The GOP Long Con of the Pro-Life Movement

The GOP Long Con of the Pro-Life Movement May 10, 2019

A host of Republican-led states have made the bold moves to appeal to their pro-life base, by passing bills aimed at curtailing the gutless, cold practice of abortion.

Most commonly, there are the “heartbeat” bills, that would ban abortion after any point where a fetal heartbeat is detected, and the “born alive” bills, that would require medical treatment be given to any babies born after surviving an abortion attempt.

Neither of these bills successfully dig up the ill-formed Roe v. Wade law at the root of the abortion issue, but that’s not their design. The purpose is more as a deterrent or at least, to curtail the prevalence of the detestable practice.

In recent months, states like North Carolina, Mississippi, Ohio, and Kentucky have all tackled the issue with various proposed bills.

Some have been successful, while others, in places such as North Dakota and Iowa have been permanently blocked by infanticide-loving courts.

I recommend those states look at why their bills were blocked and go back to the drawing board. Their cause is just.

Now, I say all that as a preface to what I’m going to point out next.

First of all, abortion is only an issue to the GOP during election season. Anyone who feels they have a friend to the pro-life cause in the upper levels of government is deluded.

And please, no need for the whataboutism that usually follows these remarks. I don’t need to hear anyone say, “Well, we surely don’t have a friend on the Democrats’ side!”

Of course we don’t. They’re as pinned down by their partisanship as their colleagues.

In fact, I often wonder how many Democrats – not just in Washington, but in general – actually consider the act of abortion, the horrors and heartbreak it entails, and would secretly consider themselves opposed to it, but because of what their chosen political party demands of them, they keep it quiet and toe the “pro-choice” line?

That’s the point. Republicans are pretty vocal, bringing out all the bells and banners, when it comes to stating their pro-life cred, but when the rubber meets the road, where are they?

One indicator would be the first two years of the Trump administration, when Republicans had the presidency, the House, and the Senate in their camp.

What did they do to curtail the abortion industry?

Nothing. It wasn’t a priority.

I mean, they increased the tax-supported funding of Planned Parenthood, so I guess that’s something – just not the something pro-lifers tend to hope for.

When the federal government fails to represent us, or to show any actual courage, it really is up to the states to take the lead.

Abortion would be one of those matters. The Tenth Amendment makes it clear that anything not enumerated in the Constitution falls to the states to decide, and for far too long, states have abdicated that duty.

So we’re back to the individual states attempting to pass abortion limitation bills.

I don’t want to discourage that, because it needs to happen. Part of making that happen is having the citizens become proactive in knowing what’s in the bill, leaning on their state lawmakers, and assuring that they’re kept in the loop.

Specifically, I want to use the recently approved Georgia HB 481 bill, titled the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act as an example.

So what the bill does is require doctors to check for a fetal heartbeat, then it bans abortions after the point where a heartbeat is detected. In most cases, that’s around 6 weeks of pregnancy, so, right away, it feels like a win.

It will be the abortionist who is required to listen for the heartbeat. A lot is banking on the integrity of someone who dismembers sleeping infants in the womb.

Sketchy, at best.

The bread and butter of Planned Parenthood is abortion, no matter how they publicly tout their “other” services.

Why put so much in their hands?

Still, there’s more in the bill, tucked away in the morass of technical language that most pedestrian voters would likely overlook, preferring to trust their Republican lawmakers.

HB 481 was presented with exceptions.

So I’m going to put this rhetorical question out there: Is the pro-life fight simply a fight in theory, or do we actually care about ending this genocidal practice?

If you’re firm in that this is a fight worth having, then we need to be concerned about bills like HB 481 that are presented with exceptions.

On page 3 of the bill, several important points are made, in determining the personhood of an unborn child:

(d) Unless otherwise provided by law, any natural person, including an unborn child with 68 a detectable human heartbeat, shall be included in population based determinations. 69 (e) As used in this Code section, the term: 70 (1) ‘Detectable human heartbeat’ means embryonic or fetal cardiac activity or the steady 71 and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the heart within the gestational sac. 72 (2) ‘Unborn child’ means a member of the species Homo sapiens at any stage of 73 development who is carried in the womb.”

