80% of Americans Oppose 3rd Trimester Abortions
There is a vast divide between middle America and the coastal “elites” who often purport to speak for the people in the current national debate over abortion.
Poll after poll has found that most Americans are deeply divided over abortion. One recent poll, for instance, found that a solid 50% of Americans say that, in general, abortion is “morally wrong,” whereas only 42% said that it is “morally acceptable.” Another recent poll found that almost 80% of Americans oppose abortion in the third trimester. Yet another poll this year found that 75% of Americans favor restricting abortion to – at the very most – the first three months of pregnancy (i.e. the first trimester). That same poll found that 65% of respondents said that if the Supreme Court were to revisit the Roe v. Wade case, the Court should either allow states to determine their own abortion laws (49%), or completely outlaw abortion (16%).
Naturally, it is deeply tragic that Americans support any abortions at all. However, numbers like these expose the reality that the actual state of abortion law in the United States is far more permissive that what most Americans would like to see. Under Roe v. Wade, there is nothing preventing states from allowing abortions right up until the point of birth – which is precisely what we saw New York explicitly allow in their extreme new law. Given this, we shouldn’t be surprised that many red states right now are pushing back by passing pro-life laws designed to challenge the status quo created by Roe v. Wade, and to protect the lives of babies much earlier, or even from the very beginning of pregnancy.
Democratic Leadership Out of Touch
Yet, if you listened to the country’s mainstream news anchors, Democratic politicians, entertainers and business elites, you would think that the American people are clamoring for the most extreme abortion laws imaginable, and that the current pro-life push is somehow the result of a shadowy conspiracy that has nothing at all to do with the views of ordinary Americans.
Consider, for instance, the homogenous extremism of every member of the large pool of candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Right now, the candidates are striving to differentiate themselves from the rest of the herd, claiming that the positions outlined on their platforms are better for the country than those of their opponents. But on one issue all the candidates are virtually in lockstep: across the board, they believe that abortion should be allowed for just about every imaginable reason (or no reason at all), up until the final moments of pregnancy, funded by the taxpayer.
Until a few days ago, the only real exception was Joe Biden. Biden, who routinely touts himself as a “Catholic,” has long supported the Hyde Amendment, a provision that is passed by Congress annually, as part of spending appropriations bills. The amendment bans federal funding of abortion. A healthy majority of Americans has long supported the Hyde Amendment, which hardly comes as a surprise. If Americans are queasy about abortion in general, it’s no shock that they’d prefer not to pay for abortions with their tax dollars.
However, a few days ago, after initially re-affirming his support for the Hyde Amendment, Biden suddenly flip-flopped. The reversal came after several of Biden’s fellow Democratic candidates issued stinging criticisms of his support for the amendment. Although Biden’s numerous and repeated reversals on abortion throughout his long career suggests that he has some qualms of conscience about the issue, it’s worth remembering that besides his support for the Hyde Amendment, he currently has no other substantial objections to the regime of abortion-on-demand.
In other words, the Democratic Party in 2019 will brook absolutely no dissent – no matter how mild – from the official party policy of abortion-till-birth paid by the taxpayer. Or, as Archbishop Charles Chaput put it in a scathing column about Biden’s about-face: “The unborn child means exactly zero in the calculus of power for Democratic Party leaders, and the right to an abortion, once described as a tragic necessity, is now a perverse kind of ‘sacrament most holy.’ It will have a candidate’s allegiance and full-throated reverence…or else.”
Indeed, it is extremely telling that right after abandoning support for the Hyde Amendment, Biden openly acknowledged to CNN that the amendment is popular with American voters. Biden was objecting to the criticism that he had only changed his position out of political expediency. “The truth is, the majority of the American people agree with the Hyde Amendment, OK?” he said. “So the idea that this would be helpful to change is not accurate in terms of being able to win an election.” In other words, Biden wants us to believe that by supporting using taxpayer dollars to kill unborn babies, he is selflessly following some “higher principle” that might even harm him at the polls.
