Trent Lott says to bank on his promise that a partial-birth abortion ban will be passed this year. But the White House is sounding a cautious note, warning social conservatices, i.e. pro-lifers, not to push too hard too quickly so that it doesn’t look like a fringe element has taken control of the federal government.
- It’s not clear, however, how much leeway conservatives will give Bush. “This Republican Congress was elected because of the pro-life vote, and they need to heed that vote,” said Ken Connor, head of the Family Research Council. “We know the abortion issue was the number two issue that prompted voter turnout in Minnesota, the number three issue in Missouri, and we know 76 percent of self-identified religious conservatives in Georgia voted for Saxby Chambliss. In no small part, the favorable outcome of this election for Republicans is a consequence of motivated pro-life voters who turned out to the polls.”
In most exit polls that finally filtered in after the election, a lot of voters listed pro-life as a big issue for them. And look at the batting average for NOW and the National Abortion Rights Action League when they made abortion a big issue in supporting certain candidates. I think something like 85 or 90 percent of them lost.
So what’s at stake? It’s not just the ban on partial-birth abortions:
- Next on the list of House-passed measures come the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (giving legal status to a fetus hurt or killed during the commission of a federal crime), the Child Custody Protection Act (making it a crime to take a minor for an out-of-state abortion in violation of a state’s parental notification laws), and the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (forbidding state and local government actions against hospitals or health-care workers who refuse to participate in abortions).
All of that passed the House this year and could be passed by the Senate before the end of this term. Then there is the potential appointment of pro-life federal judges. A lot could be accomplished, but not if we’re too timid to use the opportunity that we have before us.
We have perhaps two years with a pro-life majority in Congress and a pro-life president. If not now, when?