- - Sunday, January 17, 2021

A contentious election with its razor-thin victory margins leaves the country without a mandate for radical change on all kinds of issues, abortion included.

Yet extreme policy swings are under consideration, including taxpayer funding for abortion at home and abroad along with all kinds of policies to be directed by controversial nominees known for aggressive activism. 

For those expecting a Biden administration, key policy changes are in the works that have the potential to force Americans further into business with abortion vendors, changes that Planned Parenthood and others are calling for given the millions they spent for a Biden victory.   

Day One, expect a President Biden to get carpal tunnel syndrome signing all kinds of executive orders, including an end to the Mexico City Policy first established by President Reagan to ensure that U.S. aid dollars were not funding or promoting abortion around the world. Also likely gone, the “Protect Life Rule” attached to federal family planning funds that prevented abortionists from misusing funds to underwrite the cost of their facilities or to market abortion.  

But Planned Parenthood wants more than the $60 million in taxpayer funds they once received through the Title X program.  

“The budget is a key opportunity to indicate how this administration would prioritize these programs that have been woefully underfunded for a long time,” said Jacqueline Ayers, vice president of government relations and public policy at Planned Parenthood, in Newsweek recently.  

For those who want to force life-ending abortion into life-saving healthcare, personnel is policy as California Attorney General Xavier Becerra now tapped to head up the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services illustrates. Called the “Anti-Trump attack dog” by The New York Times, Mr. Becerra is known for using the force of his office against pro-life people, from nuns to journalists to pregnancy care centers that provide free services to young mothers. An attorney, he has no experience actually running a health care operation, though he did arrange a lawsuit against the medical professionals at the FDA to force them to drop health and safety standards that regulate chemical abortion pills. 

The nomination of Mr. Becerra is a sign that the abortion lobby has been “wildly successful” in forcing their unpopular will onto the mainstream Democratic Party and an indication of what is to come, especially as President-elect Biden campaigned on expanding the troubled Obamacare platform.  

During the Obama administration, numerous lawsuits were filed to defend people and companies from an Obama-Biden administration willing to use the law against those who value the lives of the preborn. A litigator as head of our nation’s health care organization signals more of that to come.  

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, “Democrats promise Biden-era abortion showdown over Hyde Amendment,” which currently limits taxpayer funding of U.S. abortions to those from rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger. Mr. Biden supported the Hyde Amendment for decades, as did most politicians. Perhaps because they could read polls.   

As journalist William Saletan reports, “In every poll, a plurality of Americans opposes public funding of abortions. In every poll but one, that plurality is a majority.” It’s clear more forced abortion funding is unlikely to become popular after Inauguration Day. 

“Codifying Roe” was another abortion industry term that populated voter guides. Roe v. Wade and its companion case Doe v. Bolton wiped out all pro-life laws in the nation and created the legal environment in which it is possible in the U.S. to get an abortion through all nine months, for any reason, and sometimes with taxpayer funding.  

Right now, the legality of abortion rests primarily with the courts, but “codifying Roe” means creating a federal law on abortion, allowing it to continue as it is, and keeping the issue of abortion out of the hands of people at the state level.  

Also in danger is an ordinary person’s ability to decline to support abortion. Over the last four years, the conscience rights of health care workers, business leaders, and American citizens were prioritized along with the First Amendment rights of pro-life people at school, including Students for Life leaders on campuses where too often free speech rights are suppressed.  

With the stroke of his pen, Mr. Biden could end protections for free speech on campuses, putting those students at risk of career-ending reprisals. 

As the anniversary of Roe approaches when thousands usually brave the January cold to march in memory of those lost to abortion, it’s important to remember that pregnancy is not a disease cured by abortion. If Joe Biden truly wants unity, respecting the free speech and conscience rights of Americans, including those of his Church, is essential, along with limiting taxpayer funding of abortion at home and around the world. That’s common ground and a good place to start a conversation.  

• Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America, Follow her @KristanHawkins or subscribe to her podcast, Explicitly Pro-Life.

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