AMERICAN pro-life campaigner Brad Mattes believes “things are looking up” even though the country’s new President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris (pictured) have wasted no time in stressing their commitment to legal abortion.
“… His administration is expected to be the most pro-abortion in our nation’s history,” Mr Mattes, who visited Australia on a speaking tour four years ago, said.
“Even so, don’t think that our pro-life efforts are sitting idle – quite the opposite.
“The pro-life mission is moving forward to save more unborn babies while protecting their mothers.”
Mr Mattes is highly successful in spreading the pro-life message across the United States through radio commentary on nearly 1250 outlets, and media appearances as president of the non-profit Life Issues institute that he co-founded in 1991.
During his 2016 speaking tour to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne he impressed audiences with “Lost Fatherhood – Men and Abortion”, a talk that centred on the many hidden, serious effects that abortion can have on men – extreme anger, depression, and a factor in suicide.
“The research shows about eight per cent of men who have been part of an abortion are seriously affected – which means they are struggling to get through each day,” Mr Mattes told The Catholic Leader.
Now with a new US administration, Mr Mattes says pro-lifers are determined to continue their message of “healing and hope”.
“Remember, we have weathered the storms of both the Clinton and Obama administrations,” he said.
“The fire in our souls will not go out.
On the contrary, these recent challenges will only serve to fan the flames.” Two days after his inauguration, Mr Biden released a statement backing legal abortion – on the anniversary of Roe v Wade, a 1973 Supreme Court ruling that set guidelines for the availability of abortion across the country.
Mr Biden’s endorsement drew swift reaction from pro-lifers, including the head of the US bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City.
“We strongly urge the President to reject abortion and promote life-affirming aid to women and communities in need,” Archbishop Naumann said.
“It is deeply disturbing and tragic that any president would praise and commit to codifying a Supreme Court ruling that denies unborn children their most basic human and civil right, the right to life under the euphemistic disguise of a health service.
“Public officials are responsible for not only their personal beliefs, but also the effects of their public actions.
“Roe’s elevation of abortion to the status of a protected right and its elimination of state restrictions paved the way for the violent deaths of more than 62 million innocent unborn children and for countless women who experience the heartache of loss, abandonment and violence.”
A US 2018 Gallup survey found the percentages of “pro-choice” (supporters of abortion) or “pro-life” respondents were equal (at 48 per cent), but more considered abortion morally wrong (48 per cent) than morally acceptable (43 per cent).
This gives pro-life advocates like Mr Mattes great hope, especially when recent legal efforts have been made in half a dozen American states to curb legal aspects of how abortions are carried out, and to promote greater counselling and support for women considering their options during pregnancy.
“Things got underway this week when the Montana House Judiciary Committee had hearings on and voted out four pro-life bills,” Mr Mattes said.
“Last year there was a pro-life majority in both the State House and Senate that passed three of these bills, only to be vetoed by a proabortion governor.” One of the Montana bills – HB 140 – requires that the abortionist offer a woman an opportunity to see her unborn child on an ultrasound and listen to the baby’s heartbeat.
“Things are looking up. The pro-life majorities have been maintained and Montana just elected pro-life Governor Greg Gianforte who will sign the bills,” Mr Mattes said.