. and Dianne Irving, Ph.D., it is possible that Colorado would not today be ensuring the use of abortive chemicals for rape victims.
The type of sex education Ailts is so proud of is actually better described as sex instruction, pure and simple. There is no way such brainwashing should be provided to our children, regardless of their age, but as long as there is no united pro-life effort to scour it out of our schools, public, Catholic and otherwise, the pro-aborts will continue to poison minds and steal souls.
The very idea that children need to hear about what they should do when involved in "intimate relationships" should, by itself, expose the hideous philosophy Ailts and her buddies want to instill in our children. But how many sermons are given on this cancer that has permeated the educational system, from top to bottom?
Knowing, as we do, that contraception leads to abortion and is its precursor, once again, there is no reason why all U.S. pro-life groups should not be united in their opposition to using such truly diabolical medications.
Ailts has given us a bird's eye view of what the opposition is thinking. At the cost of boring you with repetition, let me say it again: Until the pro-life movement unites behind a full-court press for personhood, focusing on every single human individual from his beginning, without exception, and teaching why killing by any name is simply not acceptable, the maudlin mumbling will reign, retain credibility and flourish.
When moral principle is not consistently taught by clergy, pro-life groups and all those concerned with our nation and our children's future, a void is created. And we all know how that void has been filled.
Judie Brown is president of American Life League and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.