Both sides in the abortion-rights battle are approaching Tuesday, the first anniversary of the Supreme Court's Webster v. Reproductive Health Services ruling, which gave states greater power to restrict abortions, with claims of political muscle and warnings to supporters to be vigilant.
Nancy Myers of the National Right to Life Committee said that "while pro-lifers have gotten less press, we've certainly been just as, if not more, active than those who advocate abortion."
The committee distributed "fact sheets" that cited public opinion polls, state legislative action and elections reflecting gains by antiabortion forces. "We've been faring well," Myers said.
"The single most important statistic of this year," she said, is that "more pro-life laws have been enacted in the year since Webster than in any other single year since Roe v. Wade."
Meanwhile, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) today begins a three-day television advertising campaign that asks viewers to "reflect on the meaning of the Webster decision," NARAL executive director Kate Michelman said.
The 30-second spot, which will air on Cable News Network nationwide and on the three major commercial networks in five regional markets, says that "on July 3 last year, Americans lost a fundamental freedom. . . . Since Webster, legislatures in 41 states have considered over 350 bills to restrict your right to choose. . . . "
Michelman said NARAL will be most active this year in states "where choice is salient and we can tip the balance in a state legislature or help elect a pro-choice governor or senator." She said targets include gubernatorial races in Iowa, Florida, Michigan and Texas and Senate races in Iowa and North Carolina.