I can get on board with all of that. Further down the page, however, it gets into the definition of “abortion,” and those things that would be exempt from the law.

  • ‘Abortion’ means the act of using, prescribing, or administering any instrument, 89 substance, device, or other means with the purpose to terminate a pregnancy with 90 knowledge that termination will, with reasonable likelihood, cause the death of an unborn 91 child; provided, however, that any such act shall not be considered an abortion if the act 92 is performed with the purpose of: 93 (A) Removing a dead unborn child caused by spontaneous abortion; or 94 (B) Removing an ectopic pregnancy. 95 (2) ‘Detectable human heartbeat’ means embryonic or fetal cardiac activity or the steady 96 and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the heart within the gestational sac.

  • (3) ‘Medical emergency’ means a condition in which an abortion is necessary in order to 98 prevent the death of the pregnant woman or the substantial and irreversible physical 99 impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman. No such greater risk shall 100 be deemed to exist if it is based on a diagnosis or claim of a mental or emotional 101 condition of the pregnant woman or that the pregnant woman will purposefully engage 102 in conduct which she intends to result in her death or in substantial and irreversible 103 physical impairment of a major bodily function. 104 (4) ‘Medically futile’ means that, in reasonable medical judgment, an unborn child has 105 a profound and irremediable congenital or chromosomal anomaly that is incompatible 106 with sustaining life after birth.

The emphasis there is mine. You see a lot of exceptions. Some would argue they’re reasonable, neutral ground in the battle.

The mother’s “mental or emotional” state should raise some eyebrows. What are the parameters of that one?

It does not clarify if we’re talking about a woman with severe developmental delays, a diagnosed mental illness, or simply a woman that can convince an already willing abortionist that they’re having a rough day, and they’re in a bad head space, therefore – abort.

Are we to believe Georgia’s Republican lawmakers didn’t consider this?

What about “medically futile”?

Apparently, if it is determined the child may have some birth defects, their life is not worth saving to the “pro-life” Georgia lawmakers.

Possibly the most common and known instance of a “chromosomal anomaly,” as mentioned in the exceptions to the LIFE law would be Down Syndrome.

Awhile back, I read a gut-wrenching piece about how Down Syndrome has been close to eradicated in the Netherlands, because prenatal screening that shows a child will likely be a Down Syndrome baby results in almost 100 percent termination of the pregnancy by the mothers.

I’m not cheerleading for Down Syndrome. It’s stressful for the parents who have to worry about the well-being of their children when they pass.

That being said, I also know that Down Syndrome children are some of the happiest, most loving and good people you’d ever want to meet.

I know that there are resources available to give them life training, and education, so that they’re better prepared to handle more independent living, with very little supervision.

It’s not ideal, but life is always better.

While the passing of HB 481 caused the usual suspects to throw themselves across the altar of the Church of Abortion, I can only imagine they’re not completely informed about the new law, either.

There is very little ground that they’ve lost. The bill serves more as window dressing for the 2020 election.

What about the pro-life crowd?

Many have praised the passage, but does it do enough? Is this really a win for the side of life, or are conservatives being jerked around?

The devil is in the details, as they say, and Georgia pro-lifers should demand more.

In fact, in every state where heartbeat or born alive bills are presented, the pro-life crowd should look at the specific language, and then they should ask questions.

The sad matter is that Republicans in power have given lip service to the pro-life cause, but if they were to actually do something about it, what would they use as a campaign issue when the next election rolled around?

They don’t want the fight. They just want the votes, and as long as they can convince pro-lifers that they’re on their side, they have a built in voter base.

I really hate to be a cynic, especially when the stakes are so high, but somebody needs to say it, because the notion of the GOP as the party of pro-life has proven to be woefully ineffective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Alpha 1

    Congratulations, you figured out the anti-abortion movement is a con! It’s just window dressing the right’s leaders use to trick people who aren’t billionaires into voting to cut the taxes of people who are. Have you considered that this same dynamic may apply to other socially conservative positions you’ve been taught?

  • RebeccaSusanWright

    No, no.
    The politicians’ side of the pro-life/anti-infanticide movement is a con. For the people, however, it’s real. We just dont have champions in seats of influence.

