Analysis

8 ways the pro-life movement has succeeded in the past decade – and why we can’t quit now

The pro-life movement has come a long way in the past ten years, and these achievements are worth celebrating! While we celebrate, let’s remember that we can always do more. Our fight against the human injustice of abortion is far from over.

Below are eight of our top achievements in the past decade:

  1. Live Action’s exposure of the abortion industry

It’s been ten years since Live Action “conducted nationwide investigations of abortion giant Planned Parenthood.” One of those first investigations featured Live Action president Lila Rose posing as a minor impregnated by an older man. The investigations exposed Planned Parenthood’s willingness to cover up statutory rape.

Since that time, Live Action has exposed Planned Parenthood’s willingness to:

Since then, the Center for Medical Progress has exposed Planned Parenthood’s profiting from the aborted baby body parts trade.

Before Live Action’s work, the nation knew very little about the countless abuses happening within Planned Parenthood facilities or that the organization was committing more abortions than any other organization in the country. Since this information has come to light, Planned Parenthood has seen a client decrease in the hundreds of thousands.

Thanks to those who help by donating and by sharing these investigations, Live Action can continue to educate the public.

  1. Court victories

In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in Gonzales v. Carhart, which made the gruesome and barbaric procedure of partial-birth abortion illegal. In this late-term abortion procedure, a preborn child is partially born in the breech position, and then before the baby’s head emerges, the abortionist inserts a suction catheter into the back of the baby’s skull, suctioning out the child’s brain. Abortionists may often refer to this procedure as an “intact D&E” or a “D&X” abortion.

Partial-birth abortion (D&X)

The abortion industry, including Planned Parenthood, disrespects even pro-life laws upheld by the high court, finding ways to skirt these laws. Videos from the Center for Medical Progress show Planned Parenthood abortionists describing how they manipulate their abortion procedures, employing the partial-birth abortion technique, despite the fact that it has been outlawed federally.

The Court has handed down other pro-life victories, as well. The Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods cases ruled against President Obama’s contraception mandate requiring employers – even those with religious or moral objections – to provide employees with contraception. The mandate included emergency contraception, which can act as an early abortifacient.

Lower courts have also knocked down pro-abortion aspects of ObamaCare, protecting the conscience rights of employers.

  1. Record number of abortion facilities closing

While Planned Parenthood commits more abortions than any other single organization in the U.S., their abortion facilities have been closing down in record numbers for the past several years. Other non-Planned Parenthood affiliated abortion facilities have met the same fate.

As of February 2016, 162 abortion facilities had either closed entirely or had ceased committing abortions since 2011, a record number. Thirty-one closed in 2016 alone. The trend continues for 2017. As of May, 21 have closed, meaning there have been more abortion facility closures than openings.

Abortion facilities close for various reasons, including their seeming inability to adhere to basic health and safety regulations. Medical emergencies continue to happen. Those still willing to protect abortion need to be reminded of what happens when abortion facilities are allowed to remain open, despite health violations.

Abortion facilities have also been closing because women just don’t need them.

  1. Record number of pro-life legislation passed

Pro-life laws are passing at record levels. In 2016, Planned Parenthood lamented the 400 pro-life bills introduced in the first quarter of that year. Midway through 2016, Guttmacher released a report on pro-life laws, noting that the total of laws passed since 2010 had reached 334 laws. These “constitut[ed] 30% of all abortion restrictions enacted by states since the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973.” In five years, states had passed nearly as many laws as in the previous 15 years.

During a special session, Texas passed HB 2, requiring admitting privileges for abortionists and requiring abortion facilities to meet ambulatory surgical center health standards, in 2013. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court struck down these regulations, siding with the plaintiff, an abortion conglomerate with a long record of health and safety violations. While many such regulations have been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, that hasn’t deterred Texas, or other states, from passing this type of legislation.

A Knights of Columbus/Marist poll released soon after the June 2016 decision showed high percentages of Americans, across varying demographics and opinions on abortion, supporting the industry regulations the Court struck down.

