Abortion Opponents See Political Openings
Abortion-related news is heating up just before tomorrow's 28th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The political mood this year is quite different from 2009 after President Obama's inauguration and in 2010 close to Scott Roeder's conviction of killing late-term abortion Dr. George Tiller, the Associated Press reports.
Republican governors who oppose abortion were elected in Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Just after its repeal of the health care law, House Speaker John Boehner unveiled the No Tax-Payer Funding for Abortion Act on Thursday, Politicoreports.
On Wednesday, Pennsylvania doctor was charged with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive and then killed with scissors.
The Philadelphia Inquirerran stories of women who were left scarred by their experiences in the clinic.
In 2001, Davida Johnson changed her mind about aborting her 6-month fetus after seeing Gosnell's dazed, bloodied patients in his recovery room, she said. But in the treatment room, Gosnell's staffers ignored her protests, smacked her, tied her arms down and sedated her into unconsciousness, she said. She awoke no longer pregnant.
Weeks later, she said, she was diagnosed with a venereal disease that she believes she contracted from unsterilized equipment Gosnell used. Now, she can't carry a baby to term and said she has miscarried four times since her abortion.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) is in the spotlight for remarks in made in an interview with Christian News Service. He said, "The question is – and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer – is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that person, human life is not a person, then, I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, 'we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.'" He stood by his remarks in an interview with Fox's Greta Van Susteren.
CT previously covered some strategies to watch in 2011. President of Americans United for Life Charmaine Yoest said in a statement that state-based approaches are "changing the momentum towards life at the state level. We are seeing a cultural shift toward protecting life and rolling back the tide of unrestricted abortions that Roe v. Wade produced."
Politico's Sarah Kliff reports that Republicans are placing a high legislative priority on the abortion issue.
"This is a very serious threat," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards told POLITICO in a Thursday morning interview. "These folks have just taken office and this is what they're focusing on…Based on what we're seeing, just few days after the start of Congress, we're absolutely ready for a very serious fight."
AUL released a ranking of how states deal with abortion, euthanasia and other issues. The top five states were 1: Oklahoma, 2: Louisiana, 3: Pennsylvania, 4: Arkansas and 5: Texas. Sitting at the bottom were New Jersey, Vermont, Hawaii, California, and Washington.