Over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee made some comments at the Iowa Family Leader Conference about how he’d handle abortion – and abortion advocates are in a tizzy:
I’m convinced the next President should ignore the unconstitutional and illegal rulings of the courts, including that of same-sex marriage, because it is not the law of the land, it was a judicial overreach, and the next president should do what Jefferson, Jackson, Madison, and Lincoln all believed should be done: ignore the court. Defy the court. Because it is the Constitution—not right—but the constitutional responsibility of the president to not allow the judicial branch to overreach.
And as far as we’ve, often, for many of us, we’ve fought the life issue since the seventies. For 42 years we’ve been on the defense. And the fact is, it’s time for us to quit being on the defense. The next president should say not “we have to pass a constitutional amendment,” ‘cause we don’t. We simply accept the Constitution as we currently have it. And we invoke the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees due process before you can deprive any person of life or liberty, and the Fourteenth that guarantees equal protection under the law, and we simply say, “there will be no abortion because that unborn child is a person.” And if it is not a person then it is entitled to no due process.
I finish with this: if that sounds radical to you, if that sounds bold to you, so be it. But it is radical that we have eliminated 60 million unborn children in this country, and we have pretended that there’s nothing we can do about it.
This is a mixed bag. Huckabee is correct that the judicially-imposed “right” to abortion is an unconstitutional, anti-democratic farce. He’s right that our politicians aren’t doing nearly enough to push back against the judiciary, and are ultimately failing their basic responsibility to check and balance the other branches of government. And he’s right that we don’t need to amend the Constitution to outlaw abortion because a proper reading of the 14th Amendment guarantees equal protection to the preborn.
But he seems not to have thought things all the way through. The 14th Amendment also expressly says that “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article”—not the President. And despite rightly drawing attention to the problem of the judiciary, he discusses none of the specific tools the Constitution already gives us to rein them in, such as impeaching judges or using Congress’s Article III, Section 2 power to deprive the Supreme Court of jurisdiction over abortion.
So there’s legitimate criticism to be made about Huckabee’s comments. What’s not legitimate, however, is for supporters of judicial abortion activism to turn around and claim the constitutional high ground.
Right Wing Watch, a blog that documents alleged “extremism” from conservative figures, seized on the video as a prime example, leading various pro-abortion websites to repost it. Fox News host Alan Colmes condescendingly reminds Huckabee that “there are some things a President can’t do. Just ask President Obama and every other President who has been frustrated by the limits on executive power,” while Patheos blogger Ed Brayton suggests this makes Huckabee a hypocrite because if “Obama did that, of course; then it would be an outrageous HitlerStalinMao action” and should make people “glad that his odds of becoming president are about equal to those of Mr. Snufflupogus.”
Sorry folks, but not all constitutional errors are created equal.
The Constitution does contain a right to life for all persons that is not conditional on age or developmental level. It does not contain a right to abortion. So right from the outset, pro-lifers are pursuing a fundamentally legitimate end while pro-aborts want a fundamentally illegitimate one. And because the Constitution doesn’t compel state or federal government to allow abortion, taking the issue out of the electorate’s hands by judicial fiat is an illegitimate means, as well.
Huckabee is attempting to pursue the right thing in the wrong way. Abortion advocates want to do the unconstitutional thing and want do it the unconstitutional way. So thanks, but we’ll pass on the law lecture.
Legislation preventing protesters from coming within 150 metres of an abortion clinic has passed the Upper House of the Victorian Parliament without amendment.
The abortion buffer zone laws make it illegal for anti-abortion protesters to harass or film women going in or coming out of the clinics.
Protestors who breach the so-called buffer zone may face fines or jail time for repeat offences.
The bill, amending the Health and Wellbeing Act, was originally put forward by Sex Party MP Fiona Patten and was passed in the early hours of the morning after 12 hours of debate.
The legislation follows years of complaints from the clinics about pro-life campaigners approaching women outside clinics, urging them not to terminate their pregnancy.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the changes were "long overdue".
"Women will no longer be able to be harassed and intimidated around abortion clinics," she said.
She said the law would send a message to protesters that women should be free to access what is a lawful service.
"But no doubt there will be people trying to test the law," she said.
"We'll be working with Victoria Police and all service providers to make sure that we get this law enforced and women are able to go about their lawful business without being the subject of harassment and intimidation."
Ms Hennessy said she hoped people understood that it is their right to protest on the steps of Parliament but not outside a medical clinic.
Slate just loves Jessica Jones, the new Netflix show. Slate also loves to promote abortion and has found a way to combine both.
