In the wake of the off-year elections across the country last week, it became very clear that abortion was the single most important issue that motivated voters.
More specifically, it motivated voters to choose Democrats. In case after case, when abortion was on the table, the pro-life movement lost.
In Ohio, a reliably red state that voted for Donald Trump and just elected a Trump-backed U.S. senator, voters passed a referendum that now enshrines abortion in the state constitution.
The amendment essentially legalizes abortion at every stage of the pregnancy, because of this last paragraph:
“However, abortion may be prohibited after fetal viability. But in no case may such an abortion be prohibited if in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient’s treating physician, it is necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health.”
That is chilling. A viable child, one with the ability to live outside of the womb, can be destroyed in utero if it threatens the “health” of the mother.
What Ohio has done is resurrect language from the companion case to Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, which allowed abortions at any stage if the health of the mother was threatened.
That had been interpreted by lower courts as including the mental health of the mother.
The Ohio amendment will give Ohio women the right to abort their babies at any time up to and including the moment of birth because of that last paragraph. Doe is back, with a vengeance.
And there are many reasons why the mental health of a woman would be compromised by an unwanted abortion: a child diagnosed as having Down, a child that is going to be an economic burden, a child that is going to interrupt a career or further studies, and in some societies, a child who is the wrong gender.
These are not figments of my imagination. These are already legitimate reasons for women to obtain abortions in other countries and in some of our own 50 states.
So there is very little daylight here between humanity and inhumanity.
As chilling as that prospect is, something even more chilling occurred last week as the fallout from the Ohio referendum, and other election wins were analyzed: Republicans started retreating on their support for the unborn.
It’s no secret that progressive women are obsessed with having unlimited access to abortion, and have raised it to sacramental status in their secular lives. This was expected, and I was fully prepared to meet their cheers with jeers of my own.
What absolutely killed me, although I can’t feign much surprise, were the calls from conservatives to pull back on our opposition to abortion out of fear that we would never again win an election.
Megyn Kelly, whose podcast I devour on a daily basis and who I generally respect, was livid about the GOP losses and basically said on her show that we needed to stop talking about abortion.
In other words, we needed to tone down our support for the rights of unborn children. In even fewer words, we needed to shut up about human rights.
The asylum lawyer in me, the one who deals every day with the persecution of the innocent, recoils at that suggestion.
Apparently, I’m in the minority, because there are a lot of people out there who think they need to apologize for their pro-life views or even worse, hide them.
There was Nikki Haley at the debate, saying she would never judge a pro-choice woman. Why even have an opinion on the sanctity of life to begin with? She lost my vote, right there.
There were lamentations from establishment Republicans saying that abortion was a “personal choice” and that we needed to stop incorporating life issues into an official platform.
There were people of faith saying that they didn’t want to push their religion on other people.
It’s funny, but I never realized that the issue of when life begins was a religious one. Science dictates the creation of human life, not the Gospels.
I realize, now, that I am without a party.
If this trend continues, and I see more and more states celebrating the codification of a barbarity so obvious that the only way it can be stomached is if its supporters lie and cheat, I might have to simply give up on politics altogether, and focus my efforts on getting my own soul ready for judgment day.
It looks like my efforts here are falling on deaf ears, and stone cold hearts.
Or to put it another way, what does it profit a man to win Ohio, but lose his soul?
Copyright 2023 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].