Liberty Expose: The Horrible World Of Abortion Politics
Rancor continues to swell between the pro-life and pro-choice movements after several Republican governors signed into law some strictest anti-abortion legislation in the land. These heartbeat bills in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri would criminalize performing an abortion on a fetus that has a heartbeat (as the name obviously states). Some states like Missouri did not allow for exceptions in the cases of rape, incest, or life-threatening harm to the mother. Medical professionals who do perform abortions in these states risk life in prison, a penalty that seems too extreme. Ultimately, the Heartbeat bill, while it has good intentions, will only serve to increase divisions between Americans and do more harm than good.
There are several reasons why these Red states passed these Heartbeat bills besides seeking to protect the lives of the unborn. First, they were a response to New York passing a bill that would allow for late-term abortions and for a similar bill which was being circulated in Virginia. For the pro-life movement, New York’s bill opened up a slippery slope that could pave the way for abortion post-birth. Furthermore, states like Alabama, Georgia, etc. know that such strict anti-abortion laws will eventually be challenged in the courts. The ultimate goal is to have the case go up to the “conservative-leaning” Supreme Court (SCOTUS) so it can overturn Roe v. Wade (1973).
Whether or not this will be successful is still up in the air. Chief Justice John Roberts is still the wild card on this issue. Roberts, who had previously argued that the landmark ruling in Roe ought to be overturned, now worries that doing so could jeopardize the legitimacy of SCOTUS along with his own reputation. For other Justices like Neil Gorsuch who subscribe to interpreting the Constitution through the lens of the Founding Fathers, the deciding factor may depend on the arguments used by either side -- regardless of whether it goes against his personal views or not. If the pro-choice side delivers a more compelling argument explaining why Heartbeat bills are a violation of the Constitution, then Justice Gorsuch may vote in their favor.
The fury that the pro-choice movement has unleashed has been and continues to be undeniably intense. Hollywood is boycotting Georgia which has long provided tax incentives for film companies to produce in their state. Actress Alyssa Milano called for a “sex-strike” on Twitter that only received laughs from conservatives as she was encouraging her followers to do exactly what the pro-life movement wanted by promoting abstinence as birth control. The other main criticism of these laws is that they are being passed by an overwhelmingly white male legislative body. While this is true in some cases, the Heartbeat bill that passed in Ohio was introduced by a women and women do play a vital role in the pro-life movement, it’s not just a bunch of white guys who want to impose patriarchal control over a women’s body.
Sadly though, both sides have engaged in petty and outright despicable actions. Pro-lifers and pro-choicers have thrown death threats at each other, wishing their opposition was aborted or raped. Women who do support Heartbeat laws are vilified as traitors to their sex on social media as they are allowing men to control their bodies. All of this hateful rhetoric is unlikely to settle any dispute
As a secular, center-right conservative I agree that the heartbeat bills go a tad too far. I do not want to pretend like I am an expert on the matter (because I am obviously not), but those who are pregnant may not even know they are with child until after the heartbeat is detected which would then force them to go through with the pregnancy. According to the International Criminal Court, forcing pregnancy on anyone is a crime against humanity. While the United States is not a part of the ICC and is thus not under its jurisdiction, it still makes the U.S. look like a backwards country in the eyes of our allies in the Western World. Giving birth is certainly not an easy process to endure (understatement of the century), and not everyone has the resources or the right state of mind to properly care for a child.
Then there is the impact the Heartbeat laws would have on our jails. Prosecuting and incarcerating every medical professional who performs an abortion under these guidelines will put greater stress on an already exasperated criminal justice system. It will break even more families apart which is in itself antithetical to the pro-life movement. Children need a whole family that can guide them through life and I fear the anti-abortion laws will only ruin more lives than help. At the same time, I can understand why the pro-life movement may
As I stated in my article about the Born Alive bill that the Senate failed to pass in February, the U.S. should seek to disincentivize abortion through programs that will either give financial support to new families or make the adoption process easier and less expensive. To adopt a child in the U.S., it costs anywhere between $0.00 to $40,000, depending on where the child is from or the type of adoption agency. While it is important to make sure that adoptive parents can take care of a child, the cost greatly discourages people who want to take care of these children. Congressional Republicans and officials from the White House like Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and First Daughter Ivanka Trump championed increasing child tax credits that boost a family’s income so they can better afford raising a child.
The likeliness that either side in this debate over restricting abortion will be able to convince the other side that it is wrong. Regardless, the heated rhetoric created by the Heartbeat bills is completely counterproductive. The pro-life movement will not relent on its quest to overturn Roe v. Wade, and neither will pro-choice advocates cease defending it. Instead, we should focus on reducing the costs on child-rearing and adoption to ensure families that would struggle financially.