If you want a preview of what we are in for should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, observe the pro-abortion hysteria over the Texas “heartbeat” law protecting the lives of unborn infants.
“Extremist law” blares a headline in The Atlantic over an inflammatory charge that “conservative legislators in Texas” are “willing to let pregnant patients suffer and die.”
“Vigilantism,” shrieks NARAL Pro-Choice America about the law’s empowerment of private individuals to bring civil suit against purveyors and abettors of abortions. Of course, as vigilantism involves private action outside the legal process, it hardly applies to bringing suit in a court of law.
Nor is the hysteria limited to words. The head of Georgia-based game development studio Tripwire Interactive was forced out after tweeting his support for the law.
And Newsweek published a list of companies that donated to co-sponsors of the bill, thereby inviting blacklisting. Add to this the quiescent toleration, by progressive politicians and mainstream media, of last year’s left-wing rioting that terrorized cities across America, and we have some idea of the hatred and violence that await if Roe is overturned.
To be sure, there is also negative reaction to the Texas law among Republicans and conservatives (including some who identify as pro-life) and whose sincere, prudential differences with the law’s approach should be respected.
But there are some establishment Republicans and some conservatives who are ambivalent, or even hostile, toward the pro-life cause. They want pro-life voters as part of their electoral coalitions; but they never really work to advance pro-life policies, either because they see them as politically detrimental, or because they don’t really oppose abortion.
Look, these folk are telling pro-lifers now: pro-abortion President Joe Biden is in serious political trouble, with the Afghanistan catastrophe, the ongoing border crisis, and the COVID spike. But the Texas abortion law is allowing him to distract attention from those things, solidify his base, and jeopardize our chances to take back the White House and Congress--without which, we cannot advance pro-life legislation.
But pro-life people have been hearing this for fifty years. Just elect us, politicians tell them, then we can help your cause. Then once elected, they invariably have other issues that take precedence.
Or, as in this case, they don’t like certain “tactics.”
There is always some excuse for deferring action on pro-life initiatives. But come the next election, they are back seeking pro-life votes.
Should pro-lifers, to mollify such ambivalence, turn their backs on true pro-life public officials, like those in Texas, who act courageously to protect unborn lives? If they do, who can they expect will ever stand with them again?
Some pro-life politicians and commentators voice similar objections to the Texas law: it is “too extreme,” it will be politically damaging. Others are discomfited by the strategy--using civil actions by private citizens to prevent abortions.
David French, in a thoughtful and moving piece that deserves thorough consideration, nevertheless labels the Texas law “dangerous.”
French, who is pro-life, surely understands the mortal danger that innocent children--tens of millions of whom have already been killed--are in every day, as long as our culture of unrestricted abortion remains intact; the danger to women, too many of whom have already been physically injured or emotionally scarred by the brutality of abortion; the danger to other vulnerable populations, as long as the abortion culture’s “destroy the victim” mentality dictates our responses to human suffering; and the danger to our nation as now, almost 50 years on from Roe v. Wade, the breakdown in respect for human life violently rends the fabric of our social order.
These are the existential dangers of our abortion culture; and any approach, however imperfect, that peacefully mitigates them while efforts to build a culture of life continue, is welcome.
As Nathanael Blake writes in The Federalist, “We should cheer Texas’s new law prohibiting abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, and we should rejoice as it saves lives and changes the culture.”
“For the first time since Roe v. Wade,” observed the Catholic bishops of Texas, “the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed a prolife law to remain while litigation proceeds in lower courts. We celebrate every life saved by this legislation.”
That is the bottom line.
Once the law took effect, “Abortion clinics reported dramatic drops in patients on their schedules,” Blake quotes from the New York Times. “And pregnancy crisis centers, where anti-abortion groups offer pregnancy services, reported surges in phone calls and walk-ins.”
While legal challenges are heard, lives are being saved each day that the law is in effect.
That is indeed cause for rejoicing, and for gratitude, to Gov. Greg Abbott and the pro-life legislators of Texas.
For three decades, Rick Hinshaw has given voice to faith values in the public square, as a columnist, then editor of The Long Island Catholic; Communications Director for the Catholic League and the N.Y. State Catholic Conference; co-host of The Catholic Forum cable TV show; and now editor of his own blog, Reading the Signs. Visit Rick’s home page at rickhinshaw.com. Read Rick Hinshaw's Reports — More Here.
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