Arkansas’ Abortion Ban–Battles Won, Battles Ahead
On Wednesday the Arkansas Senate overrode the veto of Gov. Mike Beebe (D) to pass a law which bans abortion after the 12th week of pregnancy. Governor Beebe cited his gubernatorial oath to uphold the Constitution of Arkansas and the U.S. Constitution as the reason for his veto. He also said that passage of the law would lead to an expensive legal battle that would cost the tax payers money. In other words, Gov. Beebe invokes “truth-telling” and “penny-pinching” in order to resist the legislature’s efforts to lower the infanticide rate in the state of Arkansas. How noble of him.
This new law is known as the Human Heartbeat Protection Act, because the heartbeat of a baby is usually first perceptible around twelve weeks. However, the only human heartbeats that come under the protection of this law are those which are beating as a result of consensual sex, or ones that aren’t really, really sick. To save the life of the mother is also an exception to the new law, but as the late Dr. C. Everett Koop once stated,
“Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my 36 years of pediatric surgery, I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life. If toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, the doctor will induce labor or perform a Caesarean section. His intention is to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby’s life is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger.”
(See Steve Macias’ article here for further discussion of Dr. C. Everett Koop’s pro-life legacy.)
So, if you are a preborn baby that is the result of rape or incest, or have a lethal fetal condition, you are still out of luck in Arkansas, as well as the rest of our nation for that matter. Somehow a child, whose mother was raped, has less of a right to live than other children conceived under legal conditions. This distinction between children in the womb is entirely arbitrary and places the desire of a mother to be free from an “unwanted” child above the right of the child to exist. The pro-life movement needs to move beyond this “except in the case of rape or incest” nonsense and be consistent in their protection of life no matter the conditions of conception. This is in no way meant to lessen the heinousness of rape or incest, but the biblical penalty for these crimes need not be exercised on the living fruit of those criminal acts. Should the teeth of the children be set on edge because the fathers have eaten sour grapes?
Also, the advance of medical technology has greatly reduced the number of weeks spent in utero before a child can live outside the mother’s womb. The so called “progressivists” have decided to stick with the technology from the 1970’s in order to allow for more abortions on demand. Odd, isn’t it, that the “progressivists” don’t want to progress with technology. They seem to like the old line drawn in the sand, as it allows for more mothers to be free from their unwanted children. The only position that can meet the demands of a rigorous scientific investigation, however, is that life begins at conception and the premeditated killing of such a human should be considered no less murder than the like killing of a person outside the womb.
I understand that politicians cannot get everything that they want passed in one bill, so I applaud the Arkansas legislature for accomplishing what they have over the past week. However, when we see the “exception clause” for rape and incest in this type of legislation,we must keep at the forefront of our minds the reality that the distinctions between children in utero, which are based on the legality of the conjugal act, are based entirely upon one’s philosophical assumptions. The right of one baby to exist and another to have somehow lost that right are constructs unsupported by scientific data. Follow this link for further discussion of the previous statement.
So Gov. Beebe has covered his… well, he’s made a “reasonable” defense for his veto, and the ACLU has pledged to fight this “injustice” to highest courts. I’m sure they will complain about the GOP’s intrusion into a woman’s uterus all the way to D.C., but regardless of the enemies tactics, the Arkansas legislature has made a bold move, and in this battle for life, I pray that they, and 49 other states, will continue to advance toward the enemy’s gates.
Marc is currently the father of six living children. Three of which God gave him via his wife’s womb and three of which God gave him via adoption. However, none of them have ever been unwanted.