An article by Fred Barnes in the November 7 issue of The Weekly Standard features reporting on AUL.
From the article:
Opponents of abortion are rarely interviewed on television these days. “It’s much harder to get on TV than it used to be,” says Charmaine Yoest, who heads Americans United for Life. Bookers of guests for news shows tell her, “We don’t want to talk about abortion. We’re tired of it.”
Stearns was appalled at PP’s “manipulating this young 15-year-old girl to get an abortion.” He was also impressed by a report on PP by Americans United for Life (AUL). It cited eight areas of “scandal and abuse,” including misuse of federal funds, “failure to report criminal child sexual abuse,” and aiding people involved in prostitution and sexual trafficking.
On September 15, Stearns launched the first-ever congressional probe of Planned Parenthood. In a letter to Cecile Richards, the embattled PP president, he said his panel has “questions about the policies in place and actions undertaken” by PP and its affiliates, the handling of federal funds, and compliance with “restrictions on the funding of abortion.” He asked for an extensive collection of audits and documents.
The ultimate goal of pro-lifers remains what it’s always been: overturning Roe v. Wade. They’re reconciled to jumping through as many hoops as necessary to get there. Americans United for Life specializes in creating model antiabortion laws for states. It also has a strategic plan for “reversing Roe” or “rendering it obsolete.” It starts with “saving babies now” and preparing states for the “day after Roe.”
AUL isn’t kidding about vitiating Roe without overturning it. The key is to burden the abortion industry with intrusive regulations. This amounts to using liberal means to produce a conservative result. “When you regulate something, you get less of it,” a pro-life leader reminds me. So precise conditions at abortion clinics would be imposed, as Virginia did this year. New requirements for safety, bookkeeping, record-keeping, and reporting would be applied. That’s not all. More laws limiting abortions would be needed, as would cultural efforts to shrink the demand for abortions.
The big question today among pro-lifers is whether the movement has reached a turning point, with victory over abortion now inevitable. I’m dubious. AUL’s Yoest isn’t so sure either. She says pro-lifers have yet to win the argument that abortion, rather than empowering women, is harmful to them. New says America’s permissive culture is a huge impediment to closing off any right to an abortion. And Roe v. Wade stands erect nearly 39 years after it was decided. Who can be sure of its fate?
But real gains have been achieved by the pro-life movement and many, many lives have been saved—in 2011 alone. And bigger gains are bound to come as more babies are spared the abortionist’s knife.