For someone who came late to his party's extremism, Joe Biden is already very good at it. The man who used to walk in the March for Life came full circle late last week, prying Americans' wallets open so that he could fund abortions overseas. To his supporters, it was good--but not enough. To his critics, it was even more motivation to fight back.
And fight back, pro-lifers did--introducing more than 20 bills to beat back the attacks on the unborn with policies that would clean up clinics, demand better reporting, end abortion funding in Title IX, offer tax credits to pregnant moms, stop sex-selection and Down syndrome abortions, defund Planned Parenthood, outlaw baby organ harvesting and fetal body part sales, protect babies born alive, and the list goes on and on. Republicans in the House and Senate may not control the gavel, but as each pro-lifer will tell you, they can still control the public debate--and they intend to.
On Friday, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, conservative leaders took the opportunity to show the sharp contrast between the two parties. While Joe Biden was trying to make abortion America's biggest export, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) was pushing to make the Mexico City Policy he overturned permanent. "Hard-working moms and dads in America who spend many weeks, if not months, out of every year just to pay their federal taxes," should not have to work to pay for this culture of death, he said on "Washington Watch." "Regardless of their own religious views or their own views more broadly about abortion, I think the overwhelming majority of those people don't want their taxpayer dollars going to fund or promote abortions in a foreign country. That's just evil, and it's ridiculous."
But don't take Republicans' word for it. New polling out late last week showed that majorities of Democrats and "pro-choicers"--supposedly this president's base--were overwhelmingly opposed to spending millions destroying innocent life in other countries. And tragically, as Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) explained, it isn't just surgical abortion that's doing the most damage--but chemical abortions as well.
It's an issue, unfortunately, that's under the radar for a lot of people, but one reason the world has seen a decline in the number of abortions is because of this tactical shift to abortion drugs. As Bob and I talked about, this is a trend that doesn't just pose a threat to unborn children, but women as well. "About 39 percent of the abortions now are chemical," he explained. "And it's really frightening what we've seen happening out there... because they're self-managed [abortions] physician oversight."
With COVID, Latta points out, that's only going to get worse. What the pro-choice side out there is trying to do is have these drugs out there--through the mail, the internet, and through telemedicine [where doctors never even see the patient]." His goal, with the Support and Value Expectant Moms and Babies Act, is to make sure there's stronger regulatory oversight of these dangerous chemical abortion drugs. He pointed to the spike in emergency room visits and complications. They're prescribing it like a simple cold medication, but "we're talking about taking a life" and jeopardizing the mothers'.
Like Mike Lee and the dozens of other bill sponsors, he understands that it's an uphill climb to get these bills on the table. After all, Latta said, it was impossible to even find a Democratic co-sponsor who was willing to agree that we need to make the process a safe one. "There are very few of these so-called Blue Dog Democrats left, and they're pretty much controlled by the liberal socialists." Still, he's not giving up.
Republicans may not have the votes now, but at the end of the day, this isn't just about passing a law. It's about educating the American people and casting a vision for conservatives when they do retake the House. Former Congressman Trent Franks would introduce a Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act every year, knowing it didn't have a chance in the GOP minority. But his persistence started a national conversation about the issue that trickled down into the states. And ultimately, a lot of those leaders acted locally to do what Franks was advocating nationally. Then, when conservatives finally did win back the House, his Pain Capable bill was one of the first proposals the Republicans passed.
"With the Biden administration and congressional Democrats already gunning to roll back abortion restrictions," Congressman Ron Wright (R-Texas) told reporters about his party's flood of legislation, "it's more important than ever that we continue to be a strong voice for the voiceless." Pro-lifers have always been good at the long game--and after four years of Joe Biden, the nation will reward them for it.