It is a mantra among pro-life conservatives (hint: you are not conservative UNLESS you are pro-life) that 1973’s Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade must be overruled. There is some disagreement although this writer believes that Roe should be overruled because it is simply shoddy constitutional law. I have in the past written on this subject noting that the decision is a great dissertation on the history of abortion and little else.
There is a bill that should be considered in Congress and the Democratic pro-death crowd must be put on record and that is the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This law would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of gestation (about 5 months) unless the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest (in the case of minors), or maternal life is in danger.
There is considerable evidence that an unborn child experiences pain at about this point in gestation. One of the more difficult aspects of the abortion debate is defining when human “life” begins. Obviously, religions, philosophers, and biologists have debated this issue for eons with no definitive answer. We should not expect nine robed judges in DC to determine what others cannot without some arbitrary analysis. But, at the very least- whether one begins human life begins at conception, when fingerprints are visible (about 9 weeks), detection of a fetal heartbeat, sexual differentiation, etc.- we should all agree that experiencing pain should be a lower end criteria. The pro-death crowd argues that one is not human life until one emerges from the womb.
Their argument is riddled with such logical and logistical inconsistencies to the point of laughableness. One of the key elements of Roe was the establishment of the “viability rule.” This rule stated that until the point of viability- the ability of the developing human to survive outside the womb- the state had a lessened interest in the life of the unborn. Only after the age of viability can the state regulate abortion. Some have argued incorrectly that the viability rule is obsolete, but that is false. Instead they state that the “undue burden” standard first articulated in Casey vs. Planned Parenthood is the current standard.
That assertion is false since in Casey the Court had an opportunity to discard the viability rule. Instead, the viability rule was reaffirmed in that later decision. As recently as 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a 20-week pain capable law out of Montana not because it was an “undue burden,” but because it violated the viability rule (that case was Isaacson vs. Horne). When appealed to the Supreme Court, they opted not to take the case leaving the Ninth Circuit and its reasoning stand.
We need to look at abortion statistics to illustrate the idiocy of the Left when it comes to this law. For this, most turn to the Guttmacher Institute, a somewhat pro-abortion organization, and the CDC. What do those statistics reveal?
- about 19% of all pregnancies in the US end in abortion;
- only nine countries other than the US have higher abortion rates;
- unmarried women account for 85.5% of all abortions;
- among married women, only 4% of pregnancies end in abortion;
- adolescents account for 0.3% of all abortions and those age 15-19 account for 10.4% of abortions. Taken together, those younger than 20 account for 10.7% of all abortions;
- in 36.3% of all cases, the woman had a prior abortion;
- among black women, 29% of pregnancies end in abortion which three times the rate for white women;
- in 48% of the cases, the reason is either the mother reports they cannot afford a baby, or they are not ready to be a mother;
- in less than 0.5% of cases, the pregnancy and resulting abortion was due to rape;
- in less than 1% of cases in Florida, which requires a reason to be reported, danger to maternal life was the reason;
- likewise in Florida, less than 1% of abortions are due to pregnancy as a result of incest, and most importantly;
- only 3.2% of all abortions occur after the 18th week of gestation.
What becomes obvious from these statistics is two things. First, most abortions are sought and performed for a general category best categorized as “out of convenience,” or “because they can.” It has nothing to do with viability or undue burdens. It is because the Supreme Court in 1973 provided women and doctors with the ultimate form of birth control- murder. Of course, the medical establishment is mainly pro-choice because abortion is a low end $450 million industry in America.
Giving the death cult a generous benefit of the doubt, let’s assume that acceptable abortions (those for rape, incest and maternal life) account for about 4% of all abortions after the age of viability, an even lesser number of abortions- 3.2% occur after 18-20 weeks of gestation according to their very own statistics.
If conservatives can cede the moral ground in 4% of cases, surely one would expect the death merchants to concede an even smaller patch of ground. But, they don’t. Instead, they hide behind amorphous ideas like undue burdens, privacy rights, viability rules and my favorite reworking of the English language, reproductive health (or non-existent rights). As for that latter one, although we should certainly agree that women of child-bearing age should be afforded the opportunity (or right, if you will) whether or not beget children, that opportunity (or right) ends once pregnant. That infamous determination, by the way, from the Supreme Court dealt with forced sterilization and contraception- two acts that prevented pregnancy.
Abortion has nothing to do with reproductive health unless we vastly extend the definition of the word “health” to include the whims of convenience of the mother. As their own statistics indicate, at least 86% of all abortions performed in the United States are for the personal convenience of the mother because it (1) interfered with their education, (2) they thought themselves immature to raise a child, (3) they did not want to be a single mother, (4) they were done having children, (5) economic reasons, or (6) they were not ready for a child.
In all those cases, one theme is obvious and that is the total lack of personal responsibility taken by the person in the first place in getting pregnant. Roe vs. Wade did not just make abortion legal nationally in most cases; it codified personal irresponsibility creating a plethora of excuses for obtaining an abortion. Regardless, in all those cases there are options, mainly adoption but even that option can be overcome by exhibiting some sexual personal responsibility from the start. This writer is the first to agree that it takes two to tango and that a father shirking his responsibility must be part of the equation in solving the problem of abortion in America.
So when a judge in Mississippi strikes down an abortion law because of their personal bias on the issue (see streiff’s article earlier today), they are showing their ignorance of the law, history and facts. The Left’s opposition to the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is born of the same tendencies and worse. They have an opportunity to address 3.2% of all abortions performed in the United States annually (a minuscule amount). Instead, they decide to take the side of inflicting pain on an innocent human, and ultimately murdering that human. Ironically, these very same people have greater sympathy and a desire to avoid pain for those guilty of heinous crimes.
It has nothing to do with “rights” and everything to do with cultivation of a policy of state-condoned murder of innocent life and who cares if some pain is inflicted.