02/28/2006: Cal Thomas, a veteran of the pro-life cause, reflects my sentiments on the recent efforts by the South Dakota legislature to outlaw abortion almost across-the-board. This is the mother of all crapshoots and it almost certainly will fail.
I’ve seen some gallant efforts over the past 20 years.
Idaho tried outlawing abortion except for cases of rape, incest, and danger to the woman’s life in 1990. This made it through the house and senate, and was vetoed by the governor.
Louisiana tried similar legislation, which was vetoed by the governor.
Pennsylvania attempted legislation that involved parental and spousal notification. When it was challenged in the court system, the Supreme Court upheld Roe while approving of some provisions of the Pennsylvania law.
I agree with Cal on this one: addressing the issue of abortion will require a multi-pronged approach. The most important of which is involvement in the non-legislative arena. Crisis pregnancy centers and maternity homes are a very integral part of a non-legislative strategy.
During my experience as a counselor–at what was then Alpha Crisis Pregnancy Center in Anderson, Indiana–one of our frustrations was the limited number of pro-life medical professionals offering their services, and local churches that provided support. In the same city that boasted a major Christian university, the headquarters of a major Christian denomination, three very large evangelical congregations (North Anderson Church of God, East Side Church of God, and Park Place Church of God), and was home to several Christian contemporary artists, support for the local maternity home and crisis pregnancy center was scant at best.
That is not to say that the resolution of the abortion issue is irrespective of legislation; at some point, legislation is necessary. However, the time has not come. Even if the South Dakota legislation makes it to the Supreme Court, it will get shot down by at least a 5-4 ruling. (Breyer, Kennedy, Ginsberg, Stevens, and Souter are solidly pro-Roe, while Alito and Roberts are untested on the matter and are by no means guaranteed pro-life votes. Hypothetically, this could end up 7-2 against the pro-life cause.)
Some may read this and say, “Oh SingleMind, you have no faith!” I have faith in God. I have no faith in humanity. I’ve seen time after time in which SCOTUS has had the opportunity to do the right thing, and they have failed most of the time.
Color me skeptical, but I think the South Dakotans are swinging at windmills.
Like Cal Thomas, I hope it flies.
Like Cal Thomas, I have my doubts on this one.