Blog Post

More Wins and Losses in Abortion Wars

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

State legislatures continue to grapple with abortion law with Vermont being the latest to pass a gruesome bill allowing abortion at any stage in a pregnancy, and Arkansas passing a law that will ban abortion completely should Roe v. Wade ever be repealed.

First, the bad news. According to National Review, the Vermont House recently passed a bill known as H57 which will legalize abortion at any stage of pregnancy – for any reason.

“Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry a pregnancy to term, give birth to a child, or to have an abortion,” the bill states.

Considered to be even more radical than New York’s Reproductive Health Act, the Vermont bill doesn’t even bother to create a “health” exception that essentially permits abortion for any reason. Instead, Vermont will now give women a “blanket permission slip” to do whatever they want with their unborn child even after viability.

Even worse, it contains a provision that hearkens back to the pre-science era by refusing to recognize the humanity of the unborn and stripping them of all human rights.

“A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus shall not have independent rights under Vermont law,” the law states.

This draconian bill was co-sponsored by 90 Democrats and passed by a vote of 106-36. It now moves to the Senate where Democrats have a super-majority.

National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis reports that even though abortion rights are already very liberal in Vermont and not much will change as a result of this bill, “it makes a frightening statement about the Democratic party’s increasingly extreme view of abortion rights.”

She writes: “To the left, abortion is no longer a last resort, an option to be prevented, a difficult and sad choice that some women feel forced to make. Abortion is now a fundamental right, a social good so worth preserving that it is necessary to explicitly dehumanize living human beings to justify it.”

Now for the good news. Asa Hutchinson, the governor of the state of Arkansas, just signed the Human Life Protection Act into law which will protect the unborn by banning all abortion in that state if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

In addition, the Arkansas State House passed another bill by a vote of 77-13 that will restrict abortion in that state after 18 weeks gestation. Called the Cherish Act, it challenges the current U.S. Supreme Court precedent that prohibits states from passing abortion restrictions prior to viability, a case that could eventually reach the high court.

The state of Utah is considering a similar bill this winter. As Life News reports, the Utah bill initially banned abortions after 15 weeks but the bill was amended to 18 weeks because lawmakers feel it will be more likely to succeed in a legal challenge.

“U.S. Supreme Court rulings have prohibited states from banning abortions in the first two trimesters, but the court agreed that states may restrict third-trimester abortions because they have an interest in protecting viable unborn babies,” reports Micaiah Bilger. “Since those decades-old decisions, medical technology has pushed back viability to about 22 weeks, and some pro-life lawmakers see the moving line as an opportunity to challenge those decisions.”

There are two things to take away from the current status of the abortion wars in the United States: 1) the battle has shifted to the states which means pro-life Americans need to turn out in large numbers for local elections, and; 2) this war is far from over.

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