Abortion has been a controversial issue in the United States for decades, but based on a plethora of statistics, evidence, and legislation, I think it’s safe to say Americans are slowing shifting their views and beginning to value unborn life more and more.
One of the biggest ways to identify this shift is by looking at Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country. It performed over 300,000 abortions in the 2017–2018 fiscal year and “raked in $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds” from 2013–2015. Still, the organization is worried.
Recently, Planned Parenthood Action Fund—the advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood—said in a tweet: “We are dangerously close to a post-Roe world. It’s clear that anti-abortion politicians will say and do anything, including lie about abortion, to put this crucial health care out of reach for millions of people nationwide.”
We are dangerously close to a post-Roe world. It’s clear that anti-abortion politicians will say and do anything, including lie about abortion, to put this crucial health care out of reach for millions of people nationwide. #StopTheBans
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) April 5, 2019
Then, the organization followed up with: “That’s 41 states too many. #StopTheBans,” linking to an article from ABC News with the headline “41 states have tried to pass abortion restrictions this year, as Georgia votes on a new ban: Report.”
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) April 7, 2019
While Planned Parenthood has always been a bit dramatic in its public relations overtures, it’s safe to say if it admits to being worried, it probably is—and that’s a good thing. The bans Planned Parenthood are referring to demonstrate a new wave of constituents advocating for life through their local legislatures, which is exactly how important issues like abortion should be handled.
At least seven states have passed “heartbeat bills,” legislation that, once the respective governor signs it, would essentially ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually about six weeks gestation. Georgia and Ohio are the most recent states to pass various forms of this legislation, and relatively easily, despite Democrat fanfare.
In Georgia, for example, just before the legislature passed their “heartbeat bill,” Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano went on a full-scale attack, gathering signatures of support from her famous friends on a letter she presented to Gov. Brian Kemp. She demanded that he refuse to sign the bill or Hollywood would no longer film television and movies in the state.
There are other abortion-related bills circulating state legislatures aside from the “heartbeat bills.”
The Texas Senate just greenlighted a “born-alive” bill that specifically addresses babies who survive an abortion attempt. While rare, it does happen, and those lives are worth protecting. The bill states that doctors must “render aid, to do all they can to save that child” following an abortion procedure, state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R) said, according to the Austin-American Statesman. “Doctors who decline to provide medical treatment could be charged with a third-degree felony and face a sentence of two to 10 years in prison,” the Statesman reported.
A Florida Senate committee passed a bill that, if enacted, would require consent from a parent or guardian before a girl under 18 could obtain an abortion.
While progressives maintain that abortion legislation like the kind we’re seeing sweeping through state legislatures across the country is an effort to force women to lose reproductive rights, such as abortion, it’s actually even more significant than that: In an ideal democracy, politicians are supposed to represent their constituents. If a bill such as one that says girls under 18 shouldn’t be able to have an abortion without parental consent becomes law, it reflects something the people of Florida want.
The will of the people should always be paramount. Instead of feeling threatened by so many pieces of pro-life legislation, progressives should consider it as increasing evidence that our culture has seen the damage of Roe v. Wade, particularly in light of the eye-opening wonders of 3-D/4-D ultrasounds, and is collectively changing its mind.
Ultrasounds weren’t even widely used until the 1970s, and those provided grainy, black and white images that made it hard to decipher body parts or gender. Now, ultrasound images show a 3-D moving film of a 25-week baby sucking his or her thumb and yawning. This has no doubt played a role in things such as the recent Marist poll that found a whopping 75 percent of Americans support increasing restrictions on abortion, and over half believe the unborn baby is a “unique life.”
Of course, the amount of bills circulating that defy Roe is an obvious strategy. Pro-life advocates hope one of those would be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court, where it will again have to address abortion in light of a society that has undergone a huge transformation since 1973. It’s important to remember that even if the Supreme Court overturned Roe as a result of a “heartbeat bill” challenge, the issue would once again fall to the states, just as it should.
While abortion isn’t going away any time soon, it’s good to see that culture in the United States has made an obvious shift toward life, is supporting legislation that honors the unborn, and has Planned Parenthood worried sick.
Nicole Russell is a freelance writer and mother of four. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Politico, The Daily Beast, and the Federalist. Follow her on Twitter @russell_nm
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.