Imagine in President Obama's upcoming state of the union address, if he gave a Pro-Life vision for the coming year. What if he gave us a Culture of Life guide with goal setting, long term planning, and an end of the year evaluation? What if his cultural goal for the country was to educate the people on the value of human life? If this seems too unrealistic, then picture the same values and vision addressed by a different president in 2013.
Opinions can change and with the right message, positive action can follow.
Take Abby Johnson who recently left her position at Planned Parenthood and became an advocate for the Pro-Life cause. In her book released this week, Johnson shares her journey from trying to educate women on pregnancy prevention to trying to educate women on the harm of Planned Parenthood. Johnson learned the hard way that the company she worked for was not what she thought it to be.
In her interview with Mike Huckabee, she was asked if she felt the focus was on healthcare and the prevention of illness? She replied stating that preventing pregnancies was the reason she began to work there in the first place. But she soon realized that Planned Parenthood had another motive: "One of Planned Parenthood's goals is to make money. And the way they make money is to increase the number of abortions they do." As reported earlier by CNSNews.com, Planned Parenthood received $363.2 million in government grants and contracts during its 2008-2009 fiscal year, according to the organization's annual report. That was up from $349.6 million in FY2007-08. A fact sheet on Planned Parenthood's Web site, states that the organization performed 324,008 abortions in calendar year 2008. That was up from 305,310 in 2007 and 289,750 in 2006.
Abby Johnson's heart and mind were changed when she was asked to assist on an ultra sound assisted abortion. "As she watched an unborn child 'crumple' before her very eyes as the infant was vacuumed and dismembered by a suction device 20-30 times more powerful than a household vacuum cleaner. 'I could see the baby try to move away … I just thought what am I doing … never again."
"It was all very shocking," she said. "The fact that everything I had believed was being turned on its head… I was figuring out that so many things I had believed were, in fact, a lie."
Abby Johnson has a vision: to convince the workers, clerks, receptionists, nurses, even doctors, that what they are doing is wrong. And do it without arguing. "That's what we want to fight against. We want to be reshaping that brand so that Planned Parenthood is not the first thing that pops into their mind," she said.
Indiana Congressman, Mike Pence started off the year focusing on the Value of Life by introducing a bill in the House of Representatives that would prohibit abortion providers from receiving federal funds through Title X of the Public Health Service Act, including Planned Parenthood, which received more than $360 million in government grants and contracts in Fiscal Year 2008-2009. This bill has 122 co-sponsors.
“The largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X,” Pence said from the House floor when he introduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act today, Jan. 7.
“Federal funding should reflect the priorities and the values of the majority of the American people,” Pence said. “Whatever people think about abortion across this country since Roe versus Wade, survey after survey has shown that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to support, subsidize, or promote abortion at home or abroad.”
“For the sake of American taxpayers; for the sake of the important work being done at Title X clinics across this country; and, most importantly, for the sake of the defenseless unborn and vulnerable young women who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy, we must enact the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act and end the day of taxpayer support for these organizations,” Pence said.
Imagine if President Obama presented these statistics and cited the residents of New York City as the initial place for goal setting, long term planning, and an end of the year evaluation. We recently learned that New York City had a record year, not in job growth, but in the number of pregnancies ending in abortion (41% of all pregnancies). If the number of miscarriages are taken out of the equation, that figure increases to 48% or almost half of all pregnancies. Clearly there is too much Sex in the City and a mentality that inconvenient pregnancies should be disposed of quickly. To put that number in context, the rate for the rest of the country is 20 percent. While New York City's numbers are going up, the rest of the country's has been going down. Over the last two decades the rate has been reduced from one in three to one in five pregnancies ending in an abortion and the destruction of human life.
What is America to do? Do we continue to sit by and let those statistics keep rising? Thankfully the Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan has stated a vision for efforts in the nation’s largest city to truly make abortion “rare,”
According to LifeNews, Dolan and other Catholic and pro-life leaders gathered on Thursday to discuss the new figure and what to do about it. Although he admitted there is no way to end abortions immediately, he said it is important "to tell people what is happening” so they are motivated to do something about it.
The problem: abortions that are used to end inconvenient pregnancies. The answer: education. The method: discussion. Initiation begins with courage.
Mike Huckabee, despite attcks from pro-choice groups, has stayed on message for over a decade. In a speech he gave last year for the Majella Foundation, Huckabee said,
“If we teach the generation behind us that some lives are expendable and can be put to death because they represent an interference with the economic well-being of their mothers or a social interruption in her calendar, that generation will someday become adults, and they’ll be taking care of us.
“We will have taught them that when we become an economic interference or a social interruption for them, they’ll believe they have the same right to terminate our lives in our older years that we thought we had to terminate theirs as infants.”
He said the signers of the Declaration of Independence understood that every human life has equal intrinsic worth, even though they knew it would take generations to make the principle work in practice.
“They altered the course of history, in part because of this radical understanding of the value and worth of human life, that no one had more worth and value than another.
“They (the Founding Fathers) challenged that conventional wisdom with a biblical understanding that everyone is of equal worth.”
Now is the time for an American president to use his bully pulpit to educate the people. Now is the time to rally around the cause of LIFE. When history books are written, phrases such as Kennedy's "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" can be joined by the phrase, "Every human life has intrinsic value and worth." Surely we can reduce the number of abortions. It starts with using the courage from within to get out the message, acting on our values, educating the country, and actively pursuing an end to abortion for convenience sake.
We do need a pro-life president, one who is willing to face the opposition and declare a Values Vision for America.