Byline: Joyce Howard Price, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Thousands will gather today in Washington to protest abortion, at a time that many see as a watershed in the battle over the issue.
Pro-life leaders say they are encouraged by the Nov. 2 elections, when President Bush won a second term with a record 62 million votes and Republicans increased their Senate majority from 51 to 55 seats.
To those who take part in the annual March for Life, that means improved chances of persuading the Senate to confirm pro-life judges to the federal judiciary and to enact new restrictions on abortion. The march, timed each year to coincide with the Jan. 22 anniversary of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, drew about 100,000 participants last year.
"The pro-life movement is definitely strong right now," said Wendy Wright, senior policy director for Concerned Women for America (CWA). "We've got more pro-life representatives and senators in Congress than in the past. We've got a pro-life president, and a number of state legislatures are likely to pass laws" that restrict abortions.
Both sides of the issue are watching South Dakota, where last year, Republican Gov. Mike Rounds vetoed a bill that would have banned most abortions. Some of the state's legislators say they will try to pass similar legislation.
"There were certainly serious flaws in the bill passed last year," the governor's spokesman, Mark Johnston, said last week. If state lawmakers pass a ban this year, Mr. Johnston said, "The governor certainly would give it his due consideration."
Gloria Feldt, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, readily concedes that these are tough times for pro-choice activists.
"There is definitely a war on choice. George W. Bush is the commander in chief, and he has plenty of willing soldiers," she …