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Abortion at CPAC: Sins of fathers and lives of mothers

February 11, 2011 - 12:45 PM
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Young women and the pro-life movement (Photo: TBD Staff)

This morning, CPAC attendees gathered to discuss the "plans and goals" of the "pro-life movement." That agenda has been set—or announced, at least—almost exclusively by young women. The moderator of the abortion discussion, 47-year-old Focus on the Family lobbyist Tim Goeglein, showered praise on the work of Live Action's Lila Rose—she is the "voice of a new generation," one that "understands the tragedy of abortion"—then handed the microphone to lawyer Anna Franzonello, counsel for Americans United for Life; activist Kristan Hawkins, executive director for Students for Life; and political fundraiser Erin DeLullo of

"We poll more pro-life than our parents, but we see it in a different way," Hawkins says of her post-Roe generation. And in this iteration of the movement, there are no excuses. "I am unabashedly an abortion abolitionist," Hawkins says. "If you don’t have the right to exist, why bother protecting your other rights?"

The anti-abortion movement's future plans and goals, according to Hawkins, DeLullo, and Franzonello: Defund Planned Parenthood (it is "targeting us to try to get us to abort our children"). Compel legislators to cast anti-abortion votes ("the anti-life vote should be as politically suicidal as raising taxes”). Force pregnant women to undergo ultrasounds before receiving abortions (it's saved "90,000 babies" so far). And pass H.R. 3, the bill that would bar taxpayer funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or to preserve life of the mother.

About those exceptions: Following the discussion, a woman from Washburn University asked the panelists what to tell her "liberal" friends who believed that abortion should be legal in the case of rape. Franzonello told her that "abortion can't undo a rape," and that women who are raped and abort their pregnancy fare worse than those who carry the child to term. And even if it's not better for the rape victim? At least it's better for the resulting child: "We don't believe that children should be punished for the sins of their fathers," Franzonello told her.

Did anyone on the panel support any exceptions for abortion? I posed the question to the three women: How about rape or incest? Health of the mother? What if the mother would die without an abortion?

No one bit. To these women, H.R. 3 is an unfortunate compromise, a stop-gap bill which would have to do until a full ban on all abortions becomes a reality. United for Life "favors an incremental approach," Franzonello replied. While the organization doesn't endorse legislation with "giant loopholes," it would support bills that managed to push the anti-abortion agenda forward somehow. Those rape, incest, and life exceptions could always be sewn up later. If you don't have the right to exist, why bother protecting your other rights?


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