  • Kit Springs ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ₕₑᵣₘᵢₜ

    If you say you are pro life and are not in the trenches giving aid to every child born then you are the con artist. I am for comprehensive birth control freely accessable to all. This would make abortion all but obsolete. I have physically cared for the children you so blithely say are wonderful and happy. The ones that were so physically and mentally disabled, but they were non-functional. That was not living, but existing.
    I know of one child that had locked in syndrome. She just cried. Almost 24/7. That is her reality.
    So unless you have walked their walk, don’t be so quick to think you know what is best. It is not your road to walk.
    Make birth control available for all, and you Might have a little more moral ground to stand on but not much.
    I am the mother to 5, 3 living and 2 that died in the womb. And I did NOTHING to cause that. But I feel it does give me insight. Especially if it was a wanted pregnancy lost due to unknown causes, or other horrific situations.
    May you never be in that place, with no place to turn. I would not wish that on anyone.

  • Alpha 1

    No it’s not. If the anti-abortion movement was serious about preventing abortions, they would be pushing for free contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancies. After all, 42% of unwanted pregnancies end in abortion. Preventing those unwanted pregnancies could have stopped the murder of millions of unborn babies over the years! The fact this has never been on the anti-abortion movement’s agenda show they don’t actually care about preventing abortions.

  • mudskipper

    I don’t see how this law would permit the aborting of a child who merely has Down syndrome. It’s quite clear that the medically futile definition covers only those cases where the baby would be unable to live for long outside the womb.

    In addition, as I read the passage that contains the statement about “mental or emotional state,” it disqualifying these states as a reason for abortion.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    … and again our resident Canadian Atheist speaks about that which he understands not.

    The hypocrisy of the Atheist, anti-life crowd and their knee-jerk fear of infants is just astounding.

    I guess if they have no guarantee that the child will be raised by the state or that the child will be subjected to and made to conform to all their twisted perversions, they don’t want the child to be born.

    Disgusting…..

  • Ellen Elmore

    The key to the Congress and Senate being woefully ineffective when it comes to pro-life, is the two years the Republicans had the trifecta (White House, Senate, House). Since Trump is a pro-life pretender, Congress was just following their leader. Every two years we hear Republicans claiming to be pro-life so they can win their election. Then, once elected, they refuse to fight to stop abortion. Their deception is out in the open now so we know it’s all a con. Yes, some Republicans are better than Democrats. But the difference is so slight that it’s hard to tell whether the candidate has an R or a D next to their name.

  • Stephen

    I agree with the what with Susan. May different with the how. One of the reasons I did not vote for Bill Clinton the second run was nothing practical done for reducing abortion. Which he promised to reduce in his first run. Reducing the deficit to surplus was not good enought. If Wade versus Roe is over turned this practise goes back to the states. Any crappy politician just takes their mistress to a state where it is legal. We have to change hearts. And one way is to help a woman in this situation meet the challenges of a unplan pregnancy. You know spend some money on social services. Until you are willing to do that you are a hypocrite. Jesus pointed out the good samaritan, a despise minority BTW, for his helping one of those people oppressing his people.The church people of that day averted their eyes ignoring their own in trouble. Helping, loving is a fruit of true Christianity. When you do not bear fruit like that you lose your witness.

  • mudskipper

    Hm. Just a bunch of hyperbolic ad hominems and no real response. It is a good question: if you want to reduce abortions, why not make effective contraceptives readily available? The Colorado program that provided free IUDs showed how effective that is.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Alpha usually only stops by to throw rocks, then refused to engage in informed discussions/debate.

    As a Canadian, his opinion is of little relevance to me or anyone else here anyway as he really has no say in how we choose to run our government. His opinion holds about as much weight as any of the Russian trolls that supported Trump in 2016 given that he comes from a highly biased – socialist-leaning country.

  • Annemarie

    I’ve been reading up on the history of abortion and infanticide, which is not well documented, maybe because it was hard to prove. Until well into the 20th century, kids died. Babies died. Miscarriages happened. How many babies, at birth, were “born dead” when they really weren’t? Is that why birth moved to doctors and hospitals, rather than staying in the domain of “women’s business” and midwives? I don’t know, but I wonder. I know kids have historically been exposed if they were the wrong gender or had defects (however that was defined.) And that women were executed for abortion over time. But I don’t think it happened too often.

