If anyone thought that right-wing anti-choice groups were going to spend any time licking the wound inflicted by the last election in which they saw several states reject their efforts to restrict the right to chose, think again:
“The election forces the pro-life movement to go back to what we do best — local grass-roots organizing,” said the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition. “We will not go silently into the night.”
The overall outcome “brings about feelings of great disappointment, of anger,” said the Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. “But that disappointment and anger are forms of energy. …I believe a lot of people on the sidelines for last eight years will now get engaged.”
Pavone predicted that activists would stage more mass demonstrations and abortion-clinic vigils. He also said the election results shed light on the movement’s weak points, and would prompt new efforts to register anti-abortion voters and mobilize clergy to be more outspoken in future campaigns … “We will do everything to be sure [the Freedom of Choice Act] fails — the damage it would do to the pro-life movement would be immeasurable,” said Mahoney. “On the scale of 1 to 10, that’s No. 11 of what our job is.”
“Any time you have a loss like that, you have an opportunity to reassess and come back stronger,” said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life. “If they want to see this as a big loss that will set us back, that’s OK. Our people are very energized, and ready for Round Two.”
This sentiment seems to be sweeping the Religious Right, with Students for Life of America pledging to be unstintingly vigilant and Deacon Keith Fournier vowing to be a part of a “massive resistance” that will not only fight reproductive choice but will end the “culture war” through mass conversion:
We seem to be at war within when we need to join together as one strong voice for life. The real source of the hatred of life is the Devil Himself. The challenge which those whom the late Servant of God John Paul II called “the people of life” face at this crucial time in the history of the West is nothing new. We have been here before in our 2000 year history. The Christian Church goes into Cultures of death and transforms them from within. We can – and we must – do it again in the Third Millennium. Ours is not really a call to a “Culture War” but rather a call to the Conversion of Culture through the conversion of minds, hearts, and lifestyles which will then lead to a transformation of the social structures of governance and way we live our lives together.
In fact, it looks as if the Right is almost welcoming the new Obama administration, sensing it will provide an opportunity for them to mobilize and energize their base as part of new “resistance movement”:
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, said, “I knew, moments after the election results came in, that I was now part of the resistance movement.” As part of its “movement,” CWA has launched a nationwide telemarketing advertising campaign. In the ad, Wright says, “We face a president and Congress more hostile to unborn children, to marriage, to religious freedom, to free speech, to protecting our country than has ever existed in our history.” According to Wright, the ad generated an immediate response of calls from religious conservatives asking “what they could do” to help, NPR reports.
Religious conservative leaders also have been scrutinizing Obama’s speeches from the campaign trail for messages they can use to rally their base, NPR reports. In particular, they have publicized a speech Obama made last year to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in which he said, “The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.” The act — which would need congressional approval before Obama could sign it — would eliminate most federal and state restrictions on abortion. Gary Bauer, president of American Values, said of the speech, “I found myself thinking, ‘My goodness, I can’t believe he’s going to make it this easy for us to rally our troops to get off the mat and get back to work.'”
And Clenard Childress, founder of BlackGenocide.Org, goes so far as to declare that the election of Barack Obama was the best thing to ever happen to the anti-choice movement:
With the election of Barack Obama, we now have a face to put on the abortion plague and a link to the leader of the abortion industry, Planned Parenthood. Despite our efforts, in reality, the time to make this connection was clouded by the notoriety of the first black president and a failing economy. The result is: people still don’t know who Barack Obama is and many are now looking deeper into the president elect’s life and associations. The truth is: knowing his defeat would only minimize this exposure to America, God has now set it up for a global impact of astronomical proportions.