Abortion Foes Rally Online Against Health Care Reform

By William Wan Abortion foes — including some leaders among religious conservatives — put on a massive webcast last night … Continued

By William Wan

Abortion foes — including some leaders among religious conservatives — put on a massive webcast last night aimed at rallying anti-abortion forces against current health care reform bills in Congress.

If the organization and strident words during the webcast are any indication, the anti-abortion tide that is rising against President Obama’s health care plan may shape up to be a sizable force in coming weeks. The webcast was notable for strong invective and apparently large turnout, and it laid out plans for continuing campaigns in coming weeks. (One notable setback for its organizers, however, was former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who had been prominently promoted as a lead speaker in the event but never showed. He was taken off the website’s speaker list sometime before broadcast started at 9 p.m. Will update if we get any word on why.

Some highlights from the webcast:

* James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, opens his pre-recorded message with this opening salvo: “The health care bill being advanced by congress is the abortion advocates’ dream come true.”

* Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, equates the health care plan to “a stealth agenda to impose FOCA [the Freedom of Choice Act favoring abortion rights].”

* Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, made claims that are sure to be challenged by abortion rights advocates that the proposed health care reform will be a bailout bill for abortion clinics and groups like Planned Parenthood.

It’s an interesting time in long-raging culture war over abortion.

A new bill proposed by two Democratic, U.S. Reps Tim Ryan and Rosa DeLauro, is aimed at encouraging pregnancy prevention and greater government support for young mothers. It was supposed to mark a new era in the abortion fight built upon “common ground” between those for and against abortion.

But from the way the conservative Christians were railing last night against not only the health care reform bills, but against the Ryan-DeLauro bill, it’s tough to say whether there’s a real thaw in relations. Some different opinions on this. Some believe it’s notable that Christian groups are backing the Ryan-DeLauro group, including a few Catholic leaders (although it’s not likely to get support from hardline conservatives like U.S. Catholic Bishops). Some interesting analysis here on that and how Obama may weigh in on the issue.

In any case, a few more details on last night’s webcast, which began at 9 p.m., lasted almost two hours, and, according to organizers, drew more than 35,000 listeners. The webcast featured 19 speakers (some of them pre-taped, most of them live) and was billed as the “largest pro-life event in history.”

Some future actions laid out by organizers: prayer campaign among churches and letter writing campaign over next few days to Congress.



    Mother Theresa:It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts — a child — as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters”The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.” (Mother Theresa — “Notable and Quotable,” Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14)

  • Religious_Institute

    Ryan/DeLauro is a good piece of legislation that addresses many of the important issues, including comprehensive sexuality education, family planning, and support for pregnant and parenting women. Preventing unintended pregnancy, ensuring abortion access and funding family planning initiatives are intertwined issues and should be dealt with together. But this bill is only a piece of the reproductive health and justice agenda we hope to see.In addition to reducing unintended pregnancies, we must work together to address the circumstances that result in the decision to have an abortion. Poverty, social inequities, lack of education, sexism, racism and unsupportive relationships can severely restrict a woman’s ability to freely choose.Rev. Debra Haffner

  • coloradodog


  • StandAgainstSocialism

    The current plan is about CONTROL, not HEALTH. Read it ObamaSheep!

Read More Articles

Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

Hey Bart Ehrman, I’m Obsessed with Jesus, Too — But You’ve Got Him All Wrong

Why the debate over Jesus’ divinity matters.

Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.

How Passover Makes the Impossible Possible

When we place ourselves within the story, we can imagine new realities.

This Passover, We’re Standing at an Unparted Red Sea

We need to ask ourselves: What will be the future of the State of Israel — and what will it require of us?

Just As I Am

My childhood conversion to Christianity was only the first of many.

shutterstock_127731035 (1)
Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church?

In an age of rising singlehood, many churches are still focused on being family ministry centers.

Mysterious Tremors

People like me who have mystical experiences may be encountering some unknown Other. What can we learn about what that Other is?

Five Bible Verses You Need to Stop Misusing

That verse you keep quoting? It may not mean what you think it means.

What C.S. Lewis’ Marriage Can Tell Us About the Gay Marriage Controversy

Why “welcome and wanted” is a biblical response to gay and lesbian couples in evangelical churches.