(CNSNews.com) – A coalition of pro-abortion groups, including Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women, the Guttmacher Institute, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the American Civil Liberties Union, have posted a reproductive health wish list on the Obama Transition Team Web site, change.gov.
The list outlines the steps the groups think the next president should take during his first 100 days in office to promote and fund abortion in America and around the globe.
The 50-plus-page document, “Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration,” is a laundry list of actions that the coalition says president-elect Barack Obama should put in place to “advance a reproductive health agenda that will make a profound difference in the lives and health of women, men and family in the United States and around the world.”
“For too long, our nation’s reproductive health policies have failed to address adequately the heath care needs of women and their families,” the plan says. “Skyrocketing costs and ideologically driven government restrictions have put reproductive health services out of reach for millions of women.”
The actions the document calls for partly include the following:
- Increasing Title X Family Planning Funding, which funds Planned Parenthood and others on the list, from $300 million in fiscal year 2009 to $700 million in 2010.
- Federal funding of abortions for Medicaid-eligible women, federal employees and their dependents, residents of the District of Columbia, Peace Corp volunteers, Native American women and women in federal prisons.
- Reduce the cost and increase availability of contraceptives for women on college campuses.
- Rescind the so-called “Global Gag Rule,” or Mexico City Policy first implemented by President Ronald Reagan in 1989, to allow federal funding of programs in foreign countries that promote or perform abortions.
- De-fund abstinence-only programs.
- Increase federal funding of international family planning programs from $461 million in fiscal year 2009 to $1 billion for 2010.
- Remove age restrictions -- which is now 18 or older -- for access to over-the-counter emergency contraceptives.
- Create the first-ever comprehensive sex education program that is paid for by federal dollars.
- Calls on Congress to pass the Freedom of Choice Act, which would strike down all state and federal laws that restrict abortion and make federally funded abortions available in all 50 states.
- Reverse the Health and Human Services Federal Refusal Rule, which protects health care professionals who are morally opposed to promoting or providing abortions.
- Appoint judges who support Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion.
Pro-life groups have reacted to the proposal by acknowledging that the policies it supports have long been part of the agenda of pro-abortion advocates.
“It’s not anything new,” Judie Brown, president and co-founder of the American Life League, told CNSNews.com. “Basically, it’s a boiler plate desire list of the pro-abortion organizations that have been around for years.”
“The thing that I think is different now, is that (the groups) actually have someone going into the White House who agrees with every single one of these priorities that they’ve listed in this report,” Brown said.
“Needless to say, this is the pro-life advocate’s worst nightmare realized,” Rev. Clenard Childress, northeast director of the Life Education and Resource Center and senior pastor of New Calvary Baptist Church in Montclair, N.J., told CNSNews.com. “Unquestionably, it does vindicate the strong opposition of those who were concerned about mothers and the unborn about electing Barack Obama.”
But Malika Saada Saar, executive director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, which also signed onto the proposal, told CNSNews.com that her organization thinks the plan submitted to the next president is positive.
Saar described the report as “broad, detailed and thoughtful,” and the “right path” for promoting reproductive rights.
“I believe we ought to be in a place of allowing mothers to exercise their right of when they want to be able to mother,” Saar said. “And allowing full access to abortion allows women to exercise when they feel it is best to become a mother, and to be able to mother their children with the dignity and the safety and the stability that they see is required.”
Pro-life advocates, however, see a silver lining of sorts for their cause under an Obama administration.
“I hope this wakes up the sleeping people of conscience,” Childress said. “This is a political, social revolution right now, and we’d better make our voices heard as never before.”
Brown said her organization has its own proposal in the works, inspired by the pro-abortion proposal.
“We have a golden opportunity in the pro-life movement with (Obama) in the White House to raise awareness and, if we don’t do that, we’ve failed,” Brown said.
Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, said he does not think the American people want the kind of change proposed by the authors of the plan.
“Abortion supporters overestimate their own strength, because much of what they want will not be achievable,” Pavone told CNSNews.com. “The culture is moving in a pro-life direction, and the election outcome does not reflect any pro-abortion shift on the part of the American people.”
“Some 34 percent of voters said that the abortion issue affected their vote, with 25 percent voting for pro-life candidates and only 9 percent for abortion supporters,” Pavone said. “For Obama or these pro-abortion groups to claim that he has any kind of ‘mandate’ to implement this laundry list of changes is both misinformed and dishonest.”