“Texas legislators don’t care about women’s safety; they just want to shut down abortion clinics.”
In monitoring Live Action’s Twitter feed, I’m starting to see this old chestnut popping up everywhere. Abortion proponents, in fighting HB2 (formerly SB5) in Texas, are accusing the bills’ sponsors of wanting to close facilities, or impede access to a woman’s choice, or curtail the availability of essential health care, or whatever the hot new euphemism is this particular minute.
“They just want to shut down abortion clinics” is a bad rhetorical basket for the pro-abortion movement to place its eggs in. Because pro-lifers have a ready response available, as obvious as it is pithy – namely, “So what if they do?”
First of all, it should go without saying that to pronounce what’s in a legislator’s head requires abortion proponents to be mind-readers. Granted, it’s no great shock that the same people who profess the ability to predict the future of an underprivileged child so well as to justify killing him before he’s born now hope to pass themselves off as telepathic. But even if they were telepathic, this argument wouldn’t hold water.
The fact is, it doesn’t matter what the author of a law wants or thinks or feels, no matter how important abortion advocates want feelings to be. What matters is what the law does. And when we get into that, it starts to make more sense why the opposition is dead-set on effecting policy via ersatz telepathy.
On the one hand, it’s easy to crow that Texas lawmakers want to shut down abortion facilities. And maybe they do. But you can ascribe the most nefarious possible motives to these people, and yet hallways wide enough for a stretcher to pass through are still a good idea. Forbidding so-called doctors to dismember fully formed, pain-capable children until they’re dead – or, for that matter, snuff out first-trimester babies with a sharp-edged, high-powered suction machine – is still the right thing to do.
So the abortion proponents’ argument here is not so much that pro-life Texans are doing a bad thing, but that they’re mean while they’re doing good things.
Once you call attention to this, only then will you get the abortion proponent to start talking about why scheduling a follow-up after administering dangerous abortion drugs and requiring hospital admitting privileges are bad. Those arguments are pretty lousy, too – recall the less-covered contention by Planned Parenthood’s Alisa LaPolt Snow (of infanticide-supporting fame) that transporting a living victim of a botched abortion to a hospital for life-saving care is just too inconvenient. But why bother with the ridiculous, unprovable, and easily shot down “want to shut down clinics” argument in the first place? Are abortion advocates arguing coherently and in good faith, or are they just throwing whatever they can at the wall to see what sticks?
(Another example is the “politicians aren’t doctors” argument, which contends that nobody but a physician can make laws about abortion. Overlooking the fact that State Sen. Donna Campbell actually is a doctor*, this is like saying that only cooks can make laws about food service, only financiers can make laws about banking, and only oil executives can regulate the oil industry.)
It is very hard for the abortion lobby to present coherent opposition to the actual provisions of bills like HB2. They’d much rather play psychic than explain why abortion mills having to adhere to the same standards as any other surgical facility oppresses women, or why sufficiently wide hallways – which could have saved Gosnell victim Karnamaya Mongar, by the way, had a requirement for them been enforced – impose a financial burden so onerous as to make it preferable to imperil women’s lives and safety by going without them.
In other words, when we get past the “pro-lifers are mean” argument, we find that self-anointed women’s rights champions are complaining that regulations that explicitly keep women from being killed are too expensive. No wonder they’d rather bust out the Ouija board.
*Campbell is an emergency room physician. Also in the “Texas pro-life doctors” roster are U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess and former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (both obstetricians), as well as Rep. John Zerwas (anesthesiologist). Pro-life senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rand Paul (R-KY) are doctors as well – an obstetrician and an ophthalmologist, respectively.
Perhaps these doctors don’t count, though; perhaps only abortionists should be allowed to make law on abortion. And why not? Planned Parenthood’s “self-regulating” in Delaware is going swimmingly. “Meat-market, assembly-line” abortions – now back in business!