NRL News

POLITICO story is a testimony to pro-life resiliency in the face of judicial obstructionism

by | Apr 19, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-life Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott

Pro-life Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott

Surprisingly, a story this week in POLITICO, which never ceases to promote the abortion agenda, offered something for both sides.

On the one hand, the headline and the subhead–“How Texas is beating the Supreme Court on abortion: ‘Texas has taken what might have happened in a decade or more in another state and collapsed it into a year’”–would suggest the abortion industry in Texas is on life support.

On the other hand, reporter Renuka Rayasam assures POLITICO readers that abortion clinics are not only fighting back but, in some cases, reopening. Money is coming into PPFA and “abortion rights advocates can organize, even in a place as hostile as Texas.”

From our perspective, the single most important truth, in the sense of what it says about pro-lifers collectively, is found in Rayasam’s lead.

AUSTIN, Texas — When Texas lost a major abortion case before the Supreme Court last year, the state’s conservative lawmakers didn’t back down.

Republicans who control both chambers of the Legislature responded with about four dozen new anti-abortion bills this session, positioning the state to continue to be one of the most restrictive in the country, where women in large swaths of Texas are hundreds of miles from the nearest provider.

Pro-lifers in Texas, like pro-lifers everywhere and always, refuse to fold up their tents when the Supreme Court rejects commonsense limitations on abortion measures to upgrade abortion clinics (as it did in 2016 in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt). If you recall, the justices rejected HB2’s requirements that Texas abortionists have admitting privileges at a local hospital and that the clinics themselves be up to the standards of an ambulatory surgical centers.

As the POLITICO story demonstrates, the response of pro-life legislators will be to go back to the drawing board and enact new laws and/or fine-tune laws to which the justices objected.

We talk about this virtually on a daily basis in NRL News Today. We did twice today, as it happens. The message sent by legislatures is that they will never rest until the unborn child is “welcomed in life and protected in law.”

As a final point but a very important one, Rayasam swallows whole the pro-abortion line that the law that was at issue in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt was principally responsible for the closure of a large number of abortion clinics. This is simply not true, as Justice Samuel Alito hinted at in his questioning and NRLC Director of Education, Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon disproved in a four-part series.

Here’s Dr. O’Bannon’s conclusion:

Have the laws passed by the Texas legislature had an effect?

Some clinics may have indeed closed because their abortionists, not respected in their communities, could not obtain admitting privileges to their hospitals. Others closed because they could not afford to build a compliant ambulatory surgical center to replace the old, cramped, dilapidated building they were trying to use as a medical office. While these closures could be related to the law, you would think that if the abortion industry is genuinely concerned about the safety of women, they would applaud the laws.

Other elements of HB2 not being challenged in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt also have had an effect. How many closed because they could not or would not comply with the federal government’s guidelines on chemical abortions? The data indicates a huge drop off in chemical abortions.

What about the ban on abortions after 20 weeks (which was never challenged by pro-abortionists), when the unborn child is capable of feeling pain? Might this have depressed demand by bringing home to people the humanity of the unborn child and the brutality of abortion?

What HB2 has done is to make people consider, once again, what abortion really is and how the abortion industry really operates, and maybe, just maybe, come to the conclusion that there are better answers than abortion. The requirements hardly reach the level of an “undue burden.”

Many factors have driven down demand, inevitably leading to clinic closures. But chief among them is that any element that gives a woman the occasion and opportunity to slow down, to not feel pressured into what is sold as an easy fix, that leads to her recognize her unborn child not as an undue burden, but as an unexpected blessing.

If Texas wins, women and their unborn children win.

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Categories: Judicial