The move by Matt Bevin’s administration effectively to close the last abortion clinic in Kentucky has pro-life organizations and supporters cheering and rallying. While the prevention of a single abortion certainly is something to praise, the bigger picture certainly is not.
The reasoning is simple. Abortion is murder. To regulate abortion is to sanction abortion, which is to sanction murder. Murder should not be sanctioned and regulated, it should be outlawed entirely—abolished. The commandment is, “Thou shalt not murder.” All “pro-life” efforts that propose regulation of abortion say instead, “Thou shalt not murder, except with the proper permits.”
Bevin’s move attempts to use the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to reject the license of the abortion clinic because of a glitch in its paperwork. Despite the same agency renewing the clinic’s license last year, until May 31, 2017, it now finds a deficiency in its “transfer agreements.” This is a regulatory requirement for the license by which the clinic proves it has an agreement with hospital and ambulance services in the case an aborting mother should need it.
In effect this “pro-life” move is saying, “Thou shalt not murder, unless you provide emergency services for the conspiring murderer.”
Aside from the simple violation of biblical ethics, this move faces two major problems. First, it carries the seeds of its own destruction. The legal maneuver here is the following: “You may not provide abortions unless you meet the criteria. You do not meet the criteria. Therefore, you may not provide abortions.” Since this is the case, however, what do you do when the clinic is able to secure such agreements, and then reapplies for its license? The state will have no legal choice but to give the license. There will have been nothing but a brief, temporary impediment to abortion in Kentucky.
The last state will be worse than the first. All the move will have done is nudge Kentucky’s baby-murderers get up to snuff. But now it will be even more firmly entrenched, and the state’s pro-life leaders, including Bevin, will be standing, red-faced, with no argument why they should now shut down the clinic. You yourselves said abortion would be OK as long as the murderers met the proper criteria. You may protest how “unapologetically pro-life” you are, but your actions spoke otherwise.
Second, strict enforcement of state regulations very similar to this move were struck down by the Supreme Court just last summer in Texas. The syllabus for Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt quoted the following precedents that reveal the court’s reasoning:
A “State has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion . . . is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient.” Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113, 150.
But “a statute which, while furthering [a] valid state interest, has the effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman’s choice cannot be considered a permissible means of serving its legitimate ends,” Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833, 877 (plurality opinion), and “[u]nnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion impose an undue burden on the right,” id., at 878.
Got it? In simple words, even Rove v. Wade argued that a state may regulate abortion. But the moment your state’s regulations go so far as to present any “substantial obstacle” to the woman’s alleged “right” to an abortion, it is considered an “undue burden” and is not “permissible.”
These quotations further reveal that the “legitimate ends” of a state’s abortion regulations is to “insure maximum safety” to the mother, and thus make sure abortions continue. This is exactly what will result from Bevin’s move, as I just described.
Granted, if the court does strike this down as it already did with Texas (and is probably about to do also in Mississippi), Bevin’s administration may decide just to ignore the Supreme Court and interpose on behalf of the unborn.
This would be a monumental and highly desirable stand. But if they are ready and willing to do this, why not do it the right way: based upon a bill defining abortion as the murder that it is, and outlawing the practice of abortion altogether? At least then you would have something really worthwhile and lasting for which to take such a risky and unprecedented stand against the federal judiciary.
On the other hand, if you were to take such a stand over your right to regulate child-sacrifice “transfer agreements,” and actually prevailed, you would only be right back to the first major problem described above: what are you going to do when the pro-aborts get up to speed and meet your criteria? They will no longer be the problem: you will, for you will have provided a lasting legal foundation for their murder going forward.
Your hands will share in the blood.
Instead of tinkering with these abominable pro-death measures, think through the issue. Abortion will not be stopped until we call it what it really is, legislate to that effect, and use every means to defend that legislation from federal tyranny. Abortion is murder. Ignore Roe. Embrace the consequences as the welcome price of protecting human life.