The good pro-life folks in Ohio are “all shook up” over the conflict that has arisen surrounding a legislative proposal known as the “heartbeat bill.” That is normal to the ever-disputing pro-life folks who take sides—a situation commonly referred to as the incrementalists v. the purists. In other words, there are pro-lifers who have their reasons for settling for something versus those who cannot find it in their hearts to settle.
As we have said before, this bill is another in the long list of pro-life sleight-of-hand proposals that causes such divisions in the first place.
When Jill Stanek wrote about the current disagreement, she said that the bill in question “would ban abortion in Ohio from the time a baby’s heartbeat is detectable—at the age of six weeks at the earliest.”
However the actual language of the bill sets forth narrow exceptions to this—provisions in the proposed law that do permit abortionists, in some instances, to proceed with the abortion even when a heartbeat is detected. In other words, the judgment of the abortionist can make a huge difference in who does and does not live through the moment when that crucial decision is made.
While Stanek wisely suggests that pro-life Americans should stay out of foxholes occupied by the pro-aborts, she does not get around to the heart of the matter in this situation—honesty. That is really all any of us who oppose the heartbeat bill want from our fellow pro-lifers. Since there is an exception in the law, why not say so? Since the bill is drafted in such a way that someone else is in charge of that life or death decision—if only in rare cases—explain that this is so.
This is why I admired the insights provided by Personhood Ohio’s leader, Dr. Patrick Johnston, who wrote, “Is it ever right to intentionally kill an innocent child? Consenting to the intentional killing of one innocent person to save another is never justified. It is not right or necessary to kill the baby to save the mother. A premature delivery may be necessary to save the mother’s life, but every care should be taken to ensure the health and life of both patients.”
That’s really the guiding principle, isn’t it? The fundamental differences that exist within pro-life circles have nothing to do with foxholes or pro-abort shenanigans. What it is at the end of the day is the question of who, if anyone, has the authority to kill. In the view of those of us who advocate for human personhood from the very beginning of a person’s life until a natural death, each individual’s human rights must be consistently protected in all cases or our efforts become meaningless. If pro-life Americans can permit the killing of even one innocent person, we fail to uphold our own principle. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
If not for the politics of despair that is consistently driving wedges between those who work steadily toward justice versus those who grasp at victory no matter the cost, there would be no division, period.
It’s time to be fair to all parties involved and admit that banning some abortion is not cool if you’re the one who dies anyway.