Encouraging Signs for the Children
In the midst of the raging culture war, in which the moral sensibilities of the nation are being decided, three encouraging signs have recently surfaced regarding abortion. First, the state legislature of South Dakota passed a statewide ban on abortion, and the governor signed the ban into law (“South Dakota Governor...,” 2006). Unless a woman’s life is at stake, performing an abortion is a criminal offense—with no exception for cases of rape or incest. Five other states have proposed similar bans, with Mississippi’s approaching passage (Vanderheyden, 2006). Doctors who perform abortions in South Dakota may now receive a five-year prison term and a $5,000 fine. The law will undoubtedly trigger a court fight that will challenge the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
Second, a bill is working its way through the Indiana legislature that would require abortion doctors to inform Indiana women seeking an abortion that life begins at conception. The bill also would require abortion providers to tell women that a fetus may be able to feel pain. These stipulations would be in addition to the state’s current informed consent laws that provide women with information about risks and alternatives to abortion, the fetus’ age and potential viability, as well as the offer to show women an ultrasound of the pre-born infant (“Proposed Indiana Law...,” 2006).
Third, the U.S. Supreme court recently announced that it has agreed to make a ruling on whether the federal government can ban some abortion procedures. The justices will decide the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act that President Bush signed into law in 2003 (Vicini, 2006).
In all three of these cases, pro-abortion forces, from Planned Parenthood to NARAL [National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League—DM], are mobilizing to fight any relaxation of the blanket approval of abortion achieved by Roe v. Wade. Pro-life forces are hopeful that the recent reshaping of the court by Bush (with the appointments of Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts) will tip the national fight over abortion rights in favor of the children.
For those who believe in the God of the Bible, this issue is settled. God hates “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17).
“Proposed Indiana Law Says Life Begins at Conception” (2006), Associated Press, February 11, [On-line], URL: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/02/11/abortion.indiana.ap/index.html.
“South Dakota Governor Signs Abortion Ban” (2006), Associated Press, March 7, [On-line], URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11699703/.
Vanderheyden, Terry (2006), “Mississippi Abortion Ban Bill Passes House; Moves to Senate for Approval,” Life Site News, March 3, [On-line], URL: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/mar/06030304.html.
Vicini, James (2006), “Reshaped U.S. High Court to Decide Abortion Law,” Reuters, February 21, [On-line], URL: http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=2006 -02-21T212347Z_01_N21411932_RTRUKOC_0_UK-USA-COURT-ABORTION.xml& archived=False.