By Jonathon Van Maren
Pro-life leaders across the U.S. are celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision to let Texas’ Heartbeat Act, which essentially bans abortion after six weeks, take effect in one of America’s largest states. There are reports that six other states—Mississippi, Florida, Indiana, North Dakota, Arkansas, and South Dakota—are at least looking into similar legislation if the Texas experiment proves effective.
The abortion movement is melting down, concerned that this decision (or lack thereof) indicates that the justices may rule against Roe; a single doctor at a Texas abortion clinic apparently aborted 67 babies in 17 hours just prior to the Heartbeat Act taking effect. Many abortionists will no doubt attempt to circumvent the rules; others appear unwilling to risk the potential cost of doing so. Ohio pro-life group Created Equal released a video indicating that at least one abortion clinic was unwilling to perform abortions after the six-week cut-off took effect.
There is also plenty of room for caution. David French and Sarah Isgur have an extremely comprehensive breakdown of the Texas law and the various potential scenarios that could unfold, and it is far from certain that the Heartbeat Act will stand. That said, French also says—with a score of provisos—that maybe, just maybe, the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Heartbeat Act does say something about how they will rule in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Both French and Isgur, incidentally, believe that the Court will uphold the Mississippi pro-life law.
That brings me to another brief observation. President Joe Biden, who has gone from a “moderate” on the issue of abortion, voting for some pro-life legislation and telling interviewers that he “accepted” that life begins at conception, to a pro-abortion fanatic who now denies that scientific fact, has instructed his administration to do whatever possible to stop Texas’ Heartbeat Act. To that end, Attorney General Merrick Garland has issued a statement from the Department of Justice stating that the DOJ will “provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack.”
In an apparent attempt to conflate a pro-life law with violence, Garland stated that: “We have reached out to US attorneys’ offices and FBI field offices in Texas and across the country to discuss our enforcement authorities. We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction or property damage in violation of the FACE [Freedom of Access to Abortion Clinic Entrances] Act.”
This is absurd, because of course, the Biden Administration is attempting to stop a law passed by the Texas legislature and tested in the courts. The Supreme Court declined to stop the bill, so there is nothing the feds can do, legally speaking. But Garland’s statement makes it sound as if he is on the side of the law, not those seeking to enforce the Heartbeat Act. It is a slimy trick, but the mainstream media is more than happy to play along. The narrative abortion activists want is of Texas morphing into the Gilead of A Handmaid’s Tale.
Some of you might be thinking that Merrick Garland’s name is familiar. That is because Garland was President Barack Obama’s chosen replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia. As you might recall, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held the seat open for months—and when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, in part due to his promise to select a pro-life replacement, Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to the bench. Gorsuch was one of the five justices who voted to allow the Heartbeat Act to take effect.
If that doesn’t highlight the consequences of elections for the pro-life movement, I don’t know what does.