Top lawmakers in South Carolina are supporting a proposal that would require women seeking abortions there to view an ultrasound image of their fetus before they could have the procedure.
The governor, a congressman, and various state legislators say they hope it will discourage women from getting abortions—a public policy goal that violates the sanctity of our secular nation. Some hypocritical legislators say a woman deserves complete information before making such an important choice; their concern doesn’t include requiring women to look at videos of open-heart surgery or hysterectomy before those far-more dangerous procedures.
This kind of thing underlines the real danger about the availability of abortion—not that it will become illegal, but that it will become so difficult that people will give up trying to get one. There are already fewer facilities offering abortion, fewer medical students learning the procedure, and more restrictions on who can get an abortion, when, and how, than there has been