Three for One

By Dave Andrusko

I am completing National Right to Life News Today with a hodgepodge of important information that I don’t want to put aside.

First, as everyone knew would be the case, Planned Parenthood sued the state of South Dakota over H.B. 1217, enacted in March, which requires a three-day waiting period after a woman meets with an abortionist. Women would consult with a pregnancy help center in the interim.

“This law goes farther than any other in the country in intruding on the doctor-patient relationship and putting women and families at risk,” said Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. The lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Sioux Falls.

According to the Argus Leader newspaper, Bill sponsor Rep. Roger Hunt was unruffled. “I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that they’ve filed a lawsuit,” Hunt said. “We’ve been expecting this and preparing for it.”

Second, a 2004 United Nations survey found that Russia had the world’s highest abortion rate: 53.7 per 100 women. The Associated Press reported today that Russia’s Orthodox Church is teaming with Conservative parliamentarians “to push legislation that would radically restrict abortions in a nation struggling to cope with one of the world’s lowest birthrates.”

According to the story, written by Mansur Mirovalev , the legislation would “ban free abortions at government-run clinics”; require parental consent for teenage daughters and spousal permission for married women; and (if passed) “ a week’s waiting period would also be introduced so women could consider their decision to terminate their pregnancy,” according to Yelena Mizulina, described in the story as the head of a parliamentary committee on families, women and children.

The Health Ministry said that in 2009 the total number of abortions reached nearly 1.3 million. But Mizulina claims that “the true number might be closer to 6 million.” (The official statistics, for example, “do not include pregnancies terminated at private clinics,” Mizulina told Mirovalev.)

Third, pro-abortionists continue to pull their hair out over “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Acts” which have passed now in four states: Nebraska, Idaho, Kansas, and Oklahoma. They have two impossible tasks: assure their supporters that the laws are all for show (because the law prevents abortions performed on babies capable of feeling pain, the number would be small) and that when pro-abortionists do not challenge these laws it doesn’t mean they lack the courage of their convictions or that they fear losing at the United States Supreme Court).

Pro-lifers believe there are more of these abortions performed than the numbers abortion clinics funnel to pro-abortion organizations, like the Guttmacher Institute. Reporting is voluntary and who would doubt that they would do their best not to know how old advanced babies are? In any event, saving lives is what we are about—as few or as many as possible.

It is true with these laws that pro-lifers are asking the Court to think through previous decisions to ask itself if the states do not also have a “compelling state interest” in protecting the lives of babies capable of experiencing pain. That is a logical extrapolation both of what the justices have said in the past and a commonsensical conclusion based on the newer information we have about the capacities of unborn children.

Emily Bazelon

As for not challenging these laws, the pro-abortion line is that pro-abortion attorneys “are not running scared,” according to Emily Bazelon, writing in the New York Times. “In fact, they are being remarkably shrewd in their case selection. They’re bringing suits all over the country — they’re just not challenging every single state restriction, no matter where it’s enacted or how many women it affects.”

The irony is just stunning. Bazelon’s argument is that other pro-life laws passed this year are really extreme.

“These are precisely the kinds of cases that lawyers in support of reproductive rights should pursue, because they portray abortion foes as radical.” Excuse me, but doesn’t that suggest that maybe even Bazelon grasps that “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Acts” are not extreme?

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