4.11.08

Interview with Douglas Johnson of NRLC

I meant to post this some days ago, but the whole vacation thing last week threw me off.

Douglas Johnson is the Legislative Director for National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the largest pro-life organization in the United States. NRLC has been fighting the legislative battle against abortion since the early 70's. Mr. Johnson took the time to comment multiple times on our interview with Don Miller and on an post I wrote titled "The Sticky Nature of Lawmaking". When it comes to the issue of abortion, Douglas Johnson knows his stuff.

(Note: the photo above may or may not be of Douglas Johnson, but my Google image search indicated it was. My apologies if it's not, and please let us know!)

Bryan Allain took the time to interview Mr. Johnson for his blog, and he let me throw in a question or two.

You can read the whole interview over at Ramblings and Such. Here was the question I asked:
Jordan (through Bryan): It seems Christians supporting Barack Obama are weighing the abortion issue differently than they did in 2000 and 2004. Maybe a vote for McCain means a small chance at Roe v Wade being overturned,but they’re also looking around and saying, ‘We had a Republican presidency and Congress for most of the last 8 years, and things don’t look too good at this point.’ In your opinion, does the chance John McCain has to make ground on the abortion debate outweigh issues like the economy, Iraq War, foreign policy and foreign energy dependence?

Douglas Johnson: I will leave it to others to debate the relative merits of the candidates on these other issues. My interest is in making sure that those who sincerely care about the right to life of unborn children, and newborn children, have the facts. Then they will have to weigh those facts as they see fit. It would be a shame if people made their evaluations based on the mistaken idea that nothing positive has been accomplished by elected pro-life lawmakers in the past, and/or that Obama’s position is less bad than it really is.

On the positive side, despite the constraints imposed by the Supreme Court, the pro-life side has had significant gains. At the federal level, despite stiff resistance from pro-abortion interest groups and their congressional allies, under President Bush we’ve enacted the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, protections for pro-life health care providers, and others. At the state level, we’ve enacted hundreds of laws — parental notification, informed consent, waiting periods, curbs on tax funding of abortion, and others — and there is empirical data that these laws in the aggregate prevent hundreds of thousands of abortions. All of these limits on abortion would be nullified by Obama’s “Freedom of Choice Act.”

Keep in mind, too, that it is not only a question of how soon Roe will be overturned. Given the wrong kind of nominations, the Court could make things even worse. In 2007, four Supreme Court justices voted to strike down even the ban on partial-birth abortions, on the basis of a hard-line pro-abortion legal theory that, if it gains a majority on the Court, also will jeopardize the Hyde Amendment and many other hard-won pro-life gains. Obama made it clear that if given the chance, he will appoint justices who agreed with those dissenters.

Bryan did a great job, and thanks to Mr. Johnson for answering my question.

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