In 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton invalidated state abortion bans and made abortion for any reason legal on the federal level in the United States throughout the pregnancy. But certain state restrictions on abortion were still possible. In the next few years, the pro-life movement mobilized against these rulings. In 1980 a grassroots pro-life movement formed to not just counter abortion, but to help women choose life. By caring about both the woman and child, the pro-life movement moved beyond being simply anti-abortion. Legal strategies to reverse Roe v. Wade also began. The pro-life work of crisis pregnancy centers became like a fireproof building, while the work of legislators trying to save as many dying children as possible became the firefighters.
Those legislative “firefighters” have set about passing several important restrictions to abortion working with state laws. You can view a map of abortion restrictions where, in 2013, more than 25 states had implemented four or more restrictions to abortion! You can see below the types of restrictions that have been implemented state by state. Many pro-life groups have sprung up to help in this effort. For example, Americans United for Life has help craft model legislation for such restrictions, with an “Infant Protection Project” and a “Women’s Protection Project.” This is because abortion isn’t solely about protecting the unborn, but also the women who are at serious physical and psychological risk from abortion.
One particularly encouraging development has been the ability to work with unlikely allies in the middle, who have reservations about abortion on demand for any reason. Many are willing to pass restrictions which truly benefit women’s health, ensure abortion isn’t coerced, or limit late term abortions, as long as that legislation that allows for certain exceptions. (In fact, rape and incest make up only about 1 percent of all abortions and are rarely the only reason given to obtain an abortion.)
The Washington Examiner put it this way, “Large majorities oppose re-criminalizing all abortions. But large majorities also support limits on abortion, including banning them after … 24 weeks (when half or more [babies can survive]).” Sen. Marco Rubio explained his philosophy working with these moderates on passing legislation which includes exceptions: “I recognize that in order to have consensus on laws that limit the number of abortions, a lot of people want to see those exceptions.” And he clarifies, “I’ll support any legislation that reduces the number of abortions.”
But the public momentum slowed some after pro-lifers faced a crushing defeat this summer when the Supreme Court ruled against abortion restrictions in Texas meant to protect women’s health by ensuring each abortion clinic and abortionist was up to safe medical standards. It’s particularly crushing to have legislative successes trampled by court overreach. But this defeat should not discourage pro-lifers to continue legislative efforts in the states, many of which have been and continue to be successful ways to save lives, as you will see in the list of types of pro-life laws below.
Until Roe v. Wade is repealed, we need more of these laws to advocate for unborn babies and also for women who are at risk from abortion. We pray these kinds of laws will pass in many states and, eventually, on the federal level.
Below are some types of pro-life laws that have helped to reduce the number of abortions in this country.
Gestational Limits: These laws make abortion legal after a certain age in the womb — often at viability.
Ultrasound Requirement: These laws require women to have an ultrasound before they decide on abortion. Sometimes they are required to hear a description of the ultrasound. Sometimes women who are raped or incest victims are excused from this requirement.
Informed Consent: These laws ensure women have all the information about abortion and its risks before deciding to go through with one.
Restrict Interstate Access: These laws prevent women from traveling across state borders for abortion.
Health and Safety Requirements: These laws require abortion clinics to meet certain safety standards like ambulance access.
Legal Restrictions on the Abortionist: These laws often take the form of requiring an abortionist to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital (ensuring a certain standard of medical report and competency). There are also cases of laws which reduce medical malpractice protection for abortionists.
Parental Consent Laws: These laws require parents at least be informed about a minor’s decision to abort; in some cases they must consent to the decision.
Defund Planned Parenthood: Legal proposals like defunding Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics aim at limiting or banning federal or state funds like grants from being awarded to these organizations.
Allow States to Defund State Medicaid to Clinics Performing Abortions: Recently, the House passed a bill which authorizes states to decide that they will not provide Medicaid reimbursement of medical expenses if the medical office providing that service is also performing abortion. Thus, this legislation clears a path for states to stop giving money to abortion providers.
Web-Cam Abortion Bans: There are proposals to administer abortion drugs via skype-like technology without needing to meet the doctor! These laws ban that.
