There is no way to ignore the clear results of the election of 2008. The pro-life movement was taken to the cleaners as increased numbers of pro-abortion politicians on both the state and federal levels were elected. In addition, several states voted against the protection of life in ballot initiatives.
Michigan: In Michigan, the voters were faced with Proposal 2, an amendment to the state constitution that would legalize embryonic stem cell research. While similar initiatives in Michigan have failed in the past, Proposal 2 passed this time by 52 percent to 48 percent. The amendment specifically prevents the passage of future laws that would 'prevent, restrict, obstruct, or discourage any stem cell research or stem cell therapies and cures,' or future laws that would create disincentives for anybody that would engage in or associate with such 'research, therapies or cures.' Such an amendment leaves the doors wide open for bizarre forms of scientific research that are intent on creating animal-human hybrids, chimeras, or other novel forms of life.
Washington: Despite opposition from its state medical association, Washington state voters legalized physician-assisted suicide (PAS) 59 percent to 41 percent. Washington is now the second state (behind Oregon) to legalize death as a medical treatment. The proponents of this measure outspent opponents four to one and have enthusiastically announced that they are looking for the next states to accomplish their agenda in hopes of creating a domino effect and establishing PAS as standard medical treatment.
South Dakota: In perhaps the most heartbreaking result of the entire election, the voters in South Dakota turned down an initiative that would have outlawed abortion, except in the cases where the life of the mother is endangered or the pregnancy is a result of an act of rape or incest. The rape and incest exceptions in the proposed law were narrowly defined and required actual medical documentation before an abortion could occur. The goal was to pass this law to take to the U.S. Supreme Court as a test case to reverse Roe v. Wade. Such a test case will have to come from some other law, however, as the voters turned down this initiative 55 percent to 45 percent.
Colorado: The voters in this state turned down by 73 percent to 27 percent a measure that would define life as beginning at conception.
California: The voters of California defeated Proposition 4, 52 percent to 48 percent, which would have required parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor.
The Election of Barack Obama
The election of Barack Obama to the presidency means that the American public has chosen the most radically pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the highest office in the land. Obama's record on abortion is crystal clear:
He supports the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) and has announced to a Planned Parenthood conference that signing it would be the very first thing he does as president. FOCA is a pending bill that, if passed, would nullify every federal and state limitation on abortion, including bans on partial-birth abortion, bans on federal and state funding of abortion, state parental notification laws, and waiting periods before an abortion can be obtained.
Obama opposes the recent efforts by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to protect physicians from discrimination for following their consciences against referring for or participating in abortion.
Obama adamantly states that he will appoint to the U.S. Supreme Court only those justices that support Roe v. Wade stating: "I believe, however, that a judicial nominee with a history of undermining settled law like Roe v. Wade deserves greater scrutiny. That is why in the past I have opposed the nominations of Supreme Court Justices Roberts and Alito."
Obama supports unrestricted embryonic stem-cell research and has stated that early in his term he will issue an executive order that cancels the order from President Bush, which banned federal funding of such research.
Obama has announced that by executive order he will overturn longstanding federal policies that prohibit the performance of abortions on federal military property and that prohibit federal funds going to international family planning agencies that promote abortion as a method of family planning, i.e., Planned Parenthood.
It is also clear that Obama will appoint to important federal positions that have an impact on abortion policy (e.g., Attorney General and Secretary of Health and Human Services) only people who are totally committed to abortion on demand and Roe v. Wade. Indeed, the names of potential appointees to cabinet and advisory positions being now discussed in the media are totally void of anybody who has pro-life sympathies.
The Impact of the Election on Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs)
PRCs have a special calling that will continue regardless of the politicians in power and the laws that they pass. However, it is clear that now there are more enemies of PRCs in positions of power who can, and will, attempt to create problems. Legislative efforts to restrict and close down PRCs in various states are expected. In addition, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and other pro-abortion advocates who have long wanted to shut down PRCs will advocate federal hearings against PRCs.
The message for PRCs is that we must be ready and continue to offer our services with integrity while abiding by legal guidelines. We must not be intimidated by what has happened but, more than ever, trust God for our protection as we continue our work.
NIFLA has recently joined with Heartbeat International and Care Net to prepare a strategic plan of action for PRCs to begin to implement now and in the coming months to address the expected attacks that will come our way. To have this plan sent to you via email, please contact our main office with such a request at 540-372-3930 or email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is not a time for fear. Rather, it is a time for boldness in speaking the truth. It is a time for unashamedly presenting the Gospel to a lost nation. And it is a time to fight for and defend the lives of the innocent in our culture as we continue to build a culture of life in our communities.
Thomas A. Glessner is president of NIFLA and can be contacted at 540-372-3930 or NIFLA@aol.com.