by Paul Kengor | January 24, 2019

Over the past week, there were two major memorials marking the tragedy of abortion in America. Tuesday was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the January 22, 1973 Supreme Court decision in which a group of men legalized abortion. Last Friday was the annual March for Life, held in honor of the 60 million victims of abortion since Roe. That death toll approaches World War I and World War II combined.

Pro-choicers claim that they want abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare.” They fume if you call them pro-abortion rather than pro-choice.

To be sure, I’ve met pro-choicers who insist they would never have an abortion or assist anyone seeking an abortion. They are “personally opposed,” but still think women should have a “choice.”

But I must honestly say that I’ve encountered far too many “pro-choicers” who strive to actively advance abortion, to work against any legal obstacle that might make it “safe, legal, and rare.” I’ve also witnessed countless Planned Parenthood activists whose very goal is to directly help women to get abortions.

One such group are the escorts who work outside abortion clinics. They are Planned Parenthood volunteers whose duty is to ensure that every pregnant mom who approaches the door doesn’t get deterred, especially by pro-life sidewalk counselors banished to the perimeters of the clinic. They look to guarantee that every potential customer goes home with an abortion under her belt. If a distraught 18-year-old college girl is struggling with second thoughts about terminating her unborn baby, the escorts take her by the hand and lead her inside. In the name of a woman’s “right to choose.”

It’s a grotesque thing that they do, and yet they see themselves as doing good. And to repeat: their job is to get women into the abortion clinic, not keep them out.

Particularly tragic for me as a Pennsylvanian is the fact that the governor of my state, Tom Wolf, was a Planned Parenthood escort, and proud of it. When he was first elected, Wolf was excitedly hailed by Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards as “the first governor in the history of the country who was also a former Planned Parenthood clinic escort.”

That’s an amazing fact. It’s even more astounding because Wolf is a Democrat in a pro-life state where even Democrats were once uniformly pro-life. Think back to Governor Bob Casey, namesake of the Planned Parenthood v. Casey 1992 Supreme Court decision. Casey agonized at how his party that claimed to be “for the little guy” couldn’t find it within its heart to protect the little guy in the womb, the weakest and most vulnerable among us. Casey, our Democrat governor, stood against Planned Parenthood. Back then, Democrats in Pennsylvania found this important.

Not anymore. Today, we have a Democrat governor who stood with Planned Parenthood, to the point of being an actual escort. He is a cultural radical across the board, and the citizens of Pennsylvania elected and reelected him in landslides.

And so, here we are, in January 2019, 46 years after Roe became the law of the land, and the scourge of abortion continues, especially (and disproportionately) against the African-American community. Do the people of Pennsylvania care? What will it take to make this state, and its governor, pro-life again?