Unfortunately, on Wednesday, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivor’s Protection Act did not secure enough votes in the N.C. House to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto. With all lawmakers present, 72 votes were required, and only 67 were garnered.
It’s more than disturbing to see our state’s downward trajectory on the sacredness of human life. The Born-Alive legislation shouldn’t have been difficult for anyone possessing a proper respect for life. Let me try to illustrate.
One day I was encouraging a young woman not to abort her unborn child. She argued in favor of abortion because she said there was uncertainty about when human life begins. I said to her, “If you were a hunter and you were uncertain whether a person caused the movement you saw behind a bush, would that uncertainty lead you to aim and fire your gun at it or not?” I added, “If you were driving late at night and you thought you saw a dark figure on the road that might be a child, but it really might be the shadow from a tree, do you drive into it or do you put on the brakes?” She responded marvelously, saying, “Well, I think I would have to give the benefit of the doubt to life.” I concluded, “Exactly! The benefit of the doubt should always go to preserving life.”
If I heard it once, I think I heard it a dozen times while lobbying for the measure. N.C. House Democrats kept repeating Governor Roy Cooper’s talking points, arguing that the problem of born-alive children from failed abortions wasn’t a real one. And if it was happening, they argued, there were already sufficient laws to protect babies born-alive. We don’t need any more laws. To pass the Born-Alive bill would only be redundant, they claimed.
However, data provided by the CDC, reports from medical practitioners who once worked in abortion clinics, as well as testimonials from persons who survived botched abortions, have contended the problem is real. Moreover, during deliberations on the Born-Alive bill in committee, legislative staff explained to lawmakers that there is no statute in the state, which protects the lives of babies targeted for abortions, who are born-alive after a failed abortion attempt.
So which is it? Is the problem real or not? And if the issue is real, does North Carolina already have laws on the books to address it? State lawmakers were halted between two opinions.
The most responsible choice would have been to give life the benefit of the doubt. If the proposed Born-Alive legislation added nothing to current law (as opponents claimed) and didn’t do anything to take away rights (and it didn’t take away any rights), what could it hurt? Still, if there were a shadow of a doubt that the legislation might be needed to save a life (only adding another layer of safeguards for life), then shouldn’t life’s preservation require passing it? Certainly! If life is indeed sacred (and it is), if life is paramount (and it is), why not give the benefit of the doubt to life?
Quite frankly, the Born-Alive legislation actually didn’t have anything to do with abortion rights, a woman’s so-called right to choose, and personal decisions made between a woman and her physician. Instead, it was about whether a fetus with a heartbeat, having completely exited the mother’s body, is actually a human being who should have all of the protections of the law.
All but two of N.C. House Democrats On Wednesday responded, “No.”
Sadly, the vote taken did not give the benefit of the doubt to preserving life. It afforded North Carolina’s Governor the benefit of the doubt. It afforded partisan politics the benefit of the doubt. It afforded abortion rights the benefit of the doubt. Nevertheless, it did not afford life the benefit of the doubt.
The great Protestant Reformer John Calvin said:
“The fetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being and it is a most monstrous crime to rob it of the life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.”
Nowadays, figuratively speaking, we provide for the legal slaughter of the man in his house and the field, and literally in the womb and on the delivery table.
The fight goes on. We labor for a culture that always gives life the benefit of the doubt.