It’s been three months since the Supreme Court corrected the grievous mistake of Roe v. Wade and stated that there is no right to abort a child enshrined in the Constitution. And yet we still don’t know where some current or prospective members of Congress stand on this vital issue.
For the first time in 50 years, the Dobbs decision gives the defenders of life a chance to roll back the extreme policy positions of pro-abortion advocates.
Thanks to the unprecedented leak of the draft opinion, both sides learned in May that Roe v. Wade was headed to the ash heap of history. The left instantly mobilized to picket the homes of justices and rallied around a bill to codify nationwide abortion on demand until birth.
Since then, dozens of churches and pregnancy resource centers have been vandalized and torched across the country. An armed pro-abortion radical on a mission to assassinate Justice Brett Kavanaugh was even apprehended just outside his home. And last week an 84-year-old pro-life volunteer was shot in the back while going door-to-door to talk about an abortion-related ballot measure.
The pro-abortion left, seemingly impervious to irony, claims there will be “blood on the hands” of those who seek even the most modest of protections for unborn life. With lots of help from corporate media, academia, and major medical associations — and with a huge spending advantage on this issue ($34 million to $1.1 million by some counts) — this preposterous message has gotten traction.
President Biden’s failed fiscal, economic, and inflation policies rightly belong center stage in this midterm election. But conservatives must not allow the left to define the debate on the most profound question of all: whose lives are worthy of protection? After all, overturning Roe was never the end goal of the life moment; it was a necessary step. Our goal was and remains the protection of innocent unborn children and their mothers. Today, pro-abortion forces control Congress and the White House. Now is the time to put them on the defensive.
Sen. Lindsey Graham recently tried to refocus attention on the humanity of children who can feel excruciating pain from abortion by introducing the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act. The left predictably attacked it as being an extreme national ban, even though it covers only around 5 percent of abortions, even though it includes rape, incest, and life of the mother exceptions, and even though the bill allows abortions later in a pregnancy than most of Europe.
Do pro-abortion advocates agree that abortion should be legal at any time for any reason right through the moment of birth? Former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam introduced many to the concept in 2019 when he responded to a question about late-term abortion by saying, “The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
More recently, five bodies of full-term babies were recovered from a D.C. abortion facility’s “medical waste” bins, showing evidence of either partial-birth abortion or having been born alive after an abortion and left to die (or worse).
People like Kermit Gosnell, America’s most prolific serial killer, thrived in the pre-Dobbs world of anything goes abortion. The sad truth is that places like D.C., New York, and California, have only fortified their abortion on demand, up until birth, no questions asked regime. The risk of infanticide and extreme abortion policies being quietly tolerated in these radical states is too real to ignore and cries out for a federal solution even as conservatives are doing what they can to advance protections for life at the state level.
Sen. Ben Sasse and Rep. Ann Wagner have introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act that would outlaw infanticide at the federal level and they have 45 and 206 co-sponsors in the Senate and House, respectively.
Of course, prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion, ending sex-selective abortion, gestational protections, and stopping the interstate flood of dangerous abortion pills through the mail must all be pursued as well. Still, nothing beats the question that must be asked of every member of Congress: Are you for or against outlawing post-birth abortions and infanticide?
At the Heritage Foundation, we acknowledge the reality that life begins at conception. We will never stop fighting until every unborn child is protected. We will work with conservatives to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion, end sex-selective abortion, protect babies who can feel pain, stop the interstate flood of dangerous abortion pills through the mail, and more.
Where every current and prospective member of Congress stands on these commonsense protections for life is important. The American public has a right to know if they side with a majority of Americans or if they will continue to defend the indefensible.