Polls reflect similar support for prohibiting taxpayer-funded abortions, for limiting abortions to the first three months of pregnancy, for holding abortion facilities to medical facility standards, and for requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges.

This coincides with Gallup’s 2017 poll, which shows a majority of Americans think abortion should be “legal only under certain circumstances.”

While such legislation, and public support for it, is a welcoming trend, there is more to be done, particularly at the federal level. While campaigning, President Donald Trump made several pro-life commitments, including prohibiting abortions past 20 weeks gestation. Such legislation has been introduced several times in the U.S. Congress, and has also passed in several states, including in Texas where that part of HB 2 was unchallenged and upheld.

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  1. Votes to defund Planned Parenthood

While Planned Parenthood continues to be federally funded, those days may be numbered. Just a few years ago, the U.S. Congress successfully voted for the first time to defund the abortion giant. Such legislation was vetoed by pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

Over recent years, coinciding with investigations from Live Action and the Center for Medical Progress, several states have defunded Planned Parenthood. While the Obama Administration took executive action to protect Planned Parenthood from being defunded at the state level, it was short-lived. The U.S. Congress recently passed a law permitting states to defund the organization.

Another of President Trump’s commitments was to defund Planned Parenthood. As the abortion giant continues to kill preborn children, and injure their mothers—at catastrophic rates—the situation cannot be riper to defund Planned Parenthood, especially with a pro-life White House. While the U.S. Senate failed to successfully defund Planned Parenthood and repeal ObamaCare, it was by one vote, meaning the abortion giant can still be defunded.

  1. Electing pro-life candidates

Americans defeated Planned Parenthood’s political agenda in 2016, electing pro-lifers to the White House, U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Senate.

During his first several months in office, President Trump has signed legislation permitting states to defund Planned Parenthood. He also expanded the Mexico City Policy, which he re-enacted days after his inauguration, cutting off foreign aid to organizations promoting or committing abortion. Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he now sits as an associate justice, another campaign promise. Trump is also committed to making the Hyde Amendment permanent law.

Vice-President Pence has assuaged pro-life voters with his pro-life record, also terrifying the abortion movement. Pence spoke at the 2017 March for Life, met with pro-life organizations, and cast tie-breaking votes to pass legislation. While speaking at CPAC this year, Pence also shared that he is “most of all…grateful and honored to serve with a president” on the life issue.

Pro-lifers also saw victories in 2010 after electing a majority pro-life U.S. House of Representatives and a majority pro-life U.S. Senate in 2014, which remain today.

With necessary legislation still to pass, voters can put pressure on their elected officials, and send into office those who will help Trump fulfill his campaign commitments.

  1. Rise of alternatives to Planned Parenthood

Arguments that women’s healthcare will suffer if Planned Parenthood is defunded ring hollow. Planned Parenthood is outnumbered by Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which provide legitimate health care services, not abortion. These centers would be funded in place of Planned Parenthood, which has seen long-term declines in legitimate health care services, despite increases in taxpayer funding.

At many Planned Parenthood locations, the only service for pregnant women is abortion, as former victims and Live Action investigations have shown. Fortunately, pregnancy centers and pro-life health care centers provide life-affirming alternatives.

It’s important to stand for pregnancy centers, as some states and localities are forcing these centers to promote abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood, as well as media allies, have tried and failed to discredit pregnancy centers.

  1. Rise of the pro-life generation

The pro-life generation brings hope. Studies show that, despite labeling issues, Americans support pro-life policies.

Young people know that being born after 1973 means they could have been aborted. They’ve also grown up seeing siblings and children on the ultrasound screen, allowing them to clearly see the humanity of preborn children.

Students for Life of America, which celebrated ten years in March, outnumbers campus Planned Parenthood groups 4 to 1, and has millennial leaders, employees, and supporters. The group is dedicated to “abolishing abortion in this lifetime” and has let it be known that this generation “survived Roe v. Wade,” but intends to end Roe.

The millennial generation is well-equipped for this task, and the pro-life movement is in good hands.

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