The left-wing media painted the legislation restricting abortions in Texas with the broadest brush. "Sweeping" was the most common adjective. As in “'It is a very happy, celebratory day,'” Perry said before signing the sweeping antiabortion measure" (Salon); "Gov. Rick Perry signs sweeping abortion bill" (ABC News); or "Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed sweeping new abortion restrictions . . . that could shutter most of the state's clinics that provide the procedure . . . " (USA Today).
The "sweeping" law, which bans abortions after 20 weeks, preserves 98.5% of current abortions, according to Guttmacher Institute statistics. Of course, fewer abortions is a good thing, even if the reduction is only by 1.5%, and the other provisions of the legislation, which compel abortion mills to rise above the level of a tattoo parlor or a Botox party, may reduce numbers further.
Texas Republicans' stated rationale for the 20-week limit was that "the state has a compelling state interest in protecting the lives of unborn children from the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates that these children are capable of feeling pain" (pdf).
And that's hogwash, because the legislation makes a barbaric exception when it comes to unborn children with "a severe fetal abnormality." According to the Health and Safety Code of the State of Texas, "a 'severe fetal abnormality' means a life threatening physical condition that, in reasonable medical judgment, regardless of the provision of life saving medical treatment, is incompatible with life outside the womb."
Never mind the vagueness of "reasonable medical judgment." What this exception means is that a new standard is created for determining whether a child in utero is "unwanted." If the disabled child is not expected to live long (however you may define "long"), who cares if "these children are capable of feeling pain"? Why bother to let them live as long as they can, when you can kill them—for all the same reasons the abortion-on-demand Democrats cite for 20 weeks and beyond?
Disabled babies belong in the bio-hazard waste bag, and no amount of pain should stop them from reaching their destination. This is what "conservative" abortions look like.
Aaron D. Wolf (1973-2019) was Chronicles' executive editor. His writings have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. He was a frequent guest on Issues, Etc. (Lutheran Public Radio) and The Paul Youngblood Show (nta.fm), and has appeared on several other radio programs, including The Tom Clark Show (Wisconsin Public Radio) and Extension 720 With Milt Rosenberg (WGN).