Abortion is the most contentious issue confronting Americans – and not only because it’s a matter of life and death.
In other words, abortion isn’t just about abortion. It’s part of a constellation of seemingly unrelated issues – including gay rights, “transgenderism” and the place of marriage and the family in our society. All are part of a clash of cultures – Judeo-Christian on one hand, neo-pagan on the other.
In the past week, three developments highlighted the desperation of pro-abortion forces in the wake of the Supreme Court Dobbs’ decision last year that overturned Roe v. Wade.
To unseemly applause, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed what’s been called the most extreme abortion law in the country. It allows for the killing of a fully formed child right up to the moment of birth. Bishop Robert Barron, of the Winona-Rochester diocese in the state, called the law “the worst kind of barbarism.”
Unemancipated minors can get abortions without parental involvement. The state is prohibited from enacting an informed consent law. And there are no freedom-of-conscience protections for medical personnel opposed to the lethal procedure. A recent Gallup poll showed that only 13% of Americans support this radical position.
While abortion advanced in Minnesota, it suffered a setback in Pennsylvania. A jury acquitted Mark Houck, the pro-life father of seven, of violating the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
The Biden Justice Department has launched a full-scale assault on pro-life activists.
Along with his 12-year-old son, Mr. Houck was standing vigil outside a Philadelphia abortion clinic when a clinic escort accosted the boy. Mr. Houck intervened to protect the child. For this heinous offense, 15 FBI agents raided his home and hauled him away in handcuffs in front of his family. If convicted, Mr. Houck would have faced up to 11 years in prison. In some blue cities, armed robbery is treated with less severity.
In New York City, Mayor Eric Adams boasted that public health clinics were now dispensing abortion pills without charge to anyone who requested them, regardless of their residence. In New York, more Black children are aborted than born alive each year. The city’s second Black mayor is proud to facilitate this carnage.
The war that started half a century ago with Roe v. Wade shows no sign of stopping.
If anything, the tactics of pro-abortion extremists have grown more desperate and dangerously unhinged. These include attacks on churches and pro-life centers, harassing Supreme Court justices at their homes, and enacting laws extending abortion to the outer limits. Abortion, transgenderism and same-sex marriage are all based on radical personal autonomy, rights without responsibilities and actions without consequences.
All are connected to the Sexual Revolution, whose roots go back over a century. It holds that the only restraint on sexual activity should be consent, that sex doesn’t have a moral dimension, and that one form of sex is just as good as any other. The type that spreads disease is just as good as the kind that conceives children.
According to this worldview, abortion is the ultimate fail-safe against what’s called unwanted pregnancy. That’s why, for so many, abortion has become another form of birth control.
The Judeo-Christian ethic holds that sex has a moral dimension, that it should be confined to monogamous, heterosexual marriage, and that the unborn child is never a choice but a precious part of God’s eternal plan.
It further holds that homosexuals have exactly the same rights as other humans and not special rights based on their bedroom behavior. It also recognizes that there are only two genders and that the one you were born with is the one you will die with, chemical or surgical intervention notwithstanding.
Abortion is also related to the elevation of sex above every other human activity and to individual wants above any consideration of the needs of society.
The left wants to restrict every other human activity – including earning income, gun ownership and even the type of car you drive. Sex is the one exception. Here it will fight to the death against any regulation, however mild.
That’s because it views gun ownership, the free market and the internal combustion engine as inherently evil, while sex of any sort is seen as uniquely good. Other activities threaten its control of humanity, while sex enhances and extends it.
It seems to say: We’ll facilitate your sexual adventures and make it as easy as possible for you to eliminate inconvenient life, as long as you allow us to control every other aspect of your existence.
• Don Feder is a columnist with The Washington Times.