Missouri is the latest state to pass a bill that will ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat has been detected. The Show Me State’s action gives the pro-life movement a third straight victory, following strong anti-abortion legislation that was recently signed into law in Alabama and Georgia. The pro-life cause has good reason to be optimistic as its momentum continues to grow more than it has in decades. There are numerous cultural markers to indicate that the cause is coming into its own.
“An overwhelming majority of Missourians — Democrats, Independents, self-described pro-choice voters, women in greater numbers than men — agree that abortion on demand through birth, even when science informs us unborn children can feel excruciating pain, is extreme,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List organization, said in a statement about the legislation. “Momentum is clearly on the side of life and it is only a matter of time until our nation’s laws protect this foundational human right for all children, born and unborn.”
Riding a Wave
Advances in ultrasound continue to give us greater insight into the living humanity of the developing babe in the womb. At the same time, the forces of abortion have been seriously damaged by public displays of their own ugliness. This was first captured in the hideous undercover video exposé of Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the selling of fetal body parts for profit in 2015. Next came the passing of shockingly callous laws in New York and Virginia that allow abortion right up to the moment of birth. And then there are the gruesome public gaffes that reveal the true face of abortion. “Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or you kill them later,” Alabama state Rep. John Rogers, a Democrat, said in opposing his state’s abortion ban. “You bring them in the world unwanted, unloved, you send them to the electric chair. So, you kill them now or you kill them later.”
Meanwhile, pro-lifers legislators, who are overwhelmingly Republican, are speaking about the grisly procedure in a way rarely exhibited by the party that was ruled by Bushes, Ryans, and McCains for far too long. Gone are the simpering clichés of the “we must reflect a culture of life” sort.
“We’re told abortion will not be safe if it is illegal. I’m here to tell you abortion is not safe,” Missouri state Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman said of her state’s heartbeat bill. “A person dies in every procedure.” State Rep. Nick Schroer added, “While others are zeroing in on ways to overturn Roe v. Wade and navigate the courts as quickly as possible, that is not our goal. However, if and when that fight comes we will be fully ready. This legislation has one goal, and that goal is to save lives.”
The renewed confidence of pro-life politicians is exemplified in the strength and clarity of such statements. It is a feeling shared among the rest of the movement as well. “For pro-life folks, these are huge victories,” Sue Liebel of the Susan B. Anthony List told the Associated Press. “And I think they’re indicative of the momentum and excitement and the hope that’s happening with changes in the Supreme Court and having such a pro-life president.”
Plastic Pro-Lifers Be Gone
Having a president like Donald Trump has certainly made a huge difference. And it is not just that he has personally been turned out to be so reliable as an anti-abortion ally; Trump is not the former species of Republican that inhabited the White House and the leading ranks of Congress at various times over the past 30 years. He is not beholden to the donor class and does not put corporate lobbying interests ahead of the policies he champions. George W. Bush spouted anodyne jargon about “life” and then tried to give the nation Harriet Miers as a Supreme Court justice. Nothing better sums up the fraudulent reign of Conservatism Inc. than that fiasco.
But Trump succeeded in toppling the fat, soft and lazy establishment Republican Party apparatchiks from their snug perches in 2016. It meant an end to the self-professed “principled” conservatives who got away with cornering the pro-life vote and then squelching any real progress for that cause in the political arena.
The pro-life movement is defined by action these days, and not empty words. It has been liberated from the phony politicians who loved having the abortion issue as a political football to be brought out and tossed around every couple of years during election season. Even if President Trump had done nothing more to help the pro-life fight, this single salutary act would have been service enough to the cause. Abortion isn’t a hollow political game for the GOP anymore. Pro-lifers are playing to win, and they finally have a president who shares that mentality.
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