October 23, 1995
Throughout America the pendulum of public support is swinging toward the anti-abortion position, a national leader of the cause told a Northern Kentucky Right to Life rally Sunday.
Rev. Frank A. Pavone, national director of the Priests for Life organization, said people who formerly supported abortion and even some former abortion providers have changed their point of view.
Pavone of New York was the headline speaker at Right to Life's 22nd annual Celebration for Life at the Drawbridge Inn.
More than 700 people attended the event.
Those who oppose abortion have had gains and losses over the years, Pavone said before the rally. But the recent shift against abortion is significant, he said.
Some of the strongest antiabortion advocates are coming from the ranks of women who have had abortions, he said. And an organization of former abortion providers, called the "Centurions," has been formed.
"The bottom line is, it's encouraging," the Rev. Pavone said.
Political leaders and candidates who only partially support the anti-abortion position create no real dilemma for anti-abortion activists making campaign endorsements, Pavone said.
Such a situation has developed in the race for Kentucky governor, Northern Kentucky Right to Life leader Robert Cetrulo noted.
Republican Larry Forgy has qualified his position, to accept abortion in instances of rape or incest. The state Right to Life organization has given him a "preference" rating, rather than a full endorsement.
The goal of anti-abortion forces is to save lives. The political leader who would save more lives than an opponent is preferable, even when he or she does not adhere strictly to anti-abortion standards, said Pavone.
The emphasis of anti-abortion activists then shifts to persuading that leader to totally accept the anti-abortion philosophy, he said.
Some within the anti-abortion movement don't agree with this point of view, and only time will tell who is right, Pavone acknowledged.
Anti-abortion forces have not addressed questions such as criminal penalties for violators, should abortion become illegal across the country, or how society might have absorbed the millions who have been aborted since the Roe vs. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision of 1973, Pavone said.
The anti-abortion movement isn't just to see laws against abortion enacted, but to help women, Pavone emphasized. Without Roe vs. Wade, there would not have been 30 million abortions over the past 22 years, he theorized. Abortion encourages other abortions, and women who have lost self-esteem by having one abortion are more likely to have others, he said.
Contrary to those who would say more births are a drain on society, Pavone and others believe each new person brings talents to society.