Hello FVFAPP readers, Matt Yonke here. Eric and I are in Washington D.C. for the March for life today. I’ll be updating wherever I have internet access, beginning with the Blogs for Life Conference, where I am right now. Later we’re hitting the march, which I’ll probably have to blog in a less “live” fashion. So, without further delay, away we go! 9:40 a.m. I am very excited that, though I arrived at Blogs for life a little late, I made it in time for Senator Sam Brownback, one of our fiercest pro-life politicians. Sen. Brownback is encouraging us to consider a “pro-life/whole life” stance. He says we need to remember that life is just as important in the womb, in schools, in prison, overseas, wherever life is present, life is precious and sacred. The senator reminds us that our real enemy in the fight for life is death and fear and despair. It’s not about “you’re a bad person, I’m a good person” it’s about the triumph of life over death. 9:45 a.m. Senator Brownback reminds us about the scientific triumphs of the past year and warns us of the looming threat of genetic manipulation that could mix human and animal DNA and pass that on to future generations. We are reminded of the importance of the upcoming presidential race and Senator Brownback expresses hope about getting a pro-life president this time around. 9:50 a.m. Senator Brownback is now taking some questions from the audience.
Q: Does the Sen. think it’s healthy for pro-lifers to be backing several candidates for president, or should we rally around one candidate? A: The senator is happy to see many pro-life candidates in the race. The plethora of republicans on the pro-life side encourages him. What he would really like to see is a pro-life win in November, whoever the candidate is. He again affirms the importance of having a pro-life president to get pro-life justices on the supreme court. Q: Does the Sen. foresee any changes in abortion law in specific states? A: Missouri has embryonic stem cell research legislation coming up, as well as other states. With new breakthroughs in the science, he hopes to see more progress on that front. Also, he hopes that states will begin examining the conditions in abortion clinics, if only on a sanitation level. Senator Brownback also thinks we need to encourage getting poorer people into family structures to build the foundation of our nation and help people get out of poverty. He says one of the things most quickly leading people to poverty is to get people into marriage and families. We need to support the formation of families instead of taxing the formation of families. He thinks we (specifically republicans) need to put more emphasis on how we’re going to deal with the poverty problem. Q: Does the Sen. support measures to make divorce more difficult when children are involved? A: No, as those laws are state laws and should not be dealt with on the federal level. 9:55 a.m. Q: Is John McCain firmly committed to nominating pro-life supreme court justices? A: Absolutely. The Senator says we must return to a strict constructionist view that returns the supreme court to its proper role as a court, not a legislative body. This, he says, is a fundamental necessity if we’re to support the welfare of this nation.
That was the last question, but it was a real privilege to see a pro-life power house like Senator Brownback! 10:00 a.m. The next speaker will be Maggie Datiles from Americans United for Life. Miss Datiles is giving an overview of developments in abortion law in the last year. Apparently, both abortion restriction laws proposed and abortion laws enacted went up last year! 10:05 a.m. At least 9 states considered partial birth abortion bans and Louisiana actually enacted one! 15 states adopted abortion clinic regulation laws and three states enacted laws forbidding anyone from coercing a woman into an abortion. Three states enacted mandatory ultra-sound laws as well. In the first two weeks of 2007 we have already seen over 100 new abortion regulation bills introduced into state legislatures and more to come! It looks like it will be a good year for the pro-life movement! 10:15 a.m. Michael New gives us a presentation on the importance of studying pro-life legislations. He believe it can help us adopt better legislative strategies in the future. He speaks of what he calls a “quiet decline” in abortion over the years dues to the work of the pro-life movement, especially in state legislation. 10:20 a.m. Between 1992 and 2000 we have seen an incredible increase in abortion restriction legislation on the state level. There has been a lot of incremental progress that helps to curb the total number of abortions. 10:30 a.m. Mr. New, who is a very very smart guy and has done an unbelievable amount of research on how effective abortions restrictions have been, feels that they have been very effective. He overwhelmed us with mountains of data and bar graphs all of which add up to less abortions due to all of the various restriction methods states have tried. Mr. New also thinks that these 24 or 48 hour waiting periods some states have tried are good, but not enough. What we ought to do is institute a 9 month waiting period! That might really decrease the number of abortions! All in all it seems that laws (even like the Parental Notification Ordinance we’re going to try to pass in Aurora) do have an actual, significant effect on the number of abortions. Let’s keep up the good work! 10:45 a.m. Judie Brown, director of the American Life League (ALL), talks about their organization’s focus on education. They try not to work on things like legislation and other ways of doing pro-life work, they focus on raising the awareness of the American public regarding the real humanity of the un-born child. Judie says that, though they’ve made great progress in the last 25 years, we have a long way to go in the pro-life movement. But she’s encouraged by the very young average age of the people here at the march. Well, I’m about to run out of batteries, so I’ll be back after the March! Stay tuned, hopefully we’ll get some pictures up as well!