May 20, 2019
It's been almost five full months since January 22, when Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) made infanticide the new abortion. In most states, the time has flown by, thanks to a blur of pro-life legislation. Turns out, New York didn't just light up the city in deadly celebration -- it fired up a movement.
Looking back, Governor Cuomo is probably horrified to know that he's responsible for the biggest wave of unborn protections America has ever seen. From the Midwest to the Deep South, nothing has captured the country's attention more than the debate over innocent life. In places like Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Kentucky, pro-life bills are sailing through the legislature that no one would have thought possible even last year. One after another, governors are signing bills -- or announcing their intent to sign -- some of the tightest restrictions since Roe.
This past Saturday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (R) told state leaders his pen is ready when they are. "This is a pro-life state," he vowed. "When that heartbeat bill gets to my desk, I will sign it." Even Democratic governors like John Bel Edwards from my home state of Louisiana are bucking the extremism of the national party -- and refusing to apologize for it. Although his office says that he'd have to see the heartbeat bill before he signs it, they agree that it's "very much in line with his pro-life votes and actions."
"My position hasn't changed," the governor told reporters at a Thursday news conference. "In eight years in the legislature, I was a pro-life legislator. When I ran for governor, I said that I was pro-life. And so that's something that's consistent." In legislatures like Rhode Island, North Carolina, and others, the deciding votes are coming down to men and women who identify as Democrats but who just can't swallow the party's radicalism on abortion. One after another, elected officials like Democratic State Senator Stephen Archambault (D-R.I.) have the same message: you've gone too far.
In other GOP states, some exclamation points have been replaced by question marks. How is it that these same bills failed to pass in Texas, West Virginia, or Tennessee? If Democrats can find the courage to support some of the tightest restrictions on abortion in generations, surely Republican states can too. The momentum is on pro-lifers' side. Science, and technology, and public opinion too. It's time for people on both sides of the aisle to stand up and be counted.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.