A piece from Nov. 24 by Christina Cauterucci claims in its headline that “Anyone Who Opposes Abortion for Rape Survivors Should Watch This Jessica Jones Scene.” The piece’s byline and content also specifically address those in the GOP who oppose rape exceptions.
It would be one thing if the piece hailed what Cauterucci thought was a television show making an important point about this issue. It would even be plausible if the piece stuck to its headline and suggested that those who hold such a view might look into another perspective. But that’s not what Cauterucci does. Instead, she slams those who do hold such a view.
The piece is chock full of your typical pro-abortion misconceptions when it comes to abortion.
A character from episode six is Hope Schlottman, who is pregnant with the baby of a rather terrifying serial rapist. Hope is in jail and has paid another inmate to beat her up in hopes of inducing a miscarriage.
Titular character Jessica Jones suggests that Hope wait for a clinical abortion. Hope answers, “Every second it’s there, I get raped again and again.”
For those of us who have not found ourselves in such a situation, we may not be able to know exactly what Hope is going through, but there are those who have gone through the same thing, and who have spoken up. Many of them do not feel the way Hope does. Rather, it’s those around them – those pressuring them to abort – who have taken such a disdainful view about the pregnancy.
That Hope doesn’t want to wait also rebuts one of Cauterucci’s own points. The caption following the screenshot from the episode reads, “With no other options, Hope Schlottman took her abortion into her own hands.” Except it doesn’t sound like Hope had “no other options.” Since Hope was not set on choosing life, she could have at least taken Jessica Jones’ suggestion. If Slate is trying to use this character’s situation to argue about the fate of women should abortion be outlawed, they fail miserably here.
As an abortion-supporting site, it’s not surprising that Slate takes issue with pro-life candidates. But Cauterucci makes a very bold, and also false, claim:
This year’s slate of Republican presidential candidates is crowded with men who wouldn’t give Schlottman’s case a second thought.
Current presidential candidates may oppose abortion in cases of rape or incest. But by opposing one so-called solution to a horrific crime and act of violence in no way means that they “wouldn’t give [a] case a second thought.”
Marco Rubio, for instance, a candidate mentioned by name, talked with Meet the Press’s Chuck Todd about the rape exceptions. Part of his response mentioned:
… I mean, a rape is an act of violence. It’s a horrifying thing that happens. And fortunately, the number of abortions in this country that are due to rape are very small, less than 1% of the cases in the world. But they happen. And they’re horrifying. And they’re tragic. And I recognize that.
This is just one instance where Rubio has spoken about his stance. Does that sound like somebody who “wouldn’t give [a rape victim’s] case a second thought?”
The rest of the piece contains points which could apply exactly to the regret a woman who aborts her baby may feel:
Schlottman’s pleas testify to the injustice of abortion politics that don’t include exceptions for rape, incest, and women’s safety. Politicians who would force a woman to carry to term a fetus created by assault are inflicting yet another violation on a survivor who’s already had her desires trampled… But for actual survivors of sexual violence, memories of a perpetrator without Killgrave’s evil superpowers can be equally painful as Schlottman’s. A resulting pregnancy can be an equally distressing reminder of that trauma—to say nothing of the sadism of forcing a rape victim to endure the excruciating, sometimes days-long ordeal of labor and delivery.
Oftentimes the abortion is a way of “inflicting yet another violation on a survivor who’s already had her desires trampled,” especially if the woman is pressured into the abortion.
The woman now has to recover from the abortion as well as from the rape. And let’s not forget that an abortion is always a violation against the preborn child’s life, regardless of how conception took place.
Cauterucci points to the “sometimes days-long ordeal of labor and delivery.” But that’s how babies are born, regardless of whether or not a woman was raped. (A midwife mentions that while it’s very difficult to predict how long labor takes, first births rarely take over 18 hours.)The amount of time your delivery takes doesn’t depend on how your baby was conceived.
More important is the fact that the baby will be born and labor will come to an end. However a baby was conceived, giving birth is a courageous act. Many rape victims have shared that it helped empower them from their rape.
Cauterucci closes by stating that “politicians should be concerned with punishing rapists, not their victims.” Yes, exactly! Aborting the baby may actually serve to help a rapist, as it covers up his crime. An abortion, even if it is what the rape victim wants, or thinks she wants, punishes a completely innocent party. The preborn child is the farthest thing from the rapist – he or she is a victim.
Essentially, Cauterucci’s piece does very little for rape victims. It just shames those who happen to disagree with her view.