Today is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in all 50 states. For the first time in 16 years, I will not be in DC during the annual March for Life, which will be this Friday on the Mall. It would have been today except for yesterday’s inauguration and MLK holiday, which threw things off a bit. One huge change is that Nellie Gray, its long-time organizer, will not be around, as she died last year. (BTW, I am including in this post an absolutely brilliant new video on the issue featuring Obama’s words).
I only went to the March three times during my years in Washington, mainly because as a working journalist, I was not supposed to be in any kind of demonstration that had to do with the events or causes that I covered. That was one of the first things I was told at the Washington Times when I went to work there in 1995. And so I stayed away, even though I knew that reporters at other publications took the liberty to attend rallies for their liberal causes and they were never punished for it. Linda Greenhouse’s little incident was only the tip of the iceberg. Whereas if conservative journalists said one peep about being against abortion, they were out of a job. Not only did this happen to me in 1990, but others were fired as well.The situation got so bad, Charisma magazine did a whole article on it . A newspaper publisher in New Mexico saw that article in 1994 and offered me a job, which is how I became city editor of The Daily Times in Farmington. He has since died, but I will never forget his kindness is helping me get back into journalism, as no one else would hire me because of what had happened at the Houston Chronicle.
So, when I went to the March, it was to cover it. The last time I was there was in 2011 when I was tracking Metropolitan Jonah for the Washington Post. The organizers for the March for Life rally despised the media and made it hell for me to get into the celebrity/speaker area to interview folks. Both times, I managed to weasel in but I began to understand why so many reporters disliked the pro-lifers if that’s how they were typically treated. Anyway, I was mulling over this whole issue yesterday as I watched the inauguration and listened to Obama’s soaring words about everyone working together. Fat chance. When Ross Douthat, a New York Times columnist, showed up at Union University a few months ago, he said that Obama has swung to the left instead of the center as Clinton did during his second term. Obama hasn’t even tried to go centrist. I think that folks on the right would be glad to compromise on issues like gun control and the environment, as many conservatives want limits on guns, fracking and so on. But when the left won’t budge one bit on abortion, the right wonders why they should always be the ones to give in on an issue they care deeply about. And so they go far to the right on the economy, guns, etc., figuring that they’ve given more than an inch and have not gotten a thing in return. That is how the left operates, I’ve noticed in my 16 years in Washington. Obama has never stood for any limits whatsoever on abortion and he never uttered a word yesterday about the rights of the unborn child. The Clintons were the same way. They wouldn’t even to agree to outlaw partial-birth abortion, which is as barbaric as it gets.