Obama Administration Sparks Pro-Life Momentum

April 14, 2009

President Barack Obama’s extreme pro-abortion actions have spurred a growing momentum in the pro-life movement. Politico featured an article about the boom in pro-life activism as the top story. The story follows the reaction that Americans have brought to the radical pro-abortion nominees and the possibility of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) being signed into law. Here are some excerpts from the article:

Obama’s first 84 days in office have been like an extended recruiting drive for the anti-abortion movement, reinvigorating a constituency he sought to neutralize during the campaign. Activists report a noticeable spike in activity as Obama moves to defend and expand a woman’s right to choose an abortion – causing anti-abortion voters to mobilize in ways never needed during the Bush administration. So far this year:

— The Susan B. Anthony List says its supporters sent more anti-abortion-related letters, e-mails and faxes to Obama and lawmakers in the first quarter alone than during each of the last two years.

— The American Life League reported a 30 percent uptick in donations over last year.

— Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey Jr., an anti-abortion Democrat who campaigned vigorously for Obama, has received more mail on abortion than on any other issue in 2009, spokesman Larry Smar said.

It’s no surprise that Obama supports abortion rights. What’s been surprising to these groups is a quick succession of policy and personnel moves by Obama as president – moves they say belie the words of Candidate Obama, who pledged to change the national conversation about abortion.

The series of decisions started with Obama’s move soon after taking office to lift federal funding restrictions on overseas family planning groups. Later, he moved to repeal Bush-era conscience protections for medical professionals. And his stem-cell decision angered groups that consider it tantamount to ending a human life, because the embryos must be destroyed to retrieve the cells.

But his personnel moves also have caused alarm. Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius fought attempts to dial back abortion rights as Kansas governor. Obama’s communications director Ellen Moran previously ran EMILY’s List, which backed women candidates who supported abortion rights. Obama’s pick to run the powerful Office of Legal Counsel inside the Justice Department, Dawn Johnsen, was previously legal director for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

To be sure, anti-abortion voters were never going to support Obama wholeheartedly, but because he worked hard during the campaign not to play up his differences with them, any signs that they are mobilized could cause him trouble down the road.

Obama won the Catholic vote in November, and did better among Protestants than 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry.

In a poll released last week, Obama’s disapproval ratings among Catholic and Protestant voters rose between February and April, but it was consistent with an increase in dissatisfaction among all voters. The fluctuation among white evangelicals was more severe, according to the survey by the Pew Center for the People and the Press. A 31 percent disapproval rating in February jumped to 47 percent in April, making it one of the steeper spikes among demographic groups.

Anti-abortion activists say their e-mail lists, grassroots organization and online traffic show something is happening.

“A lot of activists are waking up,” said Joy Yearout, political director the Susan B. Anthony List. “For eight years we had President Bush and his veto pen to protect us – and we don’t have that anymore.”

You can read the entire article at Politico.

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