Welcome to the 1993 Colorado March for Life.
A few days ago, a new President of the United States was sworn into office. His election has been regarded, and I believe rightly so, as a setback to the pro-life movement. But there was more to the elections than you may have heard. Let's see what really happened.
In the Presidential race, Bill Clinton was elected, with a 5% margin over Bush in a 3-way race. The two "pro-choice" or pro-abortion candidates, Clinton and Perot, far outpolled the pro-life Bush. But this does not show a swing away from pro-life. Exit polling done for the major television networks found that 43% of all voters cited the economy as one of the one or two top issues affecting their vote, giving Clinton an 11% edge over Bush. The same poll showed those naming abortion as a top issue voting overwhelmingly for Bush, cutting Clinton's edge back to the 5% he actually got. That's consistent with other polls - a pro-life position carries a net margin of 6-7% of the total vote.
What difference does it make who was elected? Well, Bush vetoed pro-death legislation numerous times. In contrast, Clinton has pledged to sign the extremist "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA) (and I see a lot of "Stop FOCA" signs out there) which would prohibit any protective or regulatory measures on abortion by the states. He has said that he will allow the RU-486 abortifacient to be used, that he will fund the abortion providers, and that he will allow use of the bodies of aborted babies for transplants. These he has already acted on. He has also said that he will appoint pro-abortion judges. Of 846 federal judges, 102 positions are currently vacant. In addition, of the nine Supreme Court Justices, two are quite old and two have had continuing health problems. So there are still more possible appointment openings.
Things looked better for us in Congress than in the Presidential race. In the Senate, pro-lifers actually gained one vote (we lost one and gained two.)
In the House, redistricting, controlled by state legislatures, cost pro-lifers 17 votes before any elections were held. Don't let your state politicians weasel their way out of taking a position on abortion by claiming it's irrelevant in their offices, because this year's redistricting is an example of the impact. But we still gained back some of that loss in the elections themselves. Out of everything, the final House result was that pro-lifers were down about 12 votes - thus a net gain back from the redistricting losses.
At an October 5 press conference, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) targeted 27 races where pro-lifers faced pro-abortionists and they poured in massive resources. Despite that, pro-lifers took 14, slightly over half, including the Wayne Allard race here in Colorado.
In the Colorado legislature, we came out even, losing one seat and gaining one.
Another lesson was repeated this year: wafflers and flip-floppers lost big. Those who abandon their pro-life principles or switch positions out of political expediency often lose. Sikorski in Minnesota, Williamson in Illinois, von Reichbauer in Washington, all lost.
We also won on a very important ballot issue. California had a proposal to allow physicians to kill terminally ill patients. We're not talking about withholding futile treatment - and I don't have time to discuss all the aspects of this issue - but direct active killing. That measure was defeated.
So, again, welcome. Hang in there, keep working, praying, talking, educating, giving, and caring. There's still a lot to do, but it's not as bad as some would try to make you think. One writer said that it's over, it's time for pro-lifers to pack their bags and go home. Well, we have news for him. This issue will not go away. As long as innocent human beings are being killed, the battle is not over. Thank you.