Of course, this is an absurd and highly misleading statement. Biden knows that if he is going to win the Democratic nomination, and the eventual general election, he needs the total support of his party, and its base of wealthy donors. And he knows that the party, and its extremist financial backers, have no tolerance for his qualms of conscience. Having weighed the American people, and the Democratic elites that have the power to block his path to the White House, Biden cynically chose loyalty to the latter. Unborn babies, it seems, are merely the stepping stones he is willing to tread upon to attain his vaulted political goals.
How disgusting, then, to see PBS, in a June 7 summary of Biden’s views on abortion, referring to Biden as a “devout Roman Catholic.” It’s worth repeating the final lines of Archbishop Chaput’s column here:
“There’s a remark by Thomas More in the film A Man for All Seasons that’s worth remembering in the months ahead: ‘When statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their own public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.’ We can’t say we weren’t warned.”
Pro-Abortion Blackmail from U.S. Businesses
Then there’s the pressure coming from many of the wealthiest and most powerful corporations and CEOs in America, aimed against states that dare to protect the right to life of unborn human beings. This month, for example, 180 top executives of leading U.S. corporations signed a letter arguing that “It’s time for companies to stand up for reproductive healthcare.”
The letter, which was published as a full-page ad in The New York Times, claimed that restricting abortion “goes against our values and is bad for business.” I can’t say I can see the connection between good business and killing babies, but evidently executives of companies such as H&M, Ben and Jerry’s, Twitter and Indigo believe that there is one.
Meanwhile, several large entertainment companies have gone one step further, explicitly threatening to boycott states that pass pro-life laws. At the end of May, Disney co-CEO Bob Iger claimed that it would be “very difficult” to continue filming in Georgia, if a new law banning abortions on unborn babies with detectable heartbeats went into effect. Iger also made the rather dubious claim that “many people who work for us will not want to work [in Georgia], and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard.”
You’d think that Disney of all companies would see the gruesome irony in opposing laws that protect the lives of the very children who, should they escape the abortionist’s instruments, will soon be watching their movies, playing with their toys, and visiting their theme parks!
Meanwhile, Netflix has also threatened a boycott against Georgia, and is actively participating in the ACLU lawsuit to strike down the new law. NBCUniversal, the parent company of CBS and NBC are threatening similar actions, as has Oscar-winning director Ron Howard. Another top-level director, J.J. Abrams, has said he will donate some of the proceeds of an upcoming project in Georgia to pro-abortion organizations.
I could go on and on. The list of actors and actresses, and wealthy politicians and businessmen who somehow believe it is their appointed task to ensure that it is as easy as possible to kill unborn babies in America is staggering.
Stay the Course
And yet, how encouraging that despite the enormous pressure coming from the rich and the powerful, pro-life legislators and ordinary citizens are making such unprecedented progress in protecting the lives of the most innocent. State after state is passing bills designed to challenge Roe v. Wade, protecting unborn babies from being murdered in their mothers’ wombs earlier and earlier in pregnancy.
One new law, in Alabama, amounts almost to a complete ban on abortion. Unfortunately, due to Roe v. Wade, this law and the various “heartbeat” bills being passed around the country, will not immediately go into effect. Instead, they will inevitably make their way to the Supreme Court, which will have to decide whether or not to uphold arguably the worst Supreme Court decision in the history of our country.
The job of the pro-life movement right now is to stay focused. Let the elite, with their self-centered and self-destructive ethos of sexual libertinism at any cost, including the lives of the innocent, make their threats and spread their lies and misinformation. Let the media paint pro-lifers as the villains.
For our part, we must continue to peacefully and prayerfully, but shrewdly and determinedly, use the opportunity handed to us at this point in history to place a legal mantle of protection over the lives of the unborn. Let us work with everything we have to make our country a more loving, compassionate place for unborn babies and their mothers. Let this thought motivate us: If we succeed, there may well one day be hundreds of thousands, even millions, of babies who will escape the abortionist’s scalpel, and who will go on to enjoy the opportunity to live a full life, and to contribute to the common good with their gifts and talents.