By Peter T. Northcott, NRL Director of State Strategies
Editor’s note. This appears in the February issue of National Right to Life News. Please share this story and any others you find helpful in the 45 page edition with your pro-life family and friends.
Some politicians today believe the way to protect their own political futures in 2024 is to alter their state’s constitution to allow even the most extreme abortions. This dramatic change quietly gives the profit-driven abortion industry mandated approval to perform abortions with little-to-no safeguards to protect the health and safety of women.
These same women are left to feel that abortion is their only choice. Their real difficulties are lost in others’ political ambition and the push to pad the abortion industry’s already hefty bottom line.
But who else is lost? The children who will never blow out their first birthday candles.
In every corner of our nation, abortion franchises are taking steps to get assistance from radical pro-abortion state legislators or even funding paid canvassers to collect signatures per state ballot requirements to reach their goal.
Billionaires such as George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and others are spending big to fund front groups with deceptive names that include the word “Freedom,” “Limited Government,” and the like. Their job? To convince the public that these initiatives are about stopping “government intrusion” into “private decisions.”
Are you surprised their ads rarely use the word “abortion”?
Yet, from Arizona to New York and Florida, all the way to Hawaii, voters in over a dozen states could see measures that would force states to allow painful late-term abortion, clear the way for non-doctors to perform abortions on women, and erode informed consent requirements.
On top of this, the proposed language of most measures weakens parental rights so much that a 14-year-old girl could be dropped off at an abortion clinic without her parents or guardians even knowing.
How is this possible? In short, changing just one word in a state’s constitution can have a profound impact on its citizens for generations to come. In the case of these extreme abortion initiatives, to quote Legal Scholar Elizabeth Kirk, “the broad unconditional wording of these constitutional regimes provides no textual basis for those states to restrict abortion (or any expression of “reproductive autonomy”) in any meaningful way.”
Thus, once the measures are passed, the abortion industry has the legal footing to systematically dismantle even basic abortion limits though the courts or their political allies.
While most media sources downplay or intentionally conceal the facts from the public, one only needs to look to states whose constitutions have been altered to the abortion industry’s liking to see what the endgame is.
In 2019, in Hodes and Nauser v. Schmidt, the Kansas Supreme Court effectively inserted a policy of unlimited abortion into the state constitution. Abortions have skyrocketed from just over 6,900 in 2019 to an estimated 20,000+ in 2023. In that time, limits on brutal live dismemberment abortions have been removed, clinic licensing, safety and sanitation requirements have been removed, informed consent, 24 hour waiting periods and anti-coercion protections have been blocked.
In Michigan, clinic licensing requirements and even the state’s law curbing the inhumane practice of partial-birth abortion have been removed. The list goes on and on.
To try to soften the perceptions around the initiatives, the proponents and their echo chamber, the press, have noted that their language makes reference to limits on certain abortions after “viability.” However, virtually every referendum referencing viability includes a “health” exception, which will almost certainly be determined by the abortionist or their associates. Thus, it is a gaping loophole to allow any abortion, for any reason, at any point in pregnancy.
So, what is the best way to stand against these initiatives and stand up for the women, children and families who will bear the brunt of an unfettered abortion industry? Beyond raising the funds to push back against the marketing efforts of the abortion industry and the almost blatant malpractice of the media, it all starts with sharing personal stories that can pierce the human heart.
If you or a loved one has been hurt emotionally, physically, or in other ways by the abortion industry, sharing your story with National Right to Life or one of our state affiliates is the first step toward halting these initiatives. By exposing the truth and showing our fellow citizens that there is a better, more hopeful path forward is something our movement has that abortion extremists and their financial backers will never have.
For those feeling called to share their story, please feel free to reach out to us at NRLC@NRLC.org. Your story belongs to you, and you will stay in complete control of what is shared and what is kept confidential.