WASHINGTON — The pro-life movement "has never been stronger since its beginning in 1973" but faces a "come-to-Jesus-moment" should Hillary Clinton become the next president of the United States, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser stressed this week.
Dannenfelser, who heads one of the premiere pro-life advocacy groups in Washington D.C., held a press conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday to offer her thoughts on the state of the pro-life movement.
After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt to strike down components of a Texas pro-life law requiring abortion clinics to uphold basic medical safety standards and abortionists to have admitting privileges to nearby hospitals, Dannenfelser decried claims from liberals that the Supreme Court defeat exposes the weakness in today's pro-life movement and its "ability to move forward."
"I am here to say to you today, something very startling in contrast to that idea, that the pro-life cause has never been stronger since its beginning in 1973 and that our opponents position has never been weaker," Dannenfelser asserted.
"The pro-life movement has never been stronger and our opponents positioning and position has never been weaker," she repeated for emphasis.
In order to justify that claim, Dannenfelser said that the truth in her claim is exemplified by how the Left and the abortion lobby has a "habit of overreaching" and "abandoning respect" when it comes to those individuals and institutions who conscientiously object to the administration's abortion agenda.
As the drafts of the 2016 Democratic Party Platform show that the party is now calling for a repeal of the Hyde Amendment — a law that prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortion — Dannenfelser argues that the push to repeal the Amendment might cause a "rift" within the party.
As objection to the call to repeal the Hyde Amendment has come from leading Democratic Senators, Dannenfelser argued that it shows that not all Democrats are as extreme on the abortion issue as the party's de-facto face and its presumptive presidential nominee, Clinton.
"Is tax-funded abortion on-demand suddenly the new litmus test for the Democrats? Or, I think, the more important question, will this insistence upon taxpayer funding for abortion up until birth dividing them, losing votes for them, providing a catalyst for a realignment along the lines of the Reagan Democrat movement?" she asked. "I believe that it is the latter. We have seen it coming."
"Hillary Clinton and her party's attacks on the Hyde Amendment and restrictions on five-month abortions and upon conscience are dividing her party," Dannenfelser said. "Lack of respect for the personal consciences of elected officials and of the nation in general is causing a rift that shakes its foundation and is leading to a realignment in this particular election. This is a party playing defense because of narrow-minded massive leadership overreach."
Dannenfelser also argued that the 5-3 Hellerstedt decision also shows that the pro-life movement has made progress since 1973's 7-2 decision in Roe v. Wade. She pointed out that although the Hellerstedt decision struck down some components of Texas HB 2, it did not strike down other pro-life components such as a 20-week abortion ban, which is law in 14 states.
"Hellerstedt may slow down pro-life legislation but there is no way it will stop it," she said. "Pro-life legislation, which reaches to the heart of the matter — the child, reaches to every single demographic group."
As a recent Barna Group survey found that 53 percent of millennials (age 18 to 31) believe that abortion should be either illegal or only legal in the cases or rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger, Dannenfelser has confidence in the future of the pro-life movement.
"The grassroots political power of the pro-life movement has already grown and runs in the opposite direction of the court and has a very clear pathway to victory," she added.
Dannenfelser also stressed that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump offers much more hope for the pro-life movement than Clinton, as she takes seriously the real estate mogul's vows to appoint only pro-life judges and says that he has "rejected the cruel attack on the weak that abortion is."
If Trump wins, Dannenfelser said that there will be much more that the pro-life movement can accomplish. Whereas if Clinton wins, getting common sense abortion measures to pass will be extremely difficult, considering that Clinton opposes restrictions on abortion up until "the end of the third trimester" of gestation.
"The pro-life movement will have a come-to-Jesus moment if [Hillary] wins," Dannenfelser told The Christian Post after the press conference. "Why? Because the court will be a very different court. We will have to look at what we think is still doable given where the court is now. We are planning to do every single thing we can do to prevent that tragedy. That's why it really does need to be in the center of the political conversation now."
"If Trump wins, we are going to get busy making sure that we pass all the laws [and] we are going to be helping him make real on the commitments that he made," she added. "That means that there will be a court in the future that we can actually work with. The door will be open rather than almost seemingly closed."