Choose Life License Plate: These allow people to pay to have Choose Life License Plates on their cars; money raised goes to pro-life centers.
Waiting Periods/Counseling Before Abortion: This makes women wait, receiving counseling and/or simply time between expressing her desire for abortion an actually obtaining one. At times, this requires two trips to the clinic.
Fund Health Center Alternatives and/or Adoption Options: Some states with pro-life leadership have, instead of funding abortion clinics, funded programs that fund adoption agencies, pregnancy centers, or non-abortive healthcare centers.
Fetal Homicide Laws: These laws mean that if a criminal harms a pregnant mother he is responsible for the harm causes to both mother and child as two victims.
Partial-Birth Abortion Ban: A national law now bans partial-birth abortion, the procedure of delivering most of the baby’s body before snapping the neck while the child’s head is still in the birth canal. There is some evidence from the Center for Medical Progress videos that Planned Parenthood may still be using the partial-birth abortion procedure to obtain “intact specimens” of whole baby organs.
Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act: This law would ban abortion after 20 weeks, because it is scientifically proven that the baby at that gestation can feel pain and the abortion is painful to them. The law failed to pass the United States Senate. However, some states have implemented the law.
The pro-choice research entity Guttmacher Institute also provides detailed charts of abortion restrictions (you can click on a restriction, such as gestational limits here called “state policies on later abortions,” and see the states that have it. A summary overview chart of all restrictions is here).
Every summer, my family and I make a trip to Calvert County to visit Old Spout Farm, a historic property that our cousins own on the banks of St. Leonard’s Creek. For many years, they have urged us to visit the local Calvert County museum to experience their science exhibits. This summer, we finally did, and we were beyond impressed with the quality of the museum experience. That is up until one particular exhibit.
At first it seemed innocent — invasive species were introduced as a problem in many ecosystems. Various suggestions were presented to solve this issue, such as eating invasive species in weird culinary creations.
But then we came upon a strange mirror on the wall, and I realized with horror the message being conveyed. “See the most invasive special of all” — and then you were staring at yourself.
My scientific curiosity turned to outrage. What are we teaching children on field trips about themselves? After they have just learned one solution to invasive species is eating them, they then learn that they are an invasive species. This was unacceptable.
Invasive species are defined as: “Plants, animals, or pathogens that are non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm.”
Putting aside the question of whether a human can even be called an animal, the idea that humans are alien on earth is problematic in so far as earth was created for us. Genesis 1:28 reads, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” Some eschatological theologians even believe Christ’s return will eventually result in the establishment of His Kingdom in a restored earth.
We must admit that at times humans have abandoned their call to stewardship of Earth and have contributed to environmental and social problems in this fallen world. But to imply that humans invaded the earth — that we aren’t supposed to be here, that we mess up earth’s balance and perfection (which is implied to be clearly more valuable than us) — is a great devaluing of human life. This isn’t to say poverty and starvation are not series problems in some regions. But humans are just as much a solution as they are a problem. We are complex beings with potential to follow or depart from God’s will. But we are not something to be eliminated!
This “humans are invasive” attitude has profound implications for public policy. If we see humans as invasive, then, logically, there should be fewer of them. I couldn’t help thinking of China’s disastrous one-child policy, recently amended due to the negative effects. I couldn’t help thinking of the scary eugenics movement in response to this idea that humans were overpopulating the earth, and all the human rights violations that came out of it, like forced sterilizations and human genetic engineering research.
I couldn’t help thinking about the overpopulation myth which leads to policies which propagate abortion as a solution to human “invasion.” And I couldn’t help thinking of our country, when we justify selling the aborted baby body parts of unborn children so we can supposedly figure out some way to save others.
Bottom line: Believing humans are an invasive species can lead to clear violations of the sanctity of life.
The idea that human beings are actually invasive to the world has morphed from eugenics to abortion in this culture of death. This exhibit can create deep-seated issues in young children who needn’t feel guilty for being alive.
Human life is the most valuable resource of all, and I would hope our educational museums teach children to value their own lives and those of their fellow man.
Chaney Mullins serves as Special Projects Writer for Concerned Women for America.
