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Jewish World Review Jan. 27, 2003 / 24 Shevat, 5763

David Limbaugh

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Consumer Reports

Some "choice" problems | One thing is strikingly clear: the pro-abortion lobby still wields veto power over the Democratic presidential nomination process.

I have never seen such a panoply of panderers as when I watched, with horror, the six Democratic presidential candidates groveling before the gods of National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) in a unanimous display of homage at a pro-abortion fund-raising dinner Tuesday. (Watch the tape; it was disgraceful.)

"The fact that this is the first major gathering of the announced presidential hopefuls on the Democratic side demonstrates the importance and power of this issue," said Kate Michelman, the president of NARAL. No, Kate, actually, it shows the stranglehold you feminists have on an entire political party.

This stranglehold is ironic given recent evidence suggesting that this glorified anti-life movement is losing favor among the American people. So much so, in fact, that NARAL just changed its name to Naral Pro Choice America, in a frantic effort to rescue its faltering image. "Through our name change we are underscoring that our country is pro-choice, said Michelman. "It's the right name for this moment in history." Oh?

A brand-new Wirthlin Worldwide poll shows that 68 percent of American adults favor restoring legal protection for unborn children." Nearly the same percentage -- 66 percent -- said they favored Supreme Court nominees "who would uphold laws that restore legal protection to unborn children."

Pro-abortionists can spin these numbers any way they want, or complain that the polling questions were loaded, but if the pollsters wanted to fudge their findings, they could have asked whether people have any problems with abortion, or some other nebulous question. But they didn't. They asked about legal protection and judges who would offer it. That's pretty hard to explain away.

Sure, the poll doesn't provide specifics as to what type of legal protection or to what stages of the baby's development it should apply. But the mere support for legal protection at all speaks volumes about the public's awareness that we are dealing with live human beings, not impersonal, unviable tissue masses or lifeless zygotes. As Janet Folger, president of Faith2Action, a pro-life and traditional values organization, said, "The bottom line is, 30 years of chanting 'choice' cannot overshadow what it is that's being chosen." And the more we advance scientifically, the more acute our awareness will be. Research by the National Institute of Family Health and Life Advocacy (NIFLA) indicates that up to 90 percent of women who see their unborn child using new "3-D" ultrasound technology, which shows the unborn child's body and facial features in detail, choose to carry the baby to term.

These developments, pardon the pun, have the abortionists quite concerned. So do many of the other leading indicators on the health of the abortion movement. They can't be pleased, for example, that the number of U.S. abortion providers has fallen to its lowest level in 30 years. Nor that 35 states are seeing a downward trend in abortion rates.

But what worries them most is Republican control of the presidency and congress with no signs of relief on the horizon. (Human Events reported that NARAL went 1-for-20 in its congressional election picks in November. That is, all but one of the 20 House and Senate candidates it chose to support and endorse -- all Democrats -- lost.)

The abortionists say they are going to have to shift their focus to politics because they can no longer rely on their obstructionist powers to control the court with judges receptive to vague penumbras and phantom constitutional privacy rights. But with their declining electoral clout it's inevitable they will oppose President Bush's judicial nominations even more fiercely, if that's possible.

But all their noise won't conceal that the abortion movement is experiencing hard times. The abortionists' fundamental problem is that they don't have truth on their side. They aren't even honest about their real agenda, which is why they are forever playing semantic games and changing their name.

If they were truly pro-choice and not pro-abortion, how do you explain the nearly 700,000 surgical and chemical abortions Planned Parenthood admitted to performing in 2001 alone? Or that they hide information from pregnant women contemplating an abortion, such as the objectively identified medical and psychological risks involved? Or that they don't encourage them to get a 3-D ultrasound?

I'm not saying the abortion movement is dead. Far from it. But it's ailing. Please don't tell the Democratic presidential hopefuls.

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David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is the author of the just-released exposť about corruption in the Clinton-Reno Justice Department, "Absolute Power." Send your comments to him by clicking here.