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September 15, 2022

Who Are the Real Abortion Extremists?

Republicans want a popular 15-week ban, while Democrats demand taxpayer-funded abortions for all 40 weeks.

By 15 weeks of gestation, a preborn boy’s skeletal structure is complete, he can move his arms and legs, and he can respond to touch. A baby girl’s heart has beat nearly 16 million times, and all of her major organs are functioning. She has tastebuds, is learning to swallow, and can suck her thumb. Boys and girls at this stage of development have fully formed ears with which they can hear, and their eyes move and respond to light. They’re already practicing “breathing” with chest muscles. They can feel pain.

Pro-lifers want to nurture these living humans, these most innocent and helpless among us, giving them a chance to be born and to become what they dream of being. Pro-abortion folks want to keep killing them for another 25 weeks. Which position is extreme again?

Leftists are experts at projection, however, and so they cast pro-lifers as the extremists, as the ones who want to somehow rob women of agency or “choice” and force them into a “Handmaid’s Tale” existence of merely being barefoot and pregnant all the time. All the while, leftists are the real extremists because they pretend the first time a woman has a choice is only after she’s had sex (which is not true in 99% of pregnancies) and because they deny God’s created order and purpose for life itself.

Remember this background when you read news headlines about how extremist Republicans are banning abortion and taking away reproductive freedom. When South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham introduced federal legislation to ban abortions after 15 weeks (New Jersey Republican Chris Smith introduced companion legislation in the House) — including the standard exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother — he was immediately condemned as an extremist.

Is he?

“After [Democrats] introduced the bill to define who they are, I thought it would be nice to introduce a bill to define who we are,” Graham said. “I don’t think this is going to hurt us,” he added regarding his party’s political fortunes. “I think it will more likely hurt them when they try to explain to some reasonable person why it’s okay to be more like Iran and less like France on abortion.”

Commentator Erick Erickson agreed. “Don’t really think it is a mistake for [Graham] to come out with a 15-week abortion ban and get Democrats to remind everyone they want abortion on demand till birth,” he opined. “That’s the extremist position right there.” Various polling results show that unfettered abortion is not popular (in the 10-20% range), while substantial majorities consistently support bans after 15-20 weeks.

After Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, Democrats once again introduced a federal bill to legalize abortion throughout all 40 weeks of pregnancy, including funding it with your tax dollars. What other countries allow elective abortions after 20 weeks? Only seven, including the communist utopias of China, North Korea, and Vietnam. Indeed, that is extreme.

Now, we could quibble with Graham’s method for dealing with an issue that may be better left to the states (other Senate Republicans would prefer this). We could lament that everything becomes a federal issue, seriously raising the stakes and the ugly partisanship across the board. We could cynically wonder if a senator not up for election and in a safe seat in any case is just trying to help GOP fundraising with a pre-election announcement of legislation that has no hope even if that Big Red Wave does come to pass.

Then again, life in the womb is the civil rights issue of our day, and some would argue that the 14th Amendment — “nor shall any State deprive any person of life … without due process of law” — permits federal action to secure the right to life recognized by the Declaration of Independence. Conservatives are split on the legal basis for action.

The politics, however, are undeniable. Democrats are hoping to motivate angry women with the specter of dystopian life after Roe was overturned. It certainly seems like that’s working. Perhaps Graham’s play is merely to illustrate the very clear dividing line between the Party of Death and the Party of Life and to motivate pro-life voters.

As Hillary Clinton wailed, “Republicans aren’t even trying to hide it.” It’s true that being pro-life is pretty obvious.

“For the hard right, this has never been about states’ rights,” roared Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “No, for MAGA Republicans, this has always been about making abortion illegal everywhere.”

We suspect the pro-slavery Democrats of the 19th century said something similar about those confounded abolitionist Republicans fighting the civil rights issue of their day — working tirelessly against legalized evil to preserve the dignity of all humans and the sanctity of life.

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