It’s been a tremendous Year in the Life of Americans United for Life. We celebrated 40 years of service, working to ensure that everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law.
Historic votes took place, and pro-life legislators, armed with AUL’s model legislation, research and support, birthed new laws to make their states, and this great nation, a place where all are valued and where fewer tax dollars are wasted in support of the abortion industry.
The pro-life community has much to celebrate as the year draws to a close. In the spirit of the music that marks the season, one song in particular seemed perfect for illustrating how your commitment to Americans United for Life over the last 40 years has given us much for which to be thankful.
The 12 Days of Pro-Life Christmas
On the first day of Christmas your support gave to me …
One – Investigation of Planned Parenthood.
For the first time, the Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Florida), began an investigation of the billion-dollar abortion behemoth. The Committee has asked Planned Parenthood to turn over financial records and materials to provide explanations for the conduct of an organization that is the nation’s largest abortion provider. With the mid-year release of “The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood,” AUL has been front and center in leading the charge to investigate the scandal-ridden organization.
Two – Testimonies before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justices.
And as AUL continues to be a resource on Capitol Hill, out pro-life voice in confirmations to the high court will continue to be heard.
Three – Three Hundred and Sixty-Three Million in taxpayer dollars that go to Planned Parenthood, what should be the most bipartisan budget cut.
Polls show that 7 in 10 Americans do not want to support abortion with their hard-earned dollars. The one-third of a billion dollars that Planned Parenthood receives, along with the tax monies going to other abortion providers, is a bi-partisan budget cut waiting in the wings.
Four – Pro-life Women Governors elected in the last cycle.
In fact, in the last election cycle, we saw 19 pro-life governors elected. All four pro-life women candidates won, and there are now twice as many pro-life women governors as pro-abortion. The electoral shift at the state level made possible the pro-life gains that occurred in 2011. Among state legislatures, 20 chambers switched power last election from Democratic to Republican (the typical number of change is 13), and while the life issue is bipartisan, that change has resulted in momentum for life.
Five – Children who are the best present I could ever receive.
For me, they represent the heartbeat of our passion for life, the love we experience in the young lives we share, and the sorrow we feel for those who are missing. We have lost 50 million lives to abortion since Roe, too great a loss to fully comprehend.
Six – Issues of Defending Life that have been changing the face of the nation. (Number seven waiting in the wings.)
AUL’s signature contribution to the legislative landscape, a guidebook of model legislation that is constitutionally sound and ready to be defended. This year’s issue will include 43 pieces of model legislation on life-related issues.
Seven – Justices who overturned the laws of all 50 states when Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton were decided … but the states are fighting back.
Ever since Roe, legislatures have been fighting to regain their rightful role in deciding this issue for the citizens of this country. In 2011, more than 70 life-related bills were enacted in legislatures across the country. AUL was instrumental in the passage of 28 laws protecting life. Altogether in 2011, 47 states, seeking to protect women and their unborn children, considered more than 460 bills.
Eight — The Eighth Circuit Court that called on AUL to detail the psychological risks of abortion to women in abortion.
At the cutting-edge of arguments aimed at curtailing unrestricted abortion is a debate over the mental and physical implications of the procedure. One key study, for example, finds that women who undergo abortions are at a more than 80 percent increased risk of subsequent mental health problems attributable to the event, according to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry by Priscilla K. Coleman, Ph.D. This study, along with others, is part of a growing body of work on the physical and mental health ramifications of abortion on women. Because of AUL’s prominence in documenting such findings, the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals recently asked AUL to re-file an amicus brief detailing the risk of suicide following abortion. The request came as part of the Circuit’s extremely rare move to rehear arguments on South Dakota’s law requiring that women be informed of the risk of suicide that can follow abortion (“suicide advisory”).
Nine – AUL attorneys who are turning their passion and knowledge into public policy and law.
AUL’s nine attorneys work tirelessly to defend life in law, compared to Nine Supreme Court Justices, before whom AUL believes abortion will some day be argued again. Only five justices will be needed to overturn Roe. So far, 29 abortion cases have been heard by the high court since and including Roe. But it will only take one special case to make a difference.
Ten – Title X, a federal program well known as a conduit of taxpayer cash to the abortion industry.
In addition to Title X, Medicaid also constitutes one of the largest sources of federal funding for Planned Parenthood. As the rates of government funding received by Planned Parenthood and the number of abortions it performs increase at nearly parallel rates–and at this time of economic uncertainty and crushing federal debt–AUL has been working with the House and talking with a recalcitrant Senate to get the American taxpayer out of the business of abortion.
Eleven – 2011, a year in which we saw historic first votes on life-related legislation in the Congress.
The successful re-instatement of the Dornan Amendment, protecting life in the District of Columbia, was an important pro-life victory in 2011. Budget battles occupied a lot of federal legislative time, as office holders considered how much money should go to the well-funded abortion industry. The House voted twice to end federal funding of the nation’s largest abortion provider. The Protect Life Act and the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act were among the key votes that AUL scored this year.
Twelve – 2012, a year in which AUL and AULA will be in the center of the action with its Life Counts 2012 plans for pro-life victory.
Strategic plans for innovative messaging are underway that will remind people of the timeless truth that all of us are created equal and worth of the right to life.
Thank you for the support you show AUL that is the source of our inspiration and ability to implement legal protections for all of us, from conception to natural death. We have much to celebrate this year. And we could not have done any of this without you.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,