As I watched the debate play out in North Carolina on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, I thought back to my own thoughts on abortion as a teenager and young college student.
I was pro-choice at the time. The arguments I’d heard from feminists made sense to me then. Her body, her choice, they’d say again and again. This is about men wanting to control women’s bodies, they argued repeatedly.
Their talking points became mine when the issue came up. Among friends, family, classmates. When I’d exhausted all arguments related to “a woman’s right to choose” against those I knew were pro-life, my fallback was standard.
“What if once they’re born the babies aren’t wanted?” I’d ask. They’d cringe. Most of them would give up at that point. Some did not. “Do you hear what you’re saying?” they’d ask incredulously.
I didn’t. My arguments were done on auto-pilot. I’d seen enough favorable stories in the news on pro-choicers to know I had the arguments down pat.
It wasn’t until years later that it hit me: The pro-choice movement’s arguments always revolved around “women’s rights.” They never focused on the unborn baby. At some point, something clicked. Their lack of focus on the baby was deliberate, intentional. Over time, I began to think about abortion more in terms of the unborn child in various stages of development.
When their tiny body parts formed. When their little organs developed. When their senses became acute. When they could survive outside of the womb.
When they could feel pain.
I thought about this, too: I started out the same way, went through the same stages of development. What if my mother had not wanted me?
After all of these considerations, I became pro-life and never looked back. Not once.
Seeing Democrats continue to go further left on this issue over the years has only strengthened my belief in the sanctity of unborn life. Naturally, that extends to babies who survive abortions attempts.
This is not an extreme position.
We saw the left’s radical dogmatism play out during the debate over the Born Alive bill. They said supporters wanted to “punish” the mother of the baby and any healthcare provider who didn’t attempt life-saving measures on a baby who survived an abortion. Only the latter part of that was true.
When he vetoed the bill, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said it was “needless” and that there were already laws on the books that addressed this issue.
It wasn’t true.
The non-partisan Legislative Analysis Division looked at existing state laws and made this determination: “The deliberate killing of infants, including those who have survived an attempted abortion, is a criminal offense. There are currently no laws requiring an affirmative duty of care to preserve the life of infants who survive attempted abortions.”
Senate majority staff attorney Brent Woodcox put it another way. “An overt, intentional act is murder. Deaths of neglect [in these situations] are not covered by existing law,” he said in a series of tweets defending the bill.
“[I]n this situation [where a baby is born alive from a failed abortion] the doctor has no duty of care for the baby who is not his patient. It’s not a crime at all” to fail to provide that baby standard medical care under current law.
The political left and right rarely agree on anything, but it floors me to know that the left can’t agree on providing standard medical care for newborn survivors of abortion. They are so fond of saying on legislation they favor that if a bill could “only save one child” we should be on board with it.
Strangely enough, the left doesn’t take that approach on Born-Alive bills.
Just who are the extremists here?
Stacey Matthews is a veteran blogger who has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a regular contributor to Red State and Legal Insurrection.