    To me it matters because the abortion debate really picked up steam (I mean before Roe) because as medicine advanced, babies could survive problems that would have killed them early.(Although people with Down’s and autism etc were dumped into institutions…it happened to at least one family member.) So it’s like the…parameters? Is that the word I want?repercussions?..of abortion and not aborting have changed. The institutions are gone, and Down’s and autism are managed at home by parents. Sick kids can be kept alive through modern medicine, and sometimes that is very expensive. An adoption system exists, but how many kids just end up in foster care, which can be awesome but sometimes isn’t?

    One of my women’s magazines from the late 1940s had a story about the young marriages that were taking place during WWII and post-war. The writer argued that these very young, teenage parents, needed a lot of support from their families because it was hard to manage when you’re young and immature and have kids and a badly-paid job. There’s this narrative that the parents of Boomers jumped right into adult lives and did it all without help. That story suggested it wasn’t true. (I’ll try to find the reference; I think it was in Women’s Home Companion.)

    Look, when I was a teenager, under pressure to have an abortion, I knew without question it would be murder. So we had our child. Adoption would have been my first choice but a family member had been adopted and it was a disaster. So we kept the child (and yes, married as kids). But I struggle with judging other people’s choices even though, yes, I think abortion is murder. I know families with serious genetic disorders, who do their best not to get pregnant but sometimes birth control fails. They have abortions. People who put kids up for adoption and have never forgiven themselves. Only one person who had abortions (yes, multiple) for the sake of her career. (We aren’t friends.) People who live in states with tight welfare and Medicaid restrictions, who are afraid of having a kid and having no support and being left alone to deal with it. Yes, these are all real people.

    I guess I struggle because everything has changed. I’m a Democrat, so I believe that some kind of solid safety net needs to be in place to help people who don’t have families willing to help them as they get their lives going. (That would have been me, so speaking from experience here.) A better and safer adoption system. Until then, if a state has passed strict anti-abortion laws, put some kind of way for those needing abortions to get to states that allow it. I don’t know how that would work when it would cost a lot and some people are strongly against government-run systems. But I think it needs to be addressed if we are going to get rid of abortion.

  • sometypeofguy

    You reiterated your negative opinion of Alpha without responding to mudskipper’s question.

  • Pennybird

    “…how many Democrats… actually consider the act of abortion, the horrors and heartbreak it entails, and would secretly consider themselves opposed to it, but because of what their chosen political party demands of them, they keep it quiet and toe the “pro-choice” line?”

    That’s what choice is. If you poll prochoice individuals and politicians alike you will find many who personally oppose it, and would council their loved ones against it, but opposed medical decisions being made by the legislature. If abortion were to be criminalized, that’s what would happen.

    The reason you only hear about it from the GOP at election time is that they are very afraid of it being criminalized. Then how will they get votes, by promising tax cuts to everyone’s boss?

  • JASmius

    Here’s the reality on the abortion issue: The American consensus is to the right of where the Left is and the left of where the Right is. The Left can get away with pro-infanticide bills, such as New York passed recently, unlike the Right with the near total ban passed in Alabama last week, because Roe v. Wade blocks the latter, as was admitted even by the Republican State lawmakers that passed it. Both bills are fundraising goldmines for the other sides, but the Alabama bill is simply a bigger unforced error given that the pro-life side has the bigger task of persuasion in front of it.

    But even if Roe is ever overturned – which it won’t be – abortion on demand isn’t going away in this country. It will be a booming business in “blue” States even as it’s phased out in “red” States. That would be the compromise that federalism would create. But neither side of the abortion dispute is interested in compromise. Each wants to “own” the other and force their end goal on the other using federal power. Which means even if Roe went away, the nationalization of abortion policy never will, and would just oscillate back and forth from one extreme to the other and vice versa.

    And, of course, given the fatal damage that Donald Trump has done to the Right, there’ll be a long stretch of leftwing dominance before that oscillation could ever begin.