By Dave Andrusko
In search of symmetry, would it be unfair to ask why do pro-abortionists Keep Writing Posts with the title, “Why Do States Keep Wasting Money on Doomed Abortion Bills?” They already know the answer to their loaded (and inaccurate) question/accusation but pretend otherwise, as if by feigning surprise they will persuade readers they’re about to reveal the answer to the mystery of the universe.
The latest under this title appeared in the Daily Beast, written by Erin Gloria Ryan. It is truly a bizarre (and threadbare) argument.
Say a state legislature overwhelming passes (in her example) the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The Abortion Industry, festooned with deep pocketed lawyerly resources, sues the state.
What is the state to do? Either they buckle because they know pro-abortionists have swarms of legal teams that will challenge them and re-challenge, and re-re-challenge again, or they fight.
Guess what? It costs money, lots of money to defend anything against an army of lawyers, many of whom challenge pro-life laws for a living.
If the next step in the argument is that the law is clearly unconstitutional (so it’s a waste of money to litigate), well according to whom? Back in the day, prior to Roe v. Wade, when pro-abortionists were suing states even with very permissive abortion laws, they were likely going to lose.
Did that deter them? Of course not. They kept battering the walls of legal protection that sheltered the unborn until Justice Harry Blackmun and six colleagues tore down all legal fortifications, even the ones that had already been thoroughly breached by prior attacks by pro-abortion attorneys.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act raises new legal issues in a new environment–both in the sense of the issues raised and in the composition of the High Court. But there is also already reason to believe the High Court might be open to such a law.
At a June 2015 press conference, when the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was introduced in the United States Senate, NRLC President Carol Tobias noted that very little media attention had been paid to the 2007 Gonzales decision, which upheld the ban on partial-birth abortions
even though it is the most recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on abortion, and it dealt with a law aimed at a class of mostly late-second-trimester abortions. Yet many of the stories repeat, not only as advocates’ claims but as simple fact, that the Supreme Court will not permit limits on abortion before “viability,” which some go on to define as occurring weeks later than the current medical data indicates. We believe that the approach that the Supreme Court adopted in the Gonzales ruling opens the doors for legislative bodies to extend broader protections to unborn children both before and after viability, based on valid governmental interests that legislative bodies may recognize. (Some prominent pro-abortion legal scholars also read the Gonzales ruling in this way.) In the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, Congress declares a government interest in protecting the right to life of an unborn child who has reached the point at which he or she can experience pain during the process of being aborted, a nd asserts that unborn children, at least by 20 weeks after fertilization, have that capacity.
But Ryan’s secondary argument is as familiar as it lame. She scribbles, “Only 1.3 percent of all abortions performed in the U.S. occur after 20 weeks, and many of those are performed due to fetal abnormality.” (The “fetal abnormality” meme has been discredited so often we will not stop to debunk it here.)
For starters, 1.3% of roughly one million abortions is 13,000. Think about that: 13,000 pain-capable unborn babies who will be torn apart in a manner that we would never allow the cruelest, most vicious criminal to undergo.
At that same 2015 press conference, Mrs. Tobias cautioned reporters, “Abortions past 20 weeks fetal age are not ‘rare.’ We’ve estimated that at least 275 facilities in the U.S. offer them. While statistically reporting on late abortions is notoriously spotty, by very conservative estimates there are at least 11,000-13,000 abortions performed annually after this point, probably many more. If an epidemic swept neonatal intensive care units and killed 11,000 very premature infants, it would not be dismissed as a ‘rare’ event – it would be headline news on every channel, a first-order public health crisis” (emphasis added).
(By the way, anyone who has reached the age of reason understands that abortionists have no incentive to accurately assess the age of the baby who is this far along in fetal development.)
In a nutshell, pro-lifers pass pro-life laws, pro-abortionists sue and then pretend to be puzzled that states pour the needed resources into defending the laws. As backup, pro-abortionists such as Ryan trivialize the loss of 13,000 mature, pain-capable unborn children to let us know these protective laws are much ado about nothing. Finally, they breezily state as if it were incontrovertible, that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is unconstitutional when there is good reason to believe it is and, in any event, is a response that begs the question.
Good for the 15 states that have already passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and the additional states that are introducing the law this upcoming session.
Money very well spent!