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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

President defends abortion as a right... as lawmakers get set to roll those rights back

Is not 53 million deaths is enough? 
May the Lord have mercy on the US.

Spoiling for a new fight: Barack Obama has drawn a line in the sand over abortion rights, saying American girls have the same right to achieve their dreams as American boys

President Barack Obama has labelled abortion a 'right', setting the grounds for a  new battle with lawmakers determined to roll those rights back. 

The President marked the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision on abortion by calling the procedure a constitutional right he's committed to protecting.

But he spoke against a rising tide of anti-abortion activists who sense the time is right for a new push to rein in the broad access to abortions established by the 1973 Roe v Wade decision. 
Buoyed by huge election gains for their allies, anti-abortion activists in America head into their annual March for Life rallies on Monday sensing a prime opportunity in many states.

Foes of abortion gained strength in Congress, among state governors and in many state legislatures, raising hopes among social conservatives for a broad surge of anti-abortion bills.
Mr Obama's comments today squared him off against them. 
He called on Americans to recommit themselves to ensuring that 'our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams'. 
The President said the 1973 Roe v Wade decision that legalised abortion affirmed what he called a 'fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters'.
Many others disagree.

'We are seeing a cultural shift toward protecting life and rolling back the tide of unrestricted abortions,' said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life.

In many states, prospects for passage of such measures are bright, although they may face court challenges. 

NARAL Pro-Choice America, a leading abortion-rights group, said there are now 29 anti-abortion governors out of 50.
That's up eight from the 21 anti-abortion governors in place before the mid-term elections - a blow to Mr Obama's side, as governors have often acted as a firewall for abortion legislation. 
Of the 29, there are 15 in states where abortion opponents also control both legislative chambers.

'In those states in particular, there are almost no pro-choice checks and balances,' said Donna Crane, NARAL's director of public policy.
While abortion-rights supporters traditionally hold commemorations of the court decision, the anniversary has become an even higher-profile date for the anti-abortion movement. 
Its major event, the March for Life in Washington, D.C., is scheduled this year to take place on Monday - not the anniversary itself - while other events are scheduled throughout the weekend nationwide.

On both sides of the debate, the mood contrasts sharply with 2009 and 2010.
Two years ago, the anniversary came two days after Mr Obama's inauguration - a time of enthusiasm among abortion-rights supporters, who tend to vote Democratic. 
A year ago, the anniversary coincided with the first day of testimony in the murder trial of Scott Roeder, who was later convicted of killing late-term abortion provider Dr George Tiller at his church in Wichita, Kansas.
Kansas is now one of the states where anti-abortion activists hope for dramatic legislative gains.

Its new governor, Republican Sam Brownback, is an ardent foe of abortion who has made clear he will sign restrictive measures that his Democratic predecessors vetoed. 
Anti-abortion activists hope to advance bills that would further restrict late-term procedures, increase reporting requirements for abortion providers, and make it harder for abortion clinics to be licensed.

In several other states, Democratic governors who generally supported abortion rights were replaced by Republicans opposed to abortion.

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