By Carol Tobias, NRLC President
Last Thursday evening, NRLC’s communications department received an email, asking if I would be available as a guest on the ABC Sunday morning show, “This Week,” to discuss the Texas abortion law passed by a special session of the legislature last year. We said yes, and found out Friday night that I had been confirmed.
I arrived Sunday morning at the ABC News studio in Washington, DC, and met some very nice members of the show’s production staff. I had a few minutes of conversation with a very pleasant Martha Raddatz, guest host of the show that morning. I also met my “opponent” for the show’s segment, David Brown, an attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights.
The segment focused on U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel’s decision, handed down last Friday, to strike down portions of the 2013 omnibus Texas law, specifically the part that would require abortion facilities to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. (See “Texas’ pro-life A.G. files emergency motion to the U.S. Court of Appeals following judge’s decision”) The abortion industry and its allies are protesting the law, saying that it creates an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.
The fact is that the “burden” is on the abortion facilities who don’t want to spend money to upgrade their facilities to meet minimum health and safety standards.
For those facilities unwilling to meet the minimum safety threshold, the law would have the effect of shutting them down. In so doing it would protect the health and safety of women and save the lives of babies.
I was asked by Raddatz if the law was an attempt to protect the safety of women or to restrict access to abortion. The answer is obvious: it was both. I said
“We want to protect unborn children from death. But we also want to protect the women who are going to be harmed by abortion. It might not be an immediate physical reaction. There are long-term physical consequences. There are long-term mental and emotional consequences to abortion. This is about protecting women and children.”
The pro-abortion delirium that erupted after the show was probably predictable, and quite hilarious. One headline read, “Anti-abortion leader admits clinic restrictions are not about safety.”
Anyone who listened to what I said would know that I “admitted” nothing of the kind. But pro-abortionists seemed to think this is a great “gotcha” moment –or pretended to. What it showed was either their total insincerity or a total misunderstanding of what the Pro-Life Movement has been about for well over 40 years.
The pro-life movement does not want women to suffer from their abortions—physically, mentally, emotionally, or in any other way. Of course we don’t want women going into unsanitary and unsafe conditions. But we also don’t want them to kill their babies– period.
If a law that requires abortion providers to upgrade their standards to those that other ambulatory surgical centers have to meet means that there are fewer abortion clinics and, as a result, babies are saved, no one should be surprised that pro-lifers recognize, promote, and applaud those efforts.