- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 22, 2009

Grim. That’s the mood among the pro-lifers, thousands of whom are marching down Constitution Avenue on Thursday to protest the 36th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

At least 45 million babies have been aborted since then.

Despite rhetoric about opposing factions in the debate working together to help poor women, who statistically have the most abortions, pro-lifers say it’s going to be a long four years.

“After all of the inauguration festivities have ended,” said the Rev. Arnold Culbreath, the urban outreach director of Protecting Black Life, “we have to deal with an aggressively pro-abortion administration in the White House and in crucial areas of government.”

Is he afraid of what is to come?

“Absolutely,” he told me. “[President] Obama has made it pretty clear he’s not backing down from this issue.”

True, the new president did not refer to life issues during his inaugural speech. He didn’t need to. Several of his new Cabinet members are nightmares-come-true for abortion opponents. Pro-lifers are betting that Hillary Rodham Clinton won’t be at the State Department five minutes before she begins working on dismantling the “Mexico City policy,” which prohibits taxpayer money going for overseas abortions. Her husband dismantled it on Jan. 22, 1993, two days after he took office.

“People ask me why I am not depressed,” Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told me recently. “I’ve lived a long time, and 1968 was more depressing than 2008.”

But the e-mails and press releases are piling up from other religious folks who have differing ideas on what to do.

Priests for Life has sent out “abortion manifesto,” a fundraising letter about the “54 objectives the abortion industry expects Barack Obama to sign off on during his first 100 days in office.” Using words like “diabolical” to describe this document, national director Frank Pavone quotes Isaiah 6 to encourage readers to donate. (According to the Wall Street Journal, the list was a wish list of 15 objectives put forth by liberal and feminist groups.)

The Catholic Diocese of Denver put out a release, saying, “Anticipating pro-life setbacks, Catholics pray to end abortion” at a bilingual Respect Life Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

More of the same came from the Rev. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in his “Prayer for President Obama” posted on www.crosswalk.com.

“We face hard days ahead,” went the prayer, “when we find ourselves required by conscience to oppose this president within the bounds of our roles as citizens.”

He added, “Father, lead him to see abortion, not as a matter of misconstrued rights, but as a murderous violation of the right to life. May he come to see every aborted life as a violation of human dignity and every abortion as an abhorrent blight upon this nation’s moral witness.”

Some folks are using humor to lighten the gloom. CatholicVote.com ran an ad this week on Black Entertainment Television portraying an ultrasound of a child. The offspring of a single mom and an absentee dad is Barack Obama. A photo of the new president then flashes on the screen.

“Life. Imagine the potential,” the ad says.

• Julia Duin’s Stairway to Heaven column runs Thursdays and Sundays. Contact her at [email protected]

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