NRL News

The Wisdom of NRLC’s Legislative Strategy

by | Jul 20, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

touchingheartsreA story from Kaiser Health News posted at the NPR website talks about the Right to Life Movement’s legislative strategy going forward and is very much worth reading for a number of reasons.

Julie Rovner makes some important distinctions that help pro-lifers appreciate the wisdom of National Right to Life’s approach.

As we’ve written, the Supreme Court, as presently constituted, is two votes short of upholding laws such as Texas’ HB 2 which the justices struck last month in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The law required abortion facilities to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical clinics and abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

The five-member majority swallowed whole the argument that abortion clinics are already safe, safe, safe and thus such requirements constitute an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to abortion.

However, as Rovner writes

The nation’s oldest anti-abortion group, the National Right to Life Committee, has never embraced the push for health and safety regulations aimed at women.

“Our focus has always been on the humanity of the unborn,” said its president, Carol Tobias, rather than potential risks to women seeking abortions.

Her group has instead been pushing state and federal bills to ban abortions after 20 weeks and also ban “dilation and evacuation” abortions, which are the most common procedure performed after the first trimester of pregnancy.

“I don’t think the Texas decision is necessarily going to impact those types of legislation, and I know it’s not going to affect us,” she said.

Rovner is referring to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Act. The former says it is not legal to kill an unborn child who has reached 20 weeks fetal age, a point by which she can experience excruciating pain as she is killed.

The latter bans a particularly grotesque abortion “technique” which tears and pulverizes living unborn human beings, ripping heads and legs off of tiny torsos in the process.

In a very grim story, the ending is almost hilarious. Why? Not just because Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, borrows language our Movement has used for forty years, but also because Laguens cannot possibly believe what she told Rovner.

In an interview, Laguens agreed that her side has more work to do. “We’ve got to change hearts and minds,” she said. But Laguens insists it is abortion opponents who are “out of sync with America and out of sync with the new generation.”

With a more “social justice minded” generation of millennials now coming of age, she said, foes of abortion are the ones on the defensive. “They’re in a last-gasp moment,” she said. “They feel it slipping away.”

“Changing hearts and minds”? Of course. The battle between the forces of life and the forces of death is always a contest whether the appeal to the better angels of our nature or the appeal to panic, fear, and our darker side will prevail.

Millennials are their constituency? Nobody believes that.

More specifically which best appeals to the instinct for “social justice”? Kill your kid because you don’t want her to get in the way of your career plans? Or nurture your baby during her time of greatest vulnerability, ignoring the PPFAs and NARALs who are whispering in your ear that you are weak, weak, weak and your baby is nothing, nothing, nothing?

I’m putting my money on the latter. And if you attended the Teens for Life Convention that took place at the same time as the National Right to Life Convention earlier this month; or if you’ve ever sent your kid to a pro-life camp and saw how he returned, you know the future belongs to Life.

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Categories: NRLC