Pro-life Oklahoma

My home state of Oklahoma has passed–and overridden a veto of–some strong anti-abortion laws:

The Oklahoma Legislature voted Tuesday to override the governor’s vetoes of two abortion measures, one of which requires women to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting an abortion.

Though other states have passed similar measures requiring women to have ultrasounds, Oklahoma’s law goes further, mandating that a doctor or technician set up the monitor so the woman can see it and describe the heart, limbs and organs of the fetus. No exceptions are made for rape and incest victims.

A second measure passed into law on Tuesday prevents women who have had a disabled baby from suing a doctor for withholding information about birth defects while the child was in the womb.

Opponents argue that the law will protect doctors who purposely mislead a woman to keep her from choosing an abortion. But the bill’s sponsors maintain that it merely prevents lawsuits by people who wish, in hindsight, that the doctor had counseled them to abort a disabled child.

via Strict Abortion Measures Enacted in Oklahoma – NYTimes.com.

The states seem to be asserting themselves. Is a new federalism asserting itself?

Pro-life Nebraska

The Nebraska legislature has banned abortion after 20 weeks, raising some new legal possibilities for restrictions:

Two landmark measures putting new restrictions on abortion became law in Nebraska on Tuesday, including one that critics say breaks with court precedent by changing the legal rationale for a ban on later-term abortions.

Republican Gov. Dave Heineman signed both bills, one barring abortions at and after 20 weeks of pregnancy and the other requiring women to be screened before having abortions for mental health and other problems. Both sides of the abortion debate say the laws are firsts of their kind in the U.S.

A national abortion rights group already appeared to be girding for a legal challenge, calling the ban after 20 weeks “flatly unconstitutional” because it is based on the assertion that fetuses feel pain, not on the ability of a fetus to survive outside the womb.

“It absolutely cannot survive a challenge without a change to three decades of court rulings,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Courts have been chipping away at abortion rights … this would be like taking a huge hacksaw to the rights.”

The law focusing on late-term abortions is designed to shut down one of the few doctors in the nation who performs them in Nebraska.

Set to take effect in October, it is based on the claim that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks. The current standard in abortion restrictions is viability, or when a fetus is able to survive outside the womb — generally at 22 to 24 weeks.

The law could lead to changes in state laws across the country if upheld by the courts, said Mary Spaulding Balch, legislative director for National Right to Life.

“It would broaden the interests of states in protecting the unborn child,” she said. “It says the state has an interest in the unborn child before viability.”

Heineman also signed the other bill, approved by lawmakers on Monday, that requires the screening for mental health problems and other risk factors indicating if women might have problems after having abortions.

via The Associated Press: Neb. governor signs landmark abortion bills.

Goldwater’s pro-abortion conservatism

David Mills, at the First Things blog, found a quote from Barry Goldwater arguing that being pro-abortion is actually being conservative:

While searching the web for something, I came across the Planned Parenthood site and followed a link to a group of theirs called “Republicans for Choice.” It included as a pull-out quote these words from Barry Goldwater:

A lot of so-called conservatives today don’t know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the religious right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.

It is impossible for me to think well of someone who could say something so morally cretinous, whatever else may be said in his favor. If protecting the life of the unborn is not conservative, I don’t know what would be—or, alternatively, why anyone would care to be a conservative. And if “do-gooder” is an insult in this case, the man doesn’t know what the good really is. He has taken a position the man of basic, of normal and merely human, moral awareness does not take.

via Goldwater and the Do-Gooders » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog.

Abstinence funding

The health care reform bill consisted of 1,990 pages.  Congressmen could hardly have read what they were voting for.  Who knows what all is in there?  There may be all kinds of surprises.  For example, to the dismay of many liberals, funding for abstinence education–which Democrats thought they had killed–was stuck into the bill, to the tune of $250 million:

A little-noticed provision of the health legislation has rescued federal support for a controversial form of sex education: teaching youths to remain virgins until marriage.

The bill restores $250 million over five years for states to sponsor programs aimed at preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases by focusing exclusively on encouraging children and adolescents to avoid sex. The funding provides at least a partial reprieve for the approach, which faced losing all federal support under President Obama’s first two budgets.

via Health bill restores $250 million in abstinence-education funds – washingtonpost.com.

Isn’t it something that teaching children to wait until they get married to have sex is now “controversial”?

The day Mary conceived our Lord

Today is Annunciation Day, celebrating the day the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would bear, through the Holy Spirit, Christ the Savior.   Think of the implications of this conception:  Christ the embryo, Christ the Fetus!

Here is Luther preaching on Annunciation Day:

It almost seems as though God is at enmity with the world. Present conditions are so shameful all around us in the world, as God allows murderous mobs and rabble, so much violence and so much misfortune to prevail, so that we might think God is only Lord and God of the angels and that he has forgotten about mankind.

But here in our text (Luke 1:26ff) we see that he befriends us humans like no other creatures, in the very closest possible relationship, and in turn, we humans have a closer relationship with God than any other creature. Sun and moon are not as close to us as is God, for he comes to us in our own flesh and blood. God not only rules over us, not only lives in us, but personally became a human being.

This is the grace we celebrate today, thanking God that he has cleansed our sinful conception and birth through his holy conception and birth, and removed the curse from us and blessed us. (HP III:292,293)

via Rev. William Weedon.

To stupak

Bart Stupak, the pro-life Democratic congressman from Michigan, went from a hero to a goat in a single moment.  With his blocking of the health care reform bill unless it included anti-abortion provisions, pro-lifers were thinking they too might be able to become Democrats after all.  But then came his press conference in which he agreed to accept the bill on the basis of a presidential executive order saying tax money will not be used to pay for abortions, something that can’t be enforced in the courts, can be changed at will, and doesn’t matter anyway since segregating money means as little as  putting it in your right pocket rather than your left.  So now BOTH pro-lifers AND pro-abortioners are mad at him.  The whole performance inspired Kathleen Parker, who is no right-winger, to coin a new word:

Stupak.

Etymology: Eponym for Rep. Bart Stupak.

Function: verb

1: In a legislative process, to obstruct passage of a proposed law on the basis of a moral principle (i.e., protecting the unborn), accumulating power in the process, then at a key moment surrendering in exchange for a fig leaf, the size of which varies according to the degree of emasculation of said legislator and/or as a reflection of just how stupid people are presumed to be. (Slang: backstabber.)

Poor Bart Stupak. The man tried to be a hero for the unborn, and then, when all the power of the moment was in his frail human hands, he dropped the baby. He genuflected when he should have dug in his heels and gave it up for a meaningless executive order.

Now, in the wake of his decision to vote for a health-care bill that expands public funding for abortion, he is vilified and will forever be remembered as the guy who Stupaked health-care reform and the pro-life movement. . . .

Stupak’s clumsy fall from grace is a lesson in human frailty. In a matter of hours, he went from representing the majority of Americans who don’t want public money spent on abortion to leading the army on the other side.

Something must have gone bump in the night.

Whatever it was, demonizing Stupak seems excessive and redundant given punishments to come. Already he has lost a speaking invitation to the Illinois Catholic Prayer Breakfast next month. His political future, otherwise, may have been foretold by a late-night anecdote.

After the Sunday vote, a group of Democrats, including Stupak, gathered in a pub to celebrate. In a biblical moment, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was spotted planting a big kiss on Stupak’s cheek.

To a Catholic man well versed in the Gospel, this is not a comforting gesture.

via Kathleen Parker – Stupak’s fall from pro-life grace – washingtonpost.com.

Use the verb “stupak” in a sentence to bring up other examples of people standing up for principle only to cave when it mattered most.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X