Alabama law may help end ignorance about abortion

They say that ignorance is bliss, but it’s also the only thing that’s keeping abortion-on-demand legal in our nation.

Truth is, most people simply don’t know – or don’t want to know – what actually happens inside abortion clinics. Most gladly accept the lie that only a small, unidentifiable clump of cells are harmlessly flushed away every time a mother walks into an abortion clinic.

It’s easier to simply move right along, blissfully and willingly ignorant of the gruesome truth rather than face the facts … and the uncomfortable moral obligation that comes with such knowledge.

Thankfully, recent legislative efforts in Alabama and elsewhere are trying to move the debate away from theoretical arguments about “choice” and towards those that address the most pressing issue of our time: should our society condone – and even subsidize – the poisoning and dismemberment of our unborn children?

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is currently defending a recently enacted state law that “prohibits dismemberment abortion – a form of abortion where a living fetus is killed by tearing it limb from limb,” according to his filing in federal court.

Torn limb from limb.

That doesn’t sound like something that’d be done to a small, unidentifiable clump of cells, does it? But that’s exactly what happens to unborn children during 95% of abortions that occur during the second trimester of a pregnancy, according to some estimates.

Even longtime abortion rights advocate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg called dismemberment abortion and the already outlawed partial birth abortion “equally gruesome.”

So why it is still legal?

Simple. People simply don’t want to know the truth. It’s too damn uncomfortable.

That’s why Alabama’s law, and Strange’s defense of it, is so important. It’s part of a wider effort to both educate the public while making incremental progress in statehouses and courthouses across the country.

Several other states have passed similar bans and bills have been introduced in Congress to outlaw the procedure nationally. Lawsuits like the one against our state’s law have been filed, of course, and we should expect the current make-up of our federal bench to side with abortion advocates in most cases. On the federal side, considering that our Congress couldn’t even defund Planned Parenthood after it was caught selling parts of unborn babies, we shouldn’t expect any near-term success there either.

But we’re not exactly tilting at windmills. By introducing laws that focus on an actual procedure – a specific, definable action – abortion rights advocates are pushed away from their vague “a woman’s right to choose” talking point and are forced to defend what’s actually happening inside abortion clinics.

Sure, everyone likes choice, but in the case of dismemberment abortion, we’re talking about cold steel killing.

The bill in the House of Representatives to ban the procedure nationwide defines dismemberment abortion as “dismembering a living unborn child … one piece at a time … through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off or crush it.”

It’s hard to imagine a lawyer successfully defending that procedure with some esoteric argument about privacy.

Still, it’s worth remembering that slavery was abolished in part because its gruesomeness couldn’t be hidden. It’s been far easier to hide the crime of abortion, especially when so many people would rather it stay that way.

“This bill brings to light what actually happens to an unborn child during an abortion,” said Sen. James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, after introducing the ban in the U.S. Senate. “We disagree on many issues as a nation … surely, we can all agree that dismantling a child in the womb during a late-term abortion is inhumane and is not reflective of our American values.”

Sadly, we cannot agree … yet.

The abortion industry believes this debate is a zero-sum game. Any smidgen of protection won for unborn children is viewed as a loss for their side. Abortionists cannot tolerate that, and in defending the indefensible, perhaps we’ll force them to tell a bit of the truth.

Maybe that will help lift the veil of ignorance from our eyes.