Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 3 No. 2 Summer 1981

vities, the anti-choice forces have spent millions of dollars to defeat candidates solely on the basis of a pro-choice stance, and to build a solid body of support by electing Human Life Statute proponents. They succeeded in 1980 at replacing 11 prochoice Senators with strong antichoice members and in electing an avowed HLS supporter to the presidency. (The National Right To Life Committee had the distinction of being the first citizens’ group to be given an audience with Reagan—only two days after his inauguration.) Reagan has also shown support by appointing two anti-choice leaders to posts in the Department of Health and Human Services and has nominated an anti-choice doctor to the position of Surgeon General.) And already, the anti-choice forces are gearing up for the 1982 elections, in which 12 pro-choice legislators (including Ted Kennedy, Daniel Moynihan, and S.I. Hayakawa )have been singled out for defeat. The degree of success the antichoice people have had in undermining womens’ most basic right—the right to reproductive choice—is frightening. The attempt to outlaw and criminalize abortion can be seen, on one level, as the most violent backlash response yet to the womens’ movement itself. Spokesmen for the “New Right” have stated that it is their aim to re-establish a patriarchal society in America—one in which all women are expected to be content as second class citizens. They believe that legal abortion contributes to the breakdown of traditional family values, leading to premarital sex. rising divorce rates, homosexuality and the general decline of America’s moral strength. Passage of the Human Life Statute will, for all practical purposes, force the mother role on virtually all women capable of reproduction—keeping the women of America “barefoot and pregnant.” Pro-Choice Majority Responds N RESPONSE to the antichoice crusade, a broadbased and determined prochoice movement has emerged. Counted among the most vocal pro-choice forces are a number of influential groups including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Public Health Association, six former attorneys general and a Boston-based group that includes several hundred scientists and six Nobel laureates. And in the first week of June, the nation’s largest medical organization, the AMA (with a membership of 24,000 physicians) announced its decision to speak in opposition to the Human Life Statutes at Congressional hearings in mid-June. But, even with the support of numerous prestigious organizations, the hard and inescapable fact of the matter is that if the antichoice forces are to be defeated, it will have to to be at the hands of that great American myth: the majority. Not the “Moral Majority,” but the real majority—the two out of every three Americans who, according to the most recent Washington Post-ABC News Poll, opposed any law that would make abortion murder. And it’s going to take more than answering polls to beat the anti-choicers. There are a number of organizations engaged in this struggle for women’s rights, and'at the forefront in Oregon is a group called NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League). NARAL, a grass-roots organization, has as its aim the building of strong, politically active state constituencies that will hold out against ratifying a constitutional amendment. The biggest challenge NARAL faces is the initial building of a strong grass-roots base of support—which translates into a lot of organizing, educating, letter writing, lobbying and fundraising. NARAL’s main method of getting word out is the house meeting; anyone wishing to host a house meeting has only to let NARAL know, and they will arrange for a NARAL representative to appear with a slide show and talk on the history of abortion rights, as well as a complete up-to-date report on legislative activities on a state and national level—and a discussion emphasizing the impact an individual can have in this kind of a fight; in short, a crash course in political educaton. Among NARAL’s more successful campaigns was “Impact ’80,” initiated two years ago in response to the Right To Life hit list of pro-choice candidates up for re-election. For the first time ever, politicians saw prochoice people walking through their doors and volunteering to work on their campaigns on the basis of their pro-choice positions'. With an even larger hit list in effect for pro-choice candidates in the coming elections, it is crucial that pro-choice candidates hear from and are supported by prochoice voters (it must be remembered that the people will never have an opportunity to vote on this issue; it will be decided by legislators!). NARAL is responding to the need with Impact ’80s, an offshoot of Impact ’80, renamed to reflect NARAL’s belief that we may be looking at a ten-year battle. If that’s how long it takes, NARAL vows to stick with it and they’re looking for friends. For information, call the Oregon chapter of NARAL at 223- 4510, or visit their headquarters at 519 S.W. 3rd, in Portland. Oregon NARAL P.O. Box 40472 Portland, OR 97240 223-4510 1 HOW OREGON’S LEGISLA TORS STAND ON ABORTION Senator Packwood—pro-choice leader Senator Hatfield—anti-choice, cosponsor of an HLA Representative AuCoin—strongly pro-choice Representative Weaver—pro-choice Representative Wyden—states that he will continue to vote pro-choice Representative Denny Smith—antichoice, member of Moral Majority J. MOSER FINE WOODWORKING 429 NORTHWEST 3RD PORTLAND, OREGON 97209 281-1790 Northern Chinese Cuisine 235-6529 2016 N.E. Sandy Blvd We Buv & Sell Books Wide Selection of: •Best Sellers, •Hardcover and •Paperback Books. Personal Services: •Special Orders •Gift Wrapping •Gift Certificates The Taper Moon Boo^or^ 3538 S.E. 'Hawthorns Portland', Or. 236-5105 1015 NW 23rd Avenue Portland, Oregon 97210 224-5097 Clinton St. Quarterly 15