So, I’ve read a lot lately on how the Republican party is duping Christians into voting for them by dangling abortion in front of us election in and election out. I like politics for the theater of it, but am not personally invested. I have my preferences for who wins or loses, but it feels like the bureaucracy is just so monstrous it doesn’t even matter who wins or loses. But I took seriously the allegation that Republicans are just gaslighting me into thinking they care about abortion at all. So I read a ton, thought a lot, and now probably have 3 of my own future articles on the topic. First of all, historically Republicans didn’t care about abortion. Until we get to the “moral majority” days in the 80’s this issue wasn’t particularly partisan (although always divisive.) Second, the national Republicans are pretty spotty on their vigilance to the cause. They have had some opportunities to write legislation, defund Planned Parenthood, and more. However, local Republicans have done a pretty good job of writing laws and getting them on the books and then the courts get to judge whether or not they are constitutional – thus the fight we find ourselves in over Supreme Court vacancies. While Republican courts have done poorly on this issue historically, they are doing better in recent years. Serious counter-abortion legislation is less than 20 years old. Before that it was mostly litigated through the courts, and before that abortion was just handled differently in every state and I didn’t research much on that.
So, back to the question at hand. Are Republicans just dangling abortion in front of Christian’s noses like little piglets at the fair chasing an Oreo? I think there are consultants who do that for sure, but I think some Republicans are sincere. I also think some Democrats understand the overwhelming complex moral issue that abortion is, and some just see it as a way to gin up support through fear-mongering on their side of the political aisle. I didn’t have a perfect method to determine who talks about abortion more. If someone has a better method let me know. If you type in “abortion” into Google. On the first page, there are 4 sites explicitly pro-abortion, 2 sites that are informational, and 1 site that was pro-life. Likewise, when you type in “abortion” and “supreme court” and search in NEWS, all 9 sites on the front page are left-leaning warning of how the supreme court nominee could drastically affect abortion rights. So, my conclusion is it’s hard to say that only Republicans are using this as a wedge issue. It would seem that possibly even more, Democrats use abortion as a voting issue.
However, what I want to write about today is why I want a conservative court when it comes to upcoming abortion-centric cases. If you look over the last few years, only Thomas, Alito, and Scalia (when he was alive) voted continually against the “right” to an abortion. Other Conservative leaning judges like Kennedy and Roberts have leaned more on court precedence than constitutionality. The Democratic-appointed judges always voted on the side of abortion in the last 20 years. Here’s a good example of a close call. Steinberg v. Carhart was a Nebraska Law that banned partial-birth abortions. (I’ll do my best to watch the rhetoric and not be more graphic than necessary.) When you get even into the 2nd trimester a traditional abortion is not possible because the fetus (see I’m watching my language) is too large. Other techniques to remove the fetus promote essentially having the mother go into labor prematurely and then the fetus’ life is ended (feel free to search “intact dilation and extraction” on your own.) The court in a 5-4 decision (right down conservative/liberal lines) said the law was unconstitutional stating that the mother deserved the safest available abortion technique. The critique of Justice Kennedy (who had just voted a few years earlier that Roe v. Wade was constitutional) that the constitution had no bearing on a case where a state was limiting a type of medical procedure (which states do all the time.) The courts would have a second shot at a very similar case just a few years later with another “conservative” Judge Roberts in the fold this time. The Republicans grew a tiny little backbone in 2003 and passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Many lawmakers pleaded with their congressional colleagues saying that we have laws which ban particularly inhumane treatments of animals. How can we not seek similar pain-free options when it comes to abortion? Here’s the essence of the law in case you actually think it’s controversial:
“An abortion in which the person performing the abortion, deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an over act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus.” (18 U.S. Code 1531)
In the House, the final legislation was supported by 218 Republicans and 63 Democrats. It was opposed by 4 Republicans, 137 Democrats, and 1 independent. In the Senate, the bill was supported by 47 Republicans and 17 Democrats. It was opposed by 3 Republicans, 30 Democrats, and 1 independent.
So, I guess it was technically “bi-partisan” but this is the only real national abortion legislation we’ve EVER had. But a lawsuit in Gonzalez v. Carhart was brought against this Act also claiming it was unconstitutional. This time it was 5-4 saying that legislators can make such laws and now partial-birth abortions are banned.
Here is some other good legislation coming up that the Supreme court will potentially get to rule on. I don’t hide my bias here. I want these cases upheld and passed in more states.
Planned Parenthood of Arkansas & Eastern Oklahoma v. Jegley And June Medical Services v. Gee
Are laws which state abortion doctors must have admitting privileges in local hospitals in case something goes wrong with the procedure. The problem is many abortion doctors are only abortion doctors and don’t have admitting privileges in hospitals. I don’t have a problem with the law. I think abortion doctors can pick up a shift in the ER once a month and do some actual good. I’m sure there’s more complexity here, but on the surface, I like the law.
Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky Inc. And Preterm-Cleveland et al. V. Lance Hies et al.
The first is an Indiana law (signed by Mike Pence before accepting the VP) which says that women can’t have an abortion based on the race, gender, national origin, ancestry, or genetic abnormalities of the unborn child – basically citing discrimination laws.
Likewise, using discrimination laws, the second case is a little more complex. It’s an Ohio law that makes it a felony for the abortion provider if they know the woman is only seeking an abortion because the unborn child was diagnosed with specifically Down Syndrome.
I’m super into these laws. A study a few years back showed about 3% of abortions by married people were based on wanting a different-gendered baby (they usually wanted males). This is horrendous to me. I like the second law because it specifically names Downs. People with Downs can live very fulfilling lives, how dare we take that opportunity away from such precious people.
Whole Woman’s Health Alliance v. Hill And EMW Women’s Surgical Center et al. V. Andrw Beshar et al.
The first is also an Indiana law which simply requires an 18-hour waiting period between an abortion appointment and the actual abortion.
And the second requires women to see an ultrasound and hear the fetal heart rate monitor. The accusation is these laws are cruel and unnecessarily hinder the woman from getting a legal abortion. The reason why I have never advocated for prosecuting women for abortions is mens rea. So many people have been duped into believing that abortion isn’t ending a human life, so they couldn’t be found guilty of that crime. It’s going to be a long time before people start believing that all humans have intrinsic worth (this is a problem on both sides of the political aisle depending on the issue being discussed.) I like these laws because I don’t want people to make a rash decision and want them to at least know that fetus inside of them is presently healthy and growing and would enter this world alive barring action.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc v. Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health And Gee v. Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast, Inc
Both these laws are seeking to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving state Medicaid benefits. My answer is I think Medicaid should be used for actual health issues. Planned Parenthood claims 3% of their services are abortion related. The Susan B. Anthony List claims 94% are abortion related claiming Planned Parenthood breaks up their billing as pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, doctor checks, blood work, pre-op check, abortion, post-op check so abortion only shows up as 1 item even though each of those activities is essentially abortion-related. The Washington Post claims that according to money spent about 55% of services are involving an abortion. I say a state can do whatever it wants, and I don’t think having a free abortion is a right even if Roe v. Wade determined there’s a right to get one.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana & Kentucky v. Adams et al. And Reproductive Health Services v. Marshall
Yep, this is the 3rd Mike Pence signed law if you’re counting. It requires a parent to consent to a minor getting an abortion. Let me speak about this one before the Marshall case. I think this is soooo important for 2 reasons. First, we can’t be doing medical procedures on children without parental consent. I know kids are afraid to tell their parents, but this HAS to be done. The main reason though is human trafficking. There is a HUGE epidemic of human trafficking in this country. I know people don’t trust Project Veritas. My recommendation is don’t believe what the media says about them. Watch some of these videos for yourself. They have long unedited ones on their website if you want to watch. They have multiple in the section on obvious traffickers paying for young girls to get abortions with NO QUESTIONS ASKED. This is horrible. Parents must be involved with minors, and I think there needs to be required training for abortion clinic workers on looking for signs of sex traffic victims just like most nurses in hospitals are doing.
Now for the Marshall case. Whoa is this one complicated. Research it yourself but what I think is happening is a minor wanted to have an abortion without her parent’s consent. So, the state of Alabama basically wrote a law that says if a child wants an abortion without parental consent they need to go to court to prove why, but then the fetus also gets a court appointed attorney in the process. Holy Cow. From the going to court point of view, I like it because I’m sure there are some situations in which a teen doesn’t want to tell their parents for an actually good reason. I don’t know, but they have a work-around if need be. I don’t think the attorney for the fetus will fly until the person-hood laws get passed. All person-hood laws to give rights to fetus’ have failed thus far, but there’s a law heading up the pipe giving the Great Lakes person-hood status so maybe a body of water will be declared a person before an unborn child is.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands v. Lawrence G. Wasden et al.
This Idaho law forces all abortion providers to report “abortion complications” to the state health professionals. Here’s the real truth. We have very shoddy numbers on the number of women who die, are forced to have hysterectomies because of complications, or face other future reproductive issues. This just makes them report what happens while under their care. What’s the controversy to this law???
So, typing all this out, I would say that what the last 20 years has shown me is we need a majority of conservative leaning judges to keep these laws on the books. So, I don’t personally mind the Republicans rushing through Amy Coney Barrett. I’m sure I wouldn’t like it if the Democrats were rushing in a leftist justice who would shoot down these laws without weighing their constitutionality. Abortion is a pretty big deal to me, and I’ve written on this before. But I’ll tell you what I really want. I want the Democrats to actually try to get my vote and other Christians like me that have strong pro-life beliefs. They do not seem to care about getting my vote. But I’d love for both sides to start competing for it. Come on 2024. Come get my vote.