Almost every Republican in Washington is pro-life. But very few are actually pro-life in any meaningful way. Case in point? Lindsey Graham and his Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would have barred abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 51-46 not to advance the bill. The bill passed the House last October 237-189. Sadly, because of the de facto 60-vote threshold in the Senate, in conjunction with the GOP’s refusal to make a serious push for life, nothing will help further the cause of life even while Republicans control the trifecta of government.
Last week, Lindsey Graham, the lead author of the Senate bill, talked to reporters about the bill.
“Here’s the question for the country. It’s 2018. Do we still want to be in one of seven nations that allow abortion on demand at 20 weeks—the time in the pregnancy where young parents are encouraged to sing to the unborn child, because she’ll begin to recognize the parent’s voice?”
In reality, the answer is “yes.” In Lindsey Graham’s America, we will continue to be that country. Here are six reasons why:
1) Pay no attention to our funding of Planned Parenthood: How is it that Republicans could possibly be serious about banning abortion, at any point in pregnancy, by law when they are still choosing to fund private organizations under criminal investigation for harvesting baby organs in their own budget proposals? It’s amazing how granting amnesty for illegals has now become a legitimate request in a budget bill from a minority party, but defunding Planned Parenthood is not even up for discussion by the majority party. Any stand-alone legislation that will not get around the filibuster is meaningless when Republicans are still using taxpayer dollars for this barbaric organization. Worse, Lindsey Graham, with his obsession over amnesty, has helped fuel the push for amnesty, thereby making conservatives focus their budget demands on defensively blocking amnesty instead of going on offense on abortion, as promised two years ago, even before Republicans controlled all of government.
2) Without judicial reform, being pro-life is meaningless: If we are going to agree that tearing apart a baby limb from limb with a vacuum and metal clamp is subject to judicial supremacy, then any legislation is a joke. Not only has Congress refused to lift a finger to strip the Supreme Court of jurisdiction over abortion, it has sat idly while statutorily-created lower courts have expanded Roe every year. In 1981, Rep. Phil Crane introduced legislation to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over abortion, yet no matter how bad the courts have gotten, Congress has refused to visit the issue.
Now lower courts are creating a right for the “dilation and evacuation” method of abortion commonly used in the second trimester to tear apart the baby with forceps. They are creating a right for illegals to demand access to an abortion. They are barring all commonsense safety regulations or zoning restrictions on clinics put into place after the revelation of the Gosnell scandal. They are even forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood and coerce employers into covering abortifacients. This very same pain-capable bill was passed by the Arizona legislature but was struck down by the Ninth Circuit in 2014. And because SCOTUS refused to grant cert to Arizona, state abortion laws are on ice. For anyone to call themselves pro-life while watching the jurisprudence of death from the judiciary and doing nothing to limit the jurisdiction of even the lower courts is a joke. The life issue has become nothing more than a fundraising racket, particularly for judicial supremacists like Lindsey Graham.
3) Unbridled filibuster: It’s quite evident that as soon as Democrats reclaim control of the Senate, especially coupled with control of the White House, they will limit or abolish the filibuster. So, for Republicans like Lindsey Graham to continue championing the modern-day version of the filibuster with absolutely no limitations whatsoever is tantamount to signing a death warrant for American babies. It renders this bill a mere exercise in protecting three vulnerable Democrats who get to bolster their “pro-life” bona fides with the full confidence that it won’t go anywhere.
4) Ignoring the heartbeat bill: Now that we’ve established that this was a merely ceremonial bill, until Republicans get 60 pro-life votes in the Senate (which will never happen), why not at least set the goalpost on the morally clear line of the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017? Why wait until 20 weeks? The bill would require the doctor performing the abortion to check for a heartbeat (which is usually first heard around 5-7 weeks), prohibiting any abortion after that point. A heartbeat is a lot more definitive, with settled science, than the exact point at which a baby feels pain. Even socialist Norway prohibits abortion after just 12 weeks. Shouldn’t we aim higher than 20 weeks, especially if we are not going to pass the bill anyway?
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, introduced this bill a while ago and was promised a vote in the House, but phony pro-life groups have blocked it. He told me that Speaker Ryan informed him that any pro-life legislation must receive support from “the holy trinity of pro-life groups,” namely the Family Research Council, the Susan B. Anthony List, and National Right to Life. The latter group has actively opposed this bill, and as long as it maintains its veto on the legislation, Congress will never grasp the ability to lay down a clear moral and scientific marker on life.
5) Let’s vote … as long as it doesn’t pass: The only time Republicans had an opportunity to pass a pro-life bill circumventing the filibuster, they made sure to run out the clock without passing it. Lindsey Graham was nowhere to be found. That is because they only support pro-life bills when they know they are not playing with live ammo. In 2015, the D.C. municipal government passed a law forcing all employers in the district (which includes most pro-life political groups) to cover abortion services in their compensation packages. Pursuant to the 1974 Home Rule Act, Congress can nullify such a law within 90 days of its passage and use a privileged motion to get around the filibuster in the Senate. Sen. Cruz introduced the resolution of disapproval, and leadership made sure that it never got past committee. Needless to say, Lindsey Graham never supported it.
6) Open borders are anti-life: Is it possible to pass a single pro-life bill in the state of California? Well, Lindsey Graham is singularly focused on ensuring that the rest of America becomes like California. The amnesty and chain migration agenda he so fervently promotes will create a permanent anti-life majority in this country. The good news for people like Lindsey Graham is that once they create this permanent majority, they no longer have to worry about having the ability to pass any pro-life bill. They will only be firing blanks, which in their view, is a good thing.
Yesterday was the first time we heard from the GOP Senate majority on life, and it will likely be the last time until Republicans control the trifecta of government again and need another virtue-signaling sham to bolster credentials with their base. If there is a next time.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.