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Pro-Abortion Fallacies in the Fetal Pain Awareness Debate

The South Carolina House passed out a bill to prevent abortions after 20 weeks except to save the life of the mother. The bill was based on medical evidence that the pain channels of an unborn child are developed by 20 weeks. Since the unborn child feels pain like a human, he should be treated like one. The vote was 84 to 29 with several Democrats joining the Republican majority.

As a co-sponsor of the bill, I was encouraged by some level of bi-partisan support for this issue. Yet quite a few pro-abortion Democrats opposed the bill.

Their logic against the bill and my rebuttals are as follows:

1. The legislation will be found unconstitutional and we will waste tax money by having to defend it.

Elected representatives have the ethical duty to provide a voice for those who are powerless to speak for themselves, especially when the law itself prevents them from speaking.

Throughout American history, this duty has driven our elected officials to challenge the prevailing law of the day. Starting with our claim to the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we challenged the legality of taxation without representation. We challenged the legality of slave ownership, segregation, restriction on females voting, discrimination against the disabled, the list is endless. No Democrat would dare argue that tax money was wasted in challanging those laws.

Medical advances are showing that unborn children react to pain like human beings, contrary to the assertion in Roe v. Wade that they are just extensions of the woman’s body. It is our ethical duty to challenge that law until it is struck down.

2. Pro-Life legislators are hypocrites because we cease caring about the child after it is born by not providing more government assistance.

Just last week, we passed a $24 billion state budget. That budget represents a $24 billion wealth transfer from taxpayers who earned the money to groups that the government has decided needs the money more than the original taxpayer. How much more should we give?

3. Pro-Life legislators are hypocritical because many support the death penalty.

We should all pause at the thought that our government has the right to take the life of any American citizen, even after due process of law.

However, human nature demands justice and the death penalty prevents justice from devolving into revenge. I rarely use Scripture to argue politics, but I will reference it in this case as it is the foundation of  our judicial code. In Genesis, God did not execute the first murderer. When Cain killed Abel, God marked Cain and said no one was to touch him. It was not until later, when God realized how bloodthirsty human beings could become, that death became the penalty for murder.

The opponents of the bill did not spend time arguing that the mother has the right to abort her child regardless of the pain inflicted. They also did not argue that the child could merely be anesthetized then aborted. I guess even the most hardened pro-abortion supporter did not want to go on record with those arguments – especially in an election year in South Carolina.

We should remember that many pro-abortion Democrats believe that abortion is a core reproductive right and provides the worldwide answer for women to achieve equality. Just this month on International Women’s Day, Hilary Clinton addressed the UN and said – 

“There is one lesson from the past, in particular, that we cannot afford to ignore: You cannot make progress on gender equality or broader human development, without safeguarding women’s reproductive health and rights. That is a bedrock truth.”​ In other words, if you want to get ahead, kill your unborn children.

Ms. Clinton and other pro-abortion advocates are on the wrong side of history on this particular issue. The quicker they realize it, the more lives will be saved. Until then, pro-life advocates will continue speaking for those who cannot.