Monday, January 26, 2009

Authentic Hope . . . for All

The following editorial, written by Right to Life of Michigan Public Information Director Pamela Sherstad, was sent to media outlets for the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.

Two events, two days apart, could have significant ramifications for the lives of millions. The two impending turning points: 1) the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama on January 20 and 2) the 36th memorial of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton on January 22. Both events have the potential of impacting how hope is viewed in the United States.

Hope is on the minds and hearts of many. Many in the great state of Michigan are clinging to the hope that change in the White House will help Michigan. The anticipation of a better economy and the hope of stability is a wish of most.

During his run for president, President-Elect Barack Obama made a number of promises. He promised to change the tone in Washington and to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans. One promise which most may have missed was what Obama promised to Planned Parenthood, America’s #1 abortion provider, during his campaign. In July of 2007, he said, "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do."

The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is legislation which is designed to eliminate virtually all federal and state limitations on abortion. Besides getting rid of common-sense laws like parental consent, bans on partial-birth abortion and informed consent, FOCA would also force taxpayers to fund abortion if it was passed by Congress and signed by the president. In Michigan, these laws (along with the elimination of tax-funded abortions) have helped reduce the number of annual abortions by nearly 50 percent. Michigan doesn’t need more abortions; we have learned from women who have had abortions with the courage to voice their vulnerabilities that abortion is not worthy of a woman.

Those who believe there should be fewer abortions should do more than just hope that FOCA doesn’t become law. Thirty-six years have passed since two tragic decisions, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, by the U.S. Supreme Court enshrined abortion as a “right.” These decisions have led to the deaths of more than 50 million unborn children in the last 36 years. Our society will never know the enormous toll this immense loss of life has taken on our nation and on our families.

More than three decades of abortion on demand have allowed our government and society to fail in their duty to provide life-affirming alternatives to mothers in crisis. We have failed by not providing hope. Women do not desire abortion; yet every year more than a million women put themselves through this procedure because no other options seemed viable. Abortion can only seem plausible when giving birth seems impossible. Abortion relies on a lack of hope for the future.

The turning points of the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama on January 20 and the 36th memorial of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton on January 22 give individuals the opportunity to consider real hope for our communities, state and country. Authentic hope can only be recognized when all human life, born and unborn, is accepted.