On Tuesday, Dec. 13, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio signed a bill into law that will ban abortions later than 20 weeks that do not save the life of the mother or involve cases of rape or incest.
This is a positive step for those who are pro-life, as it shifts the timeline for legal abortions by four weeks — Ohio currently bans abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
However, Kasich also used his one-line veto power to strike down the Heartbeat Bill. This very important bill would have prohibited abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected — and a baby’s heartbeat can be picked up at approximately six weeks.
The governor — and former presidential candidate — justified his split decision on these matters by explaining that other strict abortion laws have been ruled unconstitutional. It would be a waste of taxpayer dollars to sign such a controversial, conservative law in Ohio, he said. It would restrict a woman’s right to choose because she may not even know she is pregnant before the six-week mark, he noted.
Kasich’s effort, however, to find middle ground on an issue that is either right or wrong is vastly disappointing.
He has incensed pro-life conservatives and failed to appease pro-choice liberals. With his lukewarm compromise, he has merely condoned taking the lives of the smallest, most innocent human beings. His excuse that it would be a waste of taxpayer money makes no sense — since taxpayer money currently funds such pro-abortion organizations as Planned Parenthood.
Meanwhile, in Texas, new rules for the disposal of aborted fetuses are being challenged. Up until now, fetal remains are disposed of in sanitary landfills along with other medical waste. Beginning on Dec. 19, Texas will require health care facilities to either cremate or bury the aborted fetuses. Yet pro-choice groups complain that this puts unnecessary financial burden on women and will restrict access to abortions.
Also on Tuesday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously struck down a law signed by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2014 that would require abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges. The Oklahoma law was similar to the one in Texas requiring abortion clinics to meet the same facility standards as ambulatory surgery centers, which was also struck down this summer. Again, the argument was made that these regulations would cause unnecessary burdens on the women choosing to have abortions.
Additionally on Tuesday, the Americans United for Life released an investigative report entitled, “Unsafe: How the Public Health Crisis in America’s Abortion Clinics Endangers Women.” It reveals that 227 abortion clinics in 32 states were cited for more than 1,400 health violations. Among the top 10 violations were unsanitary conditions, failure to keep accurate patient records, and insufficient staff licensing and training. Make no mistake: An abortion is a medical procedure that does not have to meet the same standards as other medical procedures. It is a business that devalues its clientele and their wellness needs.
As more evidence builds confirming that life begins at conception and abortion facilities and providers are less-than-desirable or qualified, those who are pro-choice continue to shout louder, instill fear, and make accusations of chauvinism and sexism.
If the pro-choice argument is sincere about everyone wanting fewer abortions, then shouldn’t these groups be willing to educate the public on both the reality of the procedure, the truth exposed on any ultrasound, and the acknowledgment of the life lost? If their concern is a woman’s body — shouldn’t the utmost care be given to that body?
There is instead a choice between life and death, right and wrong.
Of course not — because abortion clinics are profitable. They take advantage of vulnerable women who may not understand the repercussions of the procedure they are having; they fail to educate their patients. These clinics do not necessarily employ the most skilled physicians or use the most advanced equipment. They are not forced to uphold the same medical standards as surgery centers.
And if they acknowledge the need to bury the dead, then they must also acknowledge there was once a life — a viable body and beating heart — that has been unceremoniously, inhumanely removed and thrown away.
There is no gray area here, no accommodation. There is instead a choice between life and death, right and wrong. Either abortion is murder or it is not. Either a heart is beating, a baby living — or it is not. There should be no appropriate time to take the life of an innocent, no number of weeks that make the act humane. Instead, the time has come for conservative leaders to truly stand up for these precious lives, offering compassion and support — but not compromise.
Katie Nations has been married for 15 years and is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.