Janae Stracke, CWA’s Communications Coordinator and a native Iowan, attended Senator Grassley’s last town hall meeting for the year in Jones County Iowa yesterday. She spoke on behalf of Concerned Women for America to support the senator and his stance to give “We the People” a voice regarding the next Supreme Court justice appointment. Our voices will be heard through the presidential election in November. She was quoted in an Iowa newspaper following the meeting:
Janae Stracke of Concerned Women for America, who was sporting an “I stand with Grassley” sticker, thanked him “wholeheartedly (because) we don’t need a Supreme Court full of judicial activists as we have been seeing.”
“We need to make sure Justice Scalia’s position is filled with a strict constitutionalist,” she said. As a millennial, Stracke said she understands the next justice will affect her and her children for years to come.
Many people who disagree with him think his decision to delay confirmation hearings “is about the next four years,” Grassley said. “But in the case of the Supreme Court, it’s about the direction of the Supreme Court for the next 40 years.”
To read the entire article, click here.
Your Law, O Lord, is perfect.
Your statues wise and sweet to the heart.
Your precepts are good;
They keep our feet from stumbling.
Blessed is the nation that trusts in them,
That considers the poor and the widow;
That attends to those in prison;
That speaks for those who can’t speak for themselves.
Therefore, we cry, “Be merciful to us, O Lord.”
Heal our souls and renew our minds,
For we have sinned against You,
And forgotten Your Word.
The nation’s heart is heavy and hurt,
Burdened by the weight of our iniquity.
Our enemies plot to strike against us
While we seem weak and weary.
But You, O Lord, still reign on high.
You can be strength in our weakness,
Protection in our vulnerability,
And a light unto our feet.
That we may find our way back to wisdom
And Truth and empathy and love.
That we may find the will to show restraint,
As the only way to be truly free.
Be merciful, Father.
Lift up a generation of the righteous,
Open our senses to You,
Give us ears to hear.
That we may bless Your name,
In word and deed,
Joining the angel choir
Which praises You from everlasting to everlasting.
A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to watch the documentary “Weiner.”
It tracks the life of disgraced ex-congressman Anthony Weiner as he tries a political comeback in New York’s gubernatorial race. It is absolutely fascinating, in large part because you get to see Anthony Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin (who is also Hillary Clinton’s protégé and right hand) trying to handle the horrible circus that is her husband as best she can.
I wanted to write about my impressions after watching the documentary, but other things took precedent, and (I kid you not) I figured Weiner would do something else soon that would give me the opportunity to write about it.
Well, I’m afraid the time has come. Headlines are popping up everywhere that he is, not surprisingly, embroiled in yet another sexting scandal.
If you watch “Weiner,” you will clearly see why I was confident he would do something stupid again. There is no repentance or remorse in this man following his famous scandals. He has no shame. Sure, he regrets getting caught sending lewd messages to several women on Twitter. But everything seems to be a game for this man.
Still, if the reports are true, he has managed to shock me once again. He has gone lower than I thought him capable.
Read the rest of the column as featured on TheBlaze.
Follow Mario on Twitter @legalblurbblog
Mario’s book, “Be Spent: Winning the Fight for Freedom’s Survival,” is now avalable for purchase from CWA. Check it out!
Using government force to bring about liberal policies at any cost seems to be one of President Obama’s favorite past times. One of his latest moves has been to try to force schools, under the threat of losing vital government funding, to open their restrooms so that transgender students and school workers can use the bathroom, locker room, shower, or overnight facility of their choice. Read More
When Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards was called before the House Oversight Committee. The question of the day was whether Planned Parenthood deserved federal funding (a decision Congress put off by passing a temporary budget until December when the debate on passing a budget will resume). Miss Richards was the only one questioned with Republicans grilling her and Democrats rushing to her defense.
The hearing was sparked by the Center for Medical Progress undercover videos which show Planned Parenthood’s illegal activity. Using the videos as a starting point, members of the Oversite Committee plunged deep into the larger spending habits of Planned Parenthood and the things that make them unworthy of funding. Planned Parenthood, Republicans pointed out, uses money for exorbitant salaries ($520,000 just for Cecile Richards — by her own admission!), overseas funding ventures, pro-choice political lobbying, and expanding their services, though they are already the largest abortion provider in America.
