Forty-four years ago this month, the Supreme Court of the United States deemed abortion on demand legal. Women’s rights groups celebrated and abortion clinics thrived as much of society embraced the idea of women rewriting their futures after making a “mistake.”
Millions of preborn babies’ lives would be lost over the next four decades and countless would-be mothers came face to face with the tragedy of regret and the harms of abortion.
Yet clearly, the tide is turning with Americans, especially women, waking up to the horrors of abortion.
“I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, thinking I hear a baby crying,” is how Lori Nerad described her struggle to Life News. “I simply miss my baby. I constantly wake up wanting to nurse my child, wanting to hold my child. And that’s something the doctor never told me I would experience (after the abortion).”
Perhaps the many stories like Lori’s have changed hearts and minds about abortion. Or maybe it’s the cold, hard tactics used by the abortion industry. You’ll recall the haunting videos released by The Center for Medical Progress that showed Planned Parenthood executives apparently haggling over the price of a fetal liver while they drank wine and talked about buying an expensive car with the proceeds.
Now, both the U.S. House Select Panel on Infant Lives and the Senate Judiciary Committee are recommending a criminal investigation into the abortion giant for the alleged trafficking of aborted baby body parts for profit.
Or maybe it’s what an ultrasound picture tells us about the preborn child. With the clear pictures of a baby’s body with a heartbeat detected as early as five weeks gestation, one no longer can deny the humanity of the preborn.
One should also consider the growing number of state laws regulating abortion – more than 330 in the last five years – and the fact that President-elect Trump ran as a strong pro-life candidate. He promised to appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court, and he won. Apparently, Roe v. Wade is not as sacrosanct as some would like to believe.
Since the mandate from seven justices in 1973, states have passed countless laws restricting or regulating abortions over the years. Arizona added 34 such provisions just since 2009. The abortion rate has dropped 12 percent in the last four years, with 1,746 fewer abortions in Arizona.
Last month, Ohio passed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks gestation, the 15th state to do so. Arizona passed a similar law in 2012, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck it down. Virginia lawmakers will be considering a 20-week ban this month on the House floor.
Planned Parenthood is fighting a Texas move to kick the abortion giant off the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program; more fallout from the videos mentioned above, which would cost Planned Parenthood clinics in that state more than $3 million a year. And legislative sessions are just getting underway or resuming, with several months to consider other abortion-related bills.
Planned Parenthood fights for its livelihood in the courts, consistently calling on judges to undo the will of voters when it comes to abortion restrictions. “Planned Parenthood Takes Texas Back to Court,” “Planned Parenthood Files Federal Lawsuit Challenging Missouri’s Abortion Restrictions,” “Planned Parenthood Files Suits Against Abortion Restrictions in 3 States” scream headlines just from the past few weeks.
The abortion giant even sued the makers of the undercover videos catching them in apparent illegal activity, but all charges were dropped.
One thing has been made clear over these past 44 years: Roe v. Wade did not settle the issue. The debates continue; technology progresses, revealing more and more of the realities of early life and abortion; and, women harmed by the decision share their stories in hopes of sparing others a lifetime of heartache when they realize the only “mistake” they made was aborting their baby.
— Cathi Herrod is president of the Center for Arizona Policy.
The views expressed in guest commentaries are those of the author and are not the views of the Arizona Capitol Times.