If you look at the marchers today, you’ll see tens of thousands of young people. This intimidates the pro-abortion crowd because they have long thought that the idea of pro-life would die out over time, that pro-life people were adherents to “that old-time religion” that had been left behind by modern culture.
If you look at the marchers today, you’ll see tens of thousands of women and girls. This, too, intimidates the pro-abortion crowd. “How dare these female marchers think and act counter to the revolution undertaken on their behalf!” (A major pro-life group in Canada rebuts this view by declaring itself the “REAL Women of Canada.”)
Pro-lifers understand that abortion is a life-and-death issue, that the life of each child and each mother is so very dear.
The pro-abortion crowd yells that pro-lifers are trying to impose their beliefs (religious, moral, whatever) on the entire country. The pro-abortion crowd should look in the mirror. The people responsible for the Women’s March held in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, January 21, the day after the Inauguration, disinvited pro-life women. Of course, there are many examples of the intolerance of pro-abortionists, including the Obama Administration’s Contraception (and abortion and sterilization) Mandate that failed to fully accommodate even the humble and charitable Little Sisters of the Poor. (See this five-page September 2015 dissent by five of the 12 judges, including Judge Neil Gorsuch, on the Tenth Circuit)
Dr. and Mrs. John C. Willke
Here’s a personal example of intolerance. I had a good rapport with the managing partner of a law firm and he invited me to meet some of his partners, in individual sessions. Our mutual expectation was that I would be invited to join the firm. I came into the office of a partner, a woman. I sat down as she was looking at my resumé and she said, “Oh, I didn’t know this.” My resumé had included the fact that I had served as a full-time lawyer for a pro-life organization. She started to tremble. I guessed that she had never been in the same room with a pro-lifer. I tried to be my calm and well-manner self. I hoped the firm would be a “big tent” – just like the law school dean who was so proud that the school’s faculty had prepared two lawyers who would appear against each other in the same Supreme Court case. No, she vetoed me.
A friend attended a recent performance of the play Roe at Arena Stage, Washington, D.C. During the performance, the actress playing the plaintiff in (Jane) Roe v. Wade, now known to be Norma Covey, said that she had become Catholic (true), the audience let out a large and spontaneous laugh. The audience would probably do the same if there were a play about Dr. Bernard Nathanson (1926-2011), co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), an abortionist himself of 60,000 (his calculation) children, who became pro-life and then converted to Catholicism. He narrated the 1984 film Silent Scream and he wrote The Hand of God: A Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind (1996).
Bernard Nathanson, M.D.
Before the March for Life even begins today, there will be speakers. One of these will be Vice President Pence who has addressed the marchers before, in 2010. And Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, will also speak. She says she has attended the March before, with her four children. It is said Vice President Pence and Counselor Conway will be the first persons from the White House to attend in person. (But I think Gary Bauer, then President Reagan’s Chief Domestic Policy Adviser, may have spoken at a March.) In 1987, President Reagan, and in 2003, President George W. Bush, addressed the marchers from the White House, a couple of blocks away, by phone.) It would not be unexpected for President Trump to surprise and speak.
The marchers this year will be marching with a bit of a spring in their step, and it won’t be due to 43 degree temperatures and partly cloudy skies. They know:
• President Trump is expected to nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court next week a person committed to the text, structure and history of the U.S. Constitution (summarized as “an originalist”).
• On January 23, President Trump reinstated President Reagan’s, George H.W. Bush’s and George W. Bush’s executive order on the so-called “Mexico City Policy.” It was first issued in Mexico City. It forbids the use of federal taxpayers’ money to support non-governmental organizations in the provision, or promotion, of abortions.
• On January 24, the House passed a bill that would make the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal taxpayers’ money to pay for abortions, permanent rather than annual.
• The prospects of defunding Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the United States, have improved since the November elections.
• Marchers might expect advances in legislation, at the federal and state levels, concerning survivors of attempted abortion (opposed in the Illinois senate by then Illinois senator Barack Obama) (see the Abortion Survivors Network, if you search the web for abortion survivor, you will find pictures and testimonies); newborns with disabilities; unborn children able to experience pain; treating abortion clinics like the ambulatory surgical centers they are (see my September 2014 essay on the late Joan Rivers on these pages,late term abortions; conscience protection for patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists – taxpayers; abortions based on the sex of the fetal human being or based on expected disabilities).
• Marchers expect that there won’t be Administration officials “understanding” coerced abortion, like Vice President Biden while he was visiting China in 2011.
• Marchers expect that the ban on partial-births abortion of 2003 will remain.
I don’t want to forget that there are two books readers should not miss. One, just issued in November, is by Joseph Scheidler, who had been sued by the National Organization of Women and the litigation last 20 years. His case went to the Supreme Court, not just once, not twice, but three times. And he was vindicated. His book is Racketeer for Life: Fighting the Culture of Death from the Sidewalk to the Supreme Court. The second is by Dr. (1925-2015) and Mrs. (d. 2013) John C. Willke, parents of six children and foster parents to several teenagers. He was the president of National Right to Life from 1984-1991. Their book is Abortion and the Pro-Life Movement: An Inside View (2014).
Joseph M. Scheidler
Folks, do you hear very often the term “motherhood and apple pie”? In one meaning, it refers to an issue about which there is consensus. A dictionary says “no one would disparage ‘motherhood.’” The same dictionary says the phrase can refer to something all-American, as in “As American as baseball, hotdogs, motherhood and apple pie.” I used this phrase recently with a friend and then immediately corrected myself, writing that the reverence for motherhood in this country is not what it used to be. So, maybe the phrase is obsolete.
Yesterday, however, in Virginia, the Commonwealth celebrated “Motherhood and Apple Pie Day.” The law recognizing this Day was passed in 1989:
Code of Virginia § 2.2-3303. Observance of Motherhood and Apple Pie Day in recognition of the need to prevent infant mortality.
A. The twenty-sixth day of January of each year shall be recognized and celebrated as Motherhood and Apple Pie Day throughout the Commonwealth. Upon this date, all citizens of the Commonwealth are urged to reflect upon the need to continue efforts to reduce the state's infant mortality rate to preserve our heritage and to ensure the health and well-being of future generations.
My fervent prayer is that our entire Nation restores its reverence for motherhood. It is an abomination that Planned Parenthood built (albeit it is said with non-federal funds) a $20 million, 27,000-square foot facility. See picture. As part of ITS War on Women, Planned Parenthood opened the Carol Whitehall Moses Center in the District of Columbia in September 2016 -- adjacent to an elementary school. The president of a Georgetown University pro-life group, Vita Saxa, Amelia Irvine (class of 2019), stated at the time: “It is highly inappropriate for the clinic to be located next to an elementary school. My first concern is for post-abortive women; I can’t imagine seeing an elementary school or children at recess after undergoing an abortion.” (The Hoya, October 7, 2016)
Yes, we march and we protest.
Spero columnist James Thunder is an attorney who is based in the Washington DC area. This article first appeared at The American Spectator and appears here with permission.