South Dakota has passed the most restrictive abortion ban in the country. Its authors have stated that they intend this to be a direct challenge to the 1973 Supreme Court decision of Roe v Wade.
This is the most divisive issue to hit the Conservative wing of the Republican Party since Harriett Miers was nominated to the Supreme Court. Many are saying that this is either a premature effort that will yield nothing or a folly that will only give red meat to the Democrats as we approach the mid term elections this year and leading up to the next presidential primaries in 2008.
Others argue that Roe should be challenged directly. It will be at least three years before the High Court will hear the case. This is plenty of time for President Bush to get one more nomination on the Court before he leaves office.
Those uncomfortable with this legislation say that the Court will simply refuse to hear the case. They argue that without the insertion of the standard “Exception Clause” i.e. rape, incest and life of the mother this whole exercise is d.o.a.
Since there is no case yet, it is difficult to see how this will play-out. My purpose in writing this blog entry is to flesh-out arguments that I don’t hear anyone else talking about since this story hit the news late last week.
First, let’s see what Mississippi and any other Conservative states might be able to pass. The Supreme Court bundled three cases together when they heard arguments on Roe v Wade. I’m sure they will do the same with this batch of challenges to Roe. If Mississippi gives their bill the generally accepted “Exception Clause” language, I think these nervous folks will calm down.
Second, there is the issue before the Court right now of “partial-birth” abortion. The ban on this type of abortion is perfectly acceptable with the majority decision in Roe but is considered by abortion supporters as a curtailment of abortion rights as they stand now. The wording of this decision will be a harbinger of where the Court is heading.
Third, South Dakota has definite State’s Right grounds to argue the Constitutionality of their bill. Additionally, because of how Roe has been implemented, there is state money (our tax dollars) involved in subsidizing the abortion industry.
Four, the “Exception Clause” is mostly a strawman argument (smoke screen) that allows prolifers to appear compassionate. In reality it makes their arguments opposing abortion weaker.
Please note that most abortions are retroactive birth control and abortions for rape and incest are statistically insignificant.
Let’s suppose that there is a pregnancy as the result of rape or incest. How would the procedure work to allow the woman to get an abortion?
Do you just take her word that this is how she got pregnant? Is it necessary for her to file a police report first? If a guy is prosecuted for such a crime, the child would be full term before the courts could adjudicate the matter. This leaves you with the sticky problem of what if the guy is found not guilt, and she had the abortion? Has she committed perjury or murder or what?
This line of reasoning not only leads to the wilderness of moral relativism but right back to where we are now. For it is not strictly Roe v Wade that gives us the current abortion climate, but the companion case released the same day as Roe, January 22, 1973. Roe allows abortion for the health of the mother, while in Doe v Bolton, we get the definition of health as convenience.
The medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.
Any health exemption without a definition that closes this loophole is worthless in the hands of an activist judiciary.
Five, for those of you that want this issue to stop being political, I have one word of advice. Get the taxpayer subsidies out of the abortion decision and most of this abortion argument would disappear. I don’t what my money killing little black children just because the founder of Planned Parenthood though all blacks are “weeds” and hung-out with the German freaks that gave us the Nazi Holocaust. Children are God’s creation not things that we throw away.
Lastly, the lies of the pro-abortion movement are wearing thin with many. It is hard to keep the same old lies going forward decade after decade. The right balance of prayer and repentance will put this morbid practice in the dust bin of history soon enough.