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    Opinion -- Americans Support Abortion Limitations


    Don Nelson

    Reno Gazette Journal

    January 28, 2010


    Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Allison Gaulden's op-ed "There are good reasons to celebrate Roe v. Wade" [Voices, Jan. 21] illustrates important differences between pro-life and abortion advocates on abortion issues, and who is shaping the direction America is heading on abortion.

    First, Gaulden's reference to German pastor Martin Niemoller speaks volumes. Niemoller lamented that his failure to speak up about injustices against other groups at the hands of the Nazis led to a Holocaust and his own victimization.

    Second, it's striking that a Planned Parenthood spokesperson would quote Niemoller. There have been 52 million abortions since Roe and nobody has done more abortions, operates more abortion clinics, advocated or profited more from abortion than Planned Parenthood.

    Third, abortion feminists' presumption to speak for women is false. Not only do abortion feminists not speak for women on abortion since more women are pro-life, the founding feminists were, without known exception, opposed to abortion. Susan B. Anthony said that abortion was child murder. She and the early feminists would forcefully oppose the 52 million abortions since Roe and be revolted at celebrations of Roe.

    Abortion advocates' opposition to parental notification, waiting periods, bans on partial-birth abortion and taxpayer funding of abortion demonstrates abortion advocates' extremism. These measures are supported by wide majorities of Americans, including many who are pro-choice. So are true informed- consent, anti-coercion screening, conscience rights, alternatives provided by crisis pregnancy centers and laws that treat the unborn as a victim when killed by murderers like Scott Peterson. Abortion advocates oppose them all.

    There are good things to celebrate 37 years from Roe. Americans are making steady progress to reduce abortion. The percentage of women having abortions is down one-third. Yearly abortions are down 25 percent while our population increased 20 percent. The ratio of abortions to live births is down. Teen abortions are down a stunning 50 percent!

    This dramatic decrease is largely due to the widely supported limitations. The Guttmacher Institute says 35 percent of women who would have aborted didn't because of the ban on taxpayer funding through the Hyde Amendment. Millions of Americans born since 1976 are alive today and owe their lives to these provisions opposed by abortion advocates.

    Not only are abortions down, a series of polls also shows that Americans are pro-life and that America's youth are profoundly pro-life. State legislatures have passed hundreds of widely supported laws and regulations. And despite abortion advocates' control of all three branches of government, the Freedom of Choice Act is dead and the health-care bill appears doomed in large part due to the Senate version's abortion funding provisions.

    Thirty-seven years from Roe, there are some things to celebrate. America is pro-life, abortions are down and Americans are moving toward a more pro-life policy on abortion.

    Don Nelson is president of Nevada LIFE (Life Issues Forum and Education).

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