Planned Parenthood makes millions in excess revenue each year and does not need federal money to continue its mission. Proposals to defund have two components — 60 million federal dollars directly, and around $500 million more government reimbursements for Medicaid services. Though Medicaid money can’t go directly to abortion (except in cases of rape, incest, or the mother’s life), the money Planned Parenthood gets from the government allows them to move their other sources of revenue into their abortion-centric business and their questionable lobbying efforts.
If you were watching the hearing and felt like pulling your hair out (trust me, we understand), then you’re probably wondering, “What can I do?” Beyond calling your senators and representatives, learning more about Planned Parenthood, and signing a petition, there are several important ways a concerned Christian can be involved:
- We need to pray and discuss.
Don’t be silent about what is happening. So many still don’t know about the videos or don’t think they can trust them. Discuss them, and prove them wrong. Pray for those who stand against us, especially mislead pro-choice advocates like hurting post-abortive women. Pray for Cecile Richards that God would touch her heart. We need to treat her with the same human dignity we wish she would extend to the unborn.
- We need to actually be the medical alternative to Planned Parenthood.
The pro-life movement has done an excellent job of meeting many needs, such as counseling, baby supplies, ultrasounds, post-abortive healing, legal advocacy, and educational initiatives. Unfortunately, we have let Planned Parenthood hold a monopoly on medical services like family planning, STD testing, and breast exams. It is true that community health centers, primary care doctors, and increasing numbers of medicalized pregnancy centers and non-profit OBGYNs serve many of the health needs of women, but the pro-life movement itself is still primarily non-medical, a reality that needs to be addressed.
- We need to realize that health clinic name ID truly matters.
Planned Parenthood is so successful in many ways because of their marketing and the coherency of their affiliates in a way that makes women think Planned Parenthood is the only option, when scattered community health centers are little known, underfunded, and underutilized. As we consider offering alternatives, we should carefully strategize marketing, franchising, and name ID.
- We need to question Planned Parenthood’s lies that they help women.
Because Planned Parenthood is such a recognizable name in women’s healthcare, they’re thus able to define the terms of their services, leaving many women unaware of findings such as abortion’s link to breast cancer, certain health risks of some birth control, potential abortifacients, and the effectiveness of hormone-free family planning. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood has essentially made “women’s health” synonymous with birth control and abortion, denying or minimizing all other health issues facing American women. For instance, the number one killer of women is heart disease, and we do not hear them discussing that fact. They also continue pushing the ideology that the government should be the one funding their “healthcare” services, despite the deep controversy and possible criminal activity of Planned Parenthood.
Chaney Mullins serves are Special Projects Writer for Concerned Women for America.
Washington, D.C. – The Supreme Court has put on hold a Fourth Circuit Court ruling requiring a Virginia school district to accommodate a transgender high school student’s request to use the boys’ bathroom. The justices split 5-3 on the issue to temporarily lift the obligation of the Gloucester County school system to allow one of their students to use the bathroom of her choice in accordance with Obama Administration guidance. CWA CEO and President Penny Nance has this to say:
“We commend the Supreme Court for voting to stay this case and encourage them to do the right thing when the time comes to rule on the merits.
“This case is a result of yet another Obama Administration overreach. To require schools to allow students into any bathroom of their choice is an overstep on legal boundaries by redefining the scope and reach of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and slapping the heavy hand of government on local schools.
“This would also impact the use of showers, locker rooms, school travel and more. This unwise and rash policy would favor the desires of a small group over young women with religious, cultural, and modesty concerns. The Court should not shove this unwise policy on the states.
“Schools all over this nation have rightly worked on a case-by-case basis to accommodate kids struggling with gender dysphoria. They should not be forced by big government to violate the privacy of other students and perhaps even create trauma for the very kids Obama pretends to protect. Local school districts, with the input of parents and health professionals, should be setting school policy on such a sensitive and controversial issue, not Washington.
“Finally, the left always uses children to accomplish its goals of social reengineering. The adults closest to these children should decide what’s best for all the children in the school. Safety and kindness should be the guiding principles, not threats from the bullies in Washington. We hope the Supreme Court agrees.”