Over a week ago, a federal judge temporarily struck down three different abortion-related laws in Arkansas. Now this judge has extended the injunction. Although the 18-week abortion ban was the most widely discussed, the injunction also blocked two laws that would prevent women from aborting because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome and a requirement that abortionists have certification in obstetrics and gynecology.
From the bench, Judge Kristine Baker, an Obama era appointee, wrote that the three new laws, “cause ongoing and imminent irreparable harm to the plaintiffs and their patients,” and “the harms to women who are unable to obtain abortion care as a result of (the acts) are irreparable.” Her conclusion wasn’t necessarily a surprise, but it was disappointing. The commonsense abortion regulations put in place by the state won’t cause “irreparable harm to the plaintiffs and their patients.” The law protects women, babies and the community.
But the court obviously didn’t see it that way. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood and others filed suit saying that the law violated the 14th Amendment’s due process clause. Instead of trying to protect vulnerable preborn babies and those with special needs, the court decided to side with the abortion lobby.
Here’s why these three pieces of legislation are so important:
When it comes to abortion, those in favor of the practice consistently believe that preborn babies feel pain only at the “point of viability,” which is an arbitrary designation that could mean anywhere from 22-weeks’ gestation to birth. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Research suggests that babies could feel pain at 20 weeks or possibly even earlier, but, as in the case with many studies that could have a possible pro-life outcome, the situation hasn’t been well researched. Scientists also sometimes dismiss the results of a pro-life study in order to push the pro-abortion agenda.
That’s why something like an 18-week abortion ban was so important. When Roe v. Wade was handed down by the Supreme Court in 1973, our understanding of preborn life was limited. It’s critical that the Court review and reevaluate the “viability” threshold, especially given the emphasis placed on it in the Court’s 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision. We know that preborn babies feel pain at 20 weeks or earlier and that viability is an ever-changing target due to medical advances. There was one baby who survived after being born at 21 weeks, 5 days gestation. Who’s to say that the point of viability won’t become earlier as technology increases. To stick to this vague notion of “viability” may be currently constitutional, but it’s not based on science.
Preborn babies who are diagnosed with conditions like Down syndrome in the womb deserve to have legal protections against abortionists. To abort a child with a prenatal diagnosis is essentially a modern form of eugenics, a deplorable practice that was used in the United States and pushed by Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger.
While it is completely understandable that a prenatal or perinatal diagnosis of Down syndrome could initially be overwhelming for a couple, there are so many resources and support available for parents. But negative information from medical professionals is often the only thing that parents hear. If there are legal protections in place for preborn babies with Down syndrome, then it could encourage physicians to review their assumptions and see how children and adults with this condition can not only thrive but bring immense joy to everyone around them.
Finally, it makes medical sense for abortionists to have certification in obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN). As medical professionals dealing with the female reproductive system, it should be a requirement for abortionists to have that level of training. After all, anything in the abortion process, especially for surgical abortions, could go wrong. Wouldn’t abortion businesses want to have a professional on hand to deal with potential emergencies? They hold themselves out as advocates for women after all so why deny those protections. But the answer to that is a resounding “no.”
Despite the complexities of the abortion process, businesses like Planned Parenthood want to present this notion that the risks of an abortion are limited and that it is safer than just about any other medical treatment. That’s not true. The risks of a surgical abortion include perforation of the uterus, hemorrhaging, incomplete abortion, cervix laceration, infection and there is an additional risk if a woman chooses (i.e. pays extra) to use anesthesia. There is always a risk, and if the abortion industry is interested in protecting women it makes sense to have a physician who has that specialty. Of course, requiring that specialty would’ve closed the last abortion clinic in the state. For the abortion lobby, that is unacceptable.
Judge Baker thought she was helping women by blocking Arkansas’ latest abortion regulations and supporting the pro-abortion agenda, but the state of Arkansas is not backing down. The state’s attorney general has already filed an appeal in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Hopefully, another court may understand that the purpose of Arkansas’ abortion law isn’t to run the last abortion clinic out of business but to protect women and babies.