April 18, in a narrow 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court upheld a 2003 law that bans the practice known as partial birth abortion. On it's face, this is a sound legal decision. Certainly, the people of the United States have every right to regulate an industry, especially one with such ethical quandaries as the industry of medicine.
Around 11 AM, Jay Weber, WISN's mid-day host and a self-proclaimed conservative, informed his audience of the ruling in the following way: "The Supreme Court has ruled that the 2003 law banning partial birth abortion does not interfere with a woman's right to have an abortion." I was disappointed in Jay for phrasing his
sentence this way, and thought it rather odd. Perhaps he was reading a press release, but whatever the case, when we begin to talk about abortion in this way, we have made a fundamental shift in the debate.
To those of you in the pro-life community, and especially those of you who name the name of Christ, I have an important message for you. THIS RULING WAS A DEFEAT FOR OUR CAUSE
. Allow me to explain.He who Frames the Question
The most glaring reason why this is a defeat comes in what is not being said about this ruling. Suddenly the abortion debate has been shifted from "should
the child be killed by abortion?" to "how
should the child be killed?". As I walked around my work place the day after the ruling, I was appalled by the reaction of many of my Christian friends. They were cheery, elated over the results of this ruling. One Christian remarked to me that the supreme court had outlawed abortion, which of course is absurd. Another told me it was an important victory for our side. When I got home that night, my e-mail box was full of newsletters from various organizations telling me what a wonderful ruling it was, as if I had not heard of the ruling, and of course ending with a plea that "we need your support (read: MONEY) now more than ever" and "the battle isn't over yet". Sadly, the battle never began.
When we shift the debate from how
to kill the baby from should
we kill the baby, we have taken an important step down the slippery slope, and towards outright wickedness. This is no victory, this is a defeat. It is a defeat because the question is now framed: "Abortion is here to stay. End of discussion. The only thing we can do to attempt to slow it down is dictate what brutality can be exacted on the innocent pre-born."Let's review
If I recall the great debate over partial birth abortion in 2002 and 2003, I remember being completely unimpressed with the legislation. I even remarked that the bill Congress was considering was so bad that, if I were a congressman, I would think hard about not voting for it. This bill had it all. First of all, it outlawed a procedure that was easy to avoid doing. Essentially the law says that you can't partially deliver the baby and then perform an abortion. So if I'm an murderer (an abortionist) or an accomplice to murder (an abortive mother) I would simply get around this law by having the exact same procedure performed with the baby still in utero. Really, it's that simple to avoid breaking this law. This partial birth abortion "ban" stops nothing.
Furthermore, we of course have the obligatory re-confirmation of "a woman's right to choose" and the recognition of Roe vs. Wade as the "law of the land" written RIGHT INTO THE LAW. It is a pathetic commentary on the so called conservative party in this state that they had sizable majorities in 2003, but yet needed to add such language into the bill to gain enough votes to pass it. Bush signed it and then made a statement that "America isn't ready to end abortion".
Sadly, I think he's right.Know your enemy
In 2003, after the law was passed, we heard about the sky falling as a result. Or at least that's what you would have thought if you listened to the wicked left of this country. Yes Planned Parenthood, NARAL, NOW, the ACLU, and the Democrat party all told us that these were dark times for our constitution, women, and the world in general.
If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I could sell you real cheap.
What the wicked left didn't tell you was that secretly they were laughing at this law. Even though they have now started up another round of these ridiculous assertions, they knew then and know now that this won't put a dent in the abortion industry at all. Nearly 4,000 babies died every day in 2002, and nearly 4,000 die every day in 2007. It has made no difference, and they know it.
So why the caterwauling? Because they know that we'll take the bait. They know that instead of us concentrating our efforts on doing the right thing and ending abortion, if the left screams loud enough, enough people on the right will think they're really getting somewhere. Lo and behold, all I've heard from 98% of the "pro-life" organizations in America since 2003 is about partial birth abortion. See what's happened? The left has manipulated the all too willing to be manipulated mainstream pro life movement into fighting for something that won't make a difference.
Think about it, if the left really cared to overturn this law, they'd overturn it. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid control congress. They should introduce a bill to overturn the law. They won't. It's more important to Nancy and Harry that we pro-lifers spend many years rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic instead of actually standing up for the pre-born.From Liberal to Conservative?
Examine, if you will, the nature of this ruling. Justices Scallia, Roberts, Alito and Thomas predictably voted to uphold the ban. Surprisingly Justice Anthony Kennedy joined them. I find it interesting that Kennedy was the one chosen to write the majority opinion.
Rush Limbaugh said on the day the ruling was announced that he had spoken to a Justice (he didn't name the Justice) in the past who said to him that the Justices do not debate their rulings with one another. He said they simply meet and vote with their minds already made up.
Now if you believe that, I still have that bridge in Brooklyn on the market.
Kennedy had to have some reason for voting for this ruling. After all, before the Reagan appointed Sandra Day O'Conner retired, Kennedy was firmly on the liberal side of the court. I of course have no proof of the following; but I think that the old school conservatives, Thomas and Scallia, desperate to do SOMETHING to make some headway on abortion, persuaded Kennedy to their side by allowing him the prestige of writing the majority opinion of the most important case since Gore vs. Bush.
And what an opinion it was! Yes, it did say that the ban was constitutional. It's what it also said that was quite revealing. Kennedy said that this ruling doesn't end the debate, and in fact, the court could change it's opinion in the future. Yes that's right, this is the first time in American history that a ruling on the Supreme Court was not the final judicial word in the matter. He may as well had bought every ACLU lawyer a Christmas present, because what this statement means is that we are in for more challenges to the law, more lawsuits, more of the same debate over a meaningless law that ends nothing.
Then there is the presupposition present in all the language within the ruling that assumes as fact a woman's constitutional right to have an abortion. This is the first real big abortion case to hit the Supreme Court, the one court with the power to overturn Roe vs. Wade, since 1990 and they still are upholding a right created out of thin air for a woman to pay someone to commit murder.What Victory Looks Like
I suppose that I should throw my brethren in the pro-life movement a bone and define what victory actually looks like. It's clear they don't understand when they think this garbage from the Supreme Court is victory.
Victory is Abortionist's hunted down and put on trial for murder. Victory is the state protecting the rights of all people, regardless of age or birth status. Victory is the end of abortion, not merely the regulation of it. Anything less is defeat.
Really, it's that simple.