Antiabortion activists pray for Obama

On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, protesters are left to hope for divine intervention.


Tracy Clark-Flory
January 23, 2009 12:00AM (UTC)

Sometimes, before I go to bed, I set my alarm clock to a random radio station, just to keep my mornings interesting. Well, today, on the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I happened to wake up to a Christian radio station desperately calling for a "prayer conversion" for President Obama with live, on-the-scene reporting from an antiabortion protest in Washington, D.C. (Some might call this rude awakening on the anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion "a sign from above." I, however, call it "Broadsheet fodder.")

Thousands of antiabortion advocates will converge today upon the Mall, the Supreme Court and Verizon Center for prayer, protest and the singing of songs, like "Lean on Me," reports the Washington Post. Also targeted by today's march is the Freedom of Choice Act, which would codify Roe v. Wade. (Nevermind that it's widely understood that the measure doesn't have enough support to move forward.) Protest organizers extended an invite to the president reading, "America needs your strong leadership as President of all of the people to stop the intentional killing of an estimated 3,000 preborn boys and girls each day and the brutalizing of mind, heart and body of pregnant mothers," but, uh, so far, he's a no show.

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In other antiabortion news, a man marked the Roe v. Wade anniversary this morning by intentionally ramming his SUV into a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Paul, Minn., while several workers were inside, including one just feet from the door. How's that for supporting human life! Luckily, though, no one was injured -- despite the man backing up and crashing into the front door two more times. After causing sufficient damage, he got out of his car and waved a crucifix in the air, according to reports. (Seriously. This actually happened.)

On a more positive note, NPR suggests that it's likely that on this anniversary the president will reverse some of Bush's antiabortion policies, including the global gag rule. He would, after all, only be following a tradition set by his predecessors: "In 2001, just two days after he took office, Bush used the Roe anniversary to issue executive orders reversing some of the abortion rights policies of his predecessor, Bill Clinton, just as Clinton had used his first Roe anniversary, in 1993, to override some of the anti-abortion policies of President George H.W. Bush." Here's hoping.


Tracy Clark-Flory

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