Legislative Column for Feb. 4, 2014
Justice for All?

“Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by law? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood. But the LORD is my defence; and my GOD is the rock of my refuge. And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.” -  Psalmist

Early last week, the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee heard Senate Bill 519, sponsored by Sen. David Sater, which extends Missouri’s waiting period for abortions from 24 to 72 hours – three days.  It was reported that other states and nations have similar waiting periods and have experienced measurable decreases in abortions. It makes sense. Abortion is a major decision that ends one life and forever changes another. There may not be another decision a mother will make that is as important; not financial, familial, or career. To most of us it does not seem unreasonable to require a more lengthy time period to contemplate the consequences.

A physician remarked to me after the hearing: “The survival rate from abortions is never more than 50 percent because whatever happens to the mother, the baby always dies.”  The abortionist might argue against the personhood of the baby, but as medical technology and our knowledge of human physiology becomes more complete, that argument becomes less defensible.

The testimony at a hearing for any pro-life legislation might remind you of the movie “The Usual Suspects.” The usual “pro-life” groups lined up to support the legislation, while the usual “pro-abortion” groups lined up against it. Abortion groups will typically trumpet that they are not pro-abortion but pro-choice. (The final witness pointed out that the baby gets no choice.) The frequent claim is that they want to see reduced abortions just like the pro-life groups. However, it was hard to disguise their pro-abortion stance as they lined up to condemn the extension of the waiting period in the face of clear evidence and testimony that giving the mother longer to decide reduced abortions - more chose life.

During the hearing there was testimony from mothers who had chosen abortion and were still remorseful, even repentant over that choice. They testified that the longer wait-time would help pregnant mothers fully contemplate their life-ending and irreversible decision. Some testified about the pressures a young mother has often faced from friends and family members who would be embarrassed or inconvenienced by the unplanned and often out-of-wedlock pregnancy and birth. Their testimony was supportive of the reduced abortion numbers provided in earlier testimony.

Repeatedly the pro-abortion groups claimed that the extension was unfair and unnecessary, but they produced no post-abortion mothers to testify that they made a better decision in 24 hours than they would in 72 hours. They also produced no witnesses to testify that they chose not to abort their baby, but wished they had chosen to abort. Even if a person is not opposed to abortion, the credibility contrast of public positions for Senate Bill 519 was clear and compelling.

One customary argument that was almost universally repeated by the opponents to the measure was that the decision whether to terminate the baby should be “between a woman and her doctor.” However, when questioned about whether the abortionist was usually the mother’s personal physician, the question was either not answered, or the response was that there are abortionists that are OB/GYNs, leaving the question unanswered and their argument empty.

No questions were asked about how abortion can be exempted from the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation of Creator-endowed unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There was no discussion of how abortion could rise above the principle of justice or how the legalization of abortion may have already changed the American conscience toward the value of life at any age.

The deliberate killing of the most innocent and helpless has been sanctioned by the courts and tolerated by society, but its effects cannot be escaped. The laws of sowing and reaping or of cause and effect are absolute; surely the huge impact of an abortion on the baby, the mother, and society justify at the least a period of time to contemplate the decision. Seventy-two hours is not an eternity; death is final.

I appreciate you reading this legislative report, and please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. Thank you and God bless.