The bad news began right after the November elections. And on December 7, the Senate voted to confirm the nomination of Andrew von Eschenbach as Commissioner of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As Acting Commissioner, Esehenbach approved the over-the-counter sale of the abortion-causing “morning-after pill.” and did nothing to protect women from RU-486, despite the at least eight deaths and hundreds of injuries resulting from its use. Two pro-life senators, Jim DeMint (R.-SC.) and David Vitter (R.-La.), had placed “holds” on his nomination but their wishes, in defiance of Senate tradition, were ignored.
Another straw in the wind was the resignation of UN Ambassador John Bolton, whom the leaders of the lame-duck Senate refused to confirm. Among other things, Bolton was a strong opponent of the UN’s “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women” (CEDAW). As interpreted by a committee of flaming feminists, CEDAW has been used to order Ireland to legalize abortion, Communist China to legalize prostitution, and Belarus to cancel Mother’s Day because it “perpetuates a negative cultural stereotype” (fortunately, some countries ignore the CEDAW committee for now). Bolton’s departure removes a major obstacle to the CEDAW committee’s efforts to impose abortion-on-demand on countries around the world.
What further mischief can we expect from the new Congress, led by such pro-abortion stalwarts as Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and Dick Durbin of Illinois?
Pelosi and Company at Work
First of all, look for Pelosi and Company to push for huge increases in federal funding for Planned Parenthood at home and for population control abroad. Funding has been held level for six years now, and Abortion, Inc., expects a big bonus now that its friends are in power.
Second, I believe we will see a frontal attack on two key pro-life policies of the Bush administration — the Mexico City policy and UNFPA funding. Pro-aborts were angered both by the Mexico City policy, which prohibits U.S. population control funds from going to organizations that promote abortion, and by the UNFPA funding decision, which has denied nearly $200 million to their friends at the UN organization over the past six years.
As you know, we at PRI had a hand in formulating both these pro-life policies, and we do not intend to stand idly by while they come under attack. We have a vigorous program of international and domestic investigations planned, which will demonstrate anew how such programs harm women and children, violate human rights, and promote abortion. With fresh, compelling evidence, it should be possible to guarantee that the UNFPA funding cut-off continues, as well as secure the Mexico City policy. With the right evidence, it may even be possible to cut off a Planned Parenthood affiliate here, or a questionable program there.
So while our work here in Washington has gotten harder, all is far from being lost. The National Abortion Rights Action League may brag that it helped to elect 18 new pro-abortion congressmen and a couple of new pro-abortion senators, but the shift in Congress is hardly as lopsided as it wants to pretend. A number of new pro-life congressmen have been elected as well, so we will be reaching out to them.
New Supreme Court Justice?
Finally, what about the Supreme Court? Assuming that another vacancy on the nation’s highest court occurs during Bush’s last two years in office, what are the prospects for confirming a fifth pro-life justice, someone who, along with justices Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito, would cast the deciding vote to overturn Roe v. Wade? I remember the confirmation of Clarence Thomas in 1991, at a time when the Senate had 57 Democrats and only 43 Republicans. A host of nasty allegations against Thomas did not prevent 11 Democrats from voting for Thomas, and he was confirmed by a 52–48 margin.
The four Democrat senators who voted for Sam Alito last year — Byrd, Conrad, Johnson, and Ben Nelson — may be expected to vote for a strong pro-life nominee. Then there are the “red” states Democrats running for re-election in 2008. It seems to me that Montana’s Max Baucus, Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, and Arkansas’ David Pryor may hesitate to attack a strong, pro-life candidate. Finally, there’s Senator-Elect Bob Casey of Pennsylvania who, unless he completely betrays his father’s pro-life legacy, should vote for confirmation.
I look forward to 2007 with hope.