Author: Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Communications Manager Josh Tijerina
Governor Mike Beebe of Arkansas vetoed a bill on Monday, March 4, that would prohibit an abortion if a baby’s heartbeat could be detected 12 or more weeks into a pregnancy. The bill, titled the “Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act” was to be the most life-affirming state law in regards to abortion yet. Arkansas lawmakers, understanding the importance of human life, promptly overturned the Governor’s veto just two days later. All involved are pretty sure that this life-affirming law is going to go to court.
Governor Mike Beebe’s response to the legislature overriding his veto? The Governor noted that a 1997 court challenge to partial-birth abortion cost the state $148,000. He cited monetary costs as the messaging point to convince voters he was looking out for them?! Over 55 million innocent children have died since Roe v. Wade so the idea that $148,000 is even a part of the conversation shows the lack of understanding as to the significance of the atrocity we are dealing with here. But Governor Beebe was not the only one whose messaging on this issue ran afoul.
Nancy Northrup, the president of the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York, felt like messaging the obvious in stating that “[t]he 12-week ban actually bars abortion within the first trimester.” Yes, Nancy, there is no hidden agenda here as keeping children alive is exactly the point. And while you believe that the case “has no chance of surviving a court challenge,” we who affirm life are more concerned with the survival rate of innocent children.
Jill June, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland stated that “[w]ith this bill, the Arkansas Legislature will force many women to seek unsafe care.” I am not so sure that Planned Parenthood is the best organization to be discussing the merits as to what is and what isn’t safe care. According to a report by the South Dakota Task Force Planned Parenthood “fail[s] to make disclosures they should make, make affirmative representations that are inaccurate, and misrepresent the risks of pregnancy and childbirth, all to the detriment of the pregnant woman and her ability to reach an informed decision.” The physicians do not do any follow-up, and as stated in a brief in a Planned Parenthood case in the same state, “the doctor only sees the woman for five to ten minutes in the woman’s entire life.”
In contrast, the Arkansas legislature communicated quite well as to what they care about. Rep. Ann Clemmer proclaimed that “If I say that I’m pro-life, at some point I have to do something about what I say I believe.” All of us that say that we are pro-life need to do the same. So, unlike those that tirelessly advocate for ending the lives of unborn children such as Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, we need to stay on message, and that message is
The lives of innocent children matter.