Jonathon Van Maren

From the front lines of the culture wars


The abortion rate has been dropping because of pro-life state legislators

This is not to say that the presidency is irrelevant, of course, but rather to point out that pro-lifers should not despair or slacken their pace.
Wed Jan 20, 2021 - 10:45 am EST
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January 20, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — For many pro-life leaders, today is a difficult day. Joe Biden, the most pro-abortion candidate in American history, along with Kamala Harris, who persecuted pro-life hero David Daleiden, will be sworn in as president and vice president in Washington, D.C.

Headlines at mainstream media outlets like NBC warn what’s coming: “Biden readies sweeping rollback of Trump-era abortion crackdown.” Money will begin flowing towards abortion organizations in America and abroad; the Hyde Amendment will be at risk; abortion industry executives will warm chairs in the Oval Office.

The pro-life movement, in the meantime, has shifted to a defensive posture. With a razor-thin margin in the Senate, Democrats will likely have to rely on West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin to ramrod their agenda through.

Manchin, who is pro-life, voted for the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh under enormous pressure (but voted against Amy Coney Barrett, citing concerns with the pace of the process.) If pro-lifers can somehow stave off the most radical elements of Biden’s agenda — court-packing, the Equality Act, and the repeal of the Hyde Amendment — for two years, the GOP will have the opportunity to retake the House.

In the meantime, it is important to remember that for years now, the abortion rate across America has been dropping (with the exception of 2018) not, largely, because of anything done by the executive branch. It has been the tireless work of pro-life state legislators that has been the most significant factor in reducing the number of abortions.

This is not to say that the presidency is irrelevant, of course, but rather to point out that pro-lifers should not despair or slacken their pace. The movement passed hundreds of laws saving untold thousands of lives during Obama’s tenure. The same can be done during Biden’s term, which will hopefully be four years, not eight.

On the state level, pro-life legislators have been relentless. As I write this, laws are advancing across the country. In Kansas, lawmakers are working to pass a measure that would declare that the state constitution does not grant any abortion right and allowing legislators to further restrict abortion, which abortion activists say is the first step towards a state ban. In Iowa, lawmakers are working on HSB 41, which would amend the Iowa Constitution to indicate that it does not “recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or require the public funding of abortion.” This was already approved by the Senate in 2020; if it passes the House, the measure will be put to Iowa’s voters.

According to Operation Rescue, 45 abortion clinics either closed or stopped performing abortions last year — and most significantly, Missouri became the first abortion-free state. Missouri’s last abortion clinic, the Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, was nearly shut down in 2019 after a state investigation into “deficient practices,” and was only saved by the intervention of a judge who blocked the closure. Operation Rescue now says that while the clinic remains open, it no longer provides abortions, sending those attempting to procure one to a clinic in Illinois. An abortion-free state is no mean accomplishment, and pro-lifers have worked towards this for years.

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In South Carolina, a heartbeat bill may finally pass the state senate. Ohio recently passed a law demanding that aborted babies be buried, drawing fury from abortion activists. A North Dakota bill would make abortion a felony. Two pro-life bills have been put forward in Montana; one to restrict abortion after twenty weeks of pregnancy, and the other to restrict the distribution of abortion drugs. Other pro-life laws, from Mississippi to Texas, continue to wind their way through the political process.

There is much to be done, and much that can be done. Getting to know the pro-life leaders and grassroots activists of this wonderful movement has been one of the great privileges of my life, and their creativity and determination will ensure that even as pro-lifers face setbacks under a Biden Administration, progress will still be made and lives will still be saved.

  abortion, joe biden, kamala harris, state legislators

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