President Joe Biden signed an executive order on “reproductive health care” on Friday, July 8. In it, he presented a good many falsities as facts and completely disregarded the authority of the Supreme Court by redirecting executive agencies to countermand its ruling. Biden gets everything wrong, from whether elective abortion is health care to just how restrictive any of the states really are. That should come as no surprise, however, given his history.
Abortion as Healthcare
“Nearly 50 years ago, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), articulated the United States Constitution’s protection of women’s fundamental right to make reproductive health care decisions.”
There are two types of abortion, and most Democrats – Biden included – conflate one with the other, seemingly on purpose. Abortion is health care when it’s medically necessary. When it’s done for the sake of convenience – that would be the “free abortions on demand and without apology” so often mentioned on protest signs – it isn’t health care. Most abortions are elective, not necessary, and therefore only rarely can abortion be accurately described as health care. The right of women to make their own “reproductive health care decisions” was never in question; this claim is based on the fallacy that abortion law is about the woman’s body, when, in fact, it is about the unborn child’s life.
Abortion as a Constitutional Right
Now on to the next point – the constitutional right to abort. The founding documents make no mention of any such right. The beautiful thing about our great nation, however, is that our government was designed to protect liberty. For something to be illegal, it must be specifically prohibited by law. That means that a great many things not mentioned at all in the Constitution or any state or federal law are – and should be – legal.
But a constitutional right is one that can’t be prohibited by law because it’s explicitly protected by the Constitution. For example, the heavily regulated right to keep and bear arms, which, the Second Amendment clearly states, “shall not be infringed,” is a constitutional right. Despite the blatant violation that is every firearms law in the nation, the Constitution is the only reason the right to keep and bear arms is recognized at all at this point. If any right to terminate a pregnancy early by killing the unborn, however, does exist, it comes not from – nor is it recognized by – the Constitution.
Elective abortion is now banned in many states for precisely the same reason it’s illegal nationwide to leave unwanted children already born out to die. It’s what million believe to be murder. For that matter, one could make the same argument that lies at the core of why every state in the Union enforces child support: When people consensually engage in the act that so often results in pregnancy, they accept – whether they actively think about it at the time or not – a whole list of possible consequences, of which pregnancy is just one. There is not, nor has there ever been, a right to live free from the consequences of our actions.
A Feast of Red Herring
“Access to reproductive health care services is now threatened for millions of Americans, and especially for those who live in States that are banning or severely restricting abortion care. Women’s health clinics are being forced to close – including clinics that offer other preventative health care services such as contraception – leaving many communities without access to critical health care services.”
No state prohibits medically necessary abortions. Also, it should be pointed out that in all the states that ban or restrict abortion beyond the old limits of Roe, procedures to remove ectopic pregnancies and the remains of the stillborn are explicitly excluded from the legal definition of abortion. Claiming otherwise is simply a lie and bringing it up as something that must be protected in spite of restrictive laws is a red herring.
States aren’t forcing abortion clinics to shut down; they’re shutting down because business has dried up. If these abortionists could afford the cost of doing business without elective abortions, they would be allowed to remain open. In fact, if they performed enough of these other healthcare services touted by the Democrats, they wouldn’t be going under. The fact that abortion is their bread and butter is the reason they’re closing.
There’s no reason a pregnant woman can’t go to the hospital or hospital-affiliated women’s clinic to end a pregnancy in case of a medical emergency or to remove an ectopic pregnancy. There’s also no reason to have to depend on Planned Parenthood or other abortion clinics for female contraceptives, as those are also available at other clinics. For male contraceptives, every major retailer in the nation sells condoms.
Which Party Prefers Lockdown Over Liberty?
The president also plans to protect the right of women to travel to other states to get elective abortions. There is no law prohibiting the free movement between states of pregnant women – and to be clear, there is no law that would see a woman prosecuted for an abortion regardless of where she has it done. It is the providers who are prosecuted, and no prohibitive state has the authority to prosecute an individual in another state for what he or she does in that other state. Arkansas, for example, can’t send a California abortionist to prison for terminating the pregnancy of an Arkansan who took a trip to the Golden State. In short, another red herring meant to distract from the reality that no fundamental constitutional right is being infringed upon.
Yet another would be the threat of mobile apps, like period trackers, reporting pregnancies to restrictive states so that women can’t have an abortion incognito. There is no such threat; it’s a work of fiction created by Democrats to scare anyone who won’t do the research for themselves into a frenzy. Sadly, millions of Americans fall into that camp.
Executive Overreach … and a Model for Those to Come?
Finally, one must consider the Biden administration’s blatant disregard for the authority of the Judicial branch. In fact, this executive order also brings to mind similar actions in response to the failure of Congress to pass the laws he wanted. Imagine if Donald Trump had signed executive orders directing the various agencies under his power to thwart abortion access.
Indeed, a particularly savvy Republican hoping to take Biden’s place could find this inspiring. The next president who truly respects real constitutional rights might sign an executive order that protects the right of Americans in more restrictive states to buy firearms elsewhere and then take them home, or one that directs federal law enforcement not to prosecute violations of the National Firearms Act or the Gun Control Act.
And the slickest of future presidents might even begin the signing of this executive order by congratulating President Biden on the abortion-related order, commending his willingness to take bold action in spite of the other two branches of government.