Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Arkansas’s Abortion Ban and One Man’s Strong Will

The NY Times:
The adoption by Arkansas last week of the country’s strictest abortion ban — at 12 weeks of pregnancy, when a fetal heartbeat is typically detected — gave a new jolt of energy to a loose band of abortion foes who are pushing similar measures in several states.

Fetal heartbeat laws are already under consideration by legislatures in Ohio, Kansas and North Dakota, and have a good chance of passage in the coming year, their proponents believe, even though legal experts say they have little chance of surviving in federal courts.
Similar proposals are less far along in Kentucky, Mississippi and Wyoming.

“What happened in Arkansas will definitely encourage others to take similar action,” said Janet Porter, the president of Faith2Action, a Christian group in Ohio and an early proponent of fetal heartbeat laws.

Bryan Fischer, a spokesman at the American Family Association, a conservative Christian group based in Mississippi, called the Arkansas measure “a milestone.”

The Arkansas law was designed by State Senator Jason Rapert, a Republican, who says he has no time for those who say it will prove legally futile, noting that the word abortion does not appear in the Constitution.

“Arkansas has made a significant statement,” Mr. Rapert, 40, a born-again Christian, said in an interview, adding that he had received scores of messages of support from activists and legislators around the country. “Hopefully we can awaken the nation.”
Read the rest.

D.A. Carson writes:
Go for the small gain. And then keep going. Some strategists have advised conservatives to vote against a ban on partial birth abortions and other steps, on the ground that by removing from public view the most ugly and repulsive of the various facets of abortion, it will be harder in the future to arouse public sentiment to ban all or most abortions. But this “all or nothing” strategy often comes up dry. It makes sense only if one is certain that the strategy will work. Failing that, it is merely a recipe for continued legislative defeat. Politics is the art of the possible. The "all or nothing” approach rarely works. Moreover, sometimes it is the persistent plodder who keeps gnawing away at a problem who eventually gets even the big piece of legislation passed.
Dr. Carson' points from the linked article above:
(1) Circulate hard facts.
(2) Present such facts as the moral posi- tion, but never with a self-righteous or triumphalist stance.
(3) Go for the small gain.
(4) Make sure that opposition to abor- tion is married to support for unwed mothers, counseling centers, practical help for under-age moms, and the like.
(5) Expose the emptiness of “hard case” legislation.
(6) Recognizing that the activist court of the last few decades is ultimately going to call the shots on these matters, the busi- ness of judicial appointments has become more and more important.

Recommended reading:

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