An Associated Press headline on a Missouri news story caught my eye yesterday. It reads: "Anti-abortion lawmakers oppose anti-abortion measure."
If that confuses you, then please don't feel alone for I too had an uneasy feeling about it until I read the actual news report. A pro-life Democrat offered an amendment requiring an abortion doctor to offer any woman who is at least 20 weeks pregnant information about how the child would feel pain. The idea was precisely the same as the national "fetal pain" bill that failed earlier this year.
The author of the measure turned around and voted against it "because of concerns it would 'drag down the bill.'" He explained that he did not beleive the fetal pain provision had been tested in court.
While I am no supporter of the fetal pain proposals in any state, which actually do nothing to stop a single abortion, I have to say that this sort of shenanigan really makes no sense at all and, in fact, brings into question the entire tactical strategy of pro-lifers, at least in Missouri.
When the disunity is so apparent that it grabs a headline in a state newspaper due to the inability of a pro-life lawmaker to defend his own proposal, I would have to suggest that the pro-life movement needs to reassess what it is doing and why. Are we supposed to wait for a court to determine what we can and cannot do to save babies?
Are we supposed to offer politically motivated legislative proposals only to turn around and defeat them ourselves?
A line in the news report says it all: "The state's leading anti-abortion groups considered the defeat of the 'pro-life' amendment a victory."
Bizarre? I would have to say yes, it most certainly is; but at a basic level it is also very, very sad. It seems that politics has taken over as the moral guidepost for pro-life legislative proposals. My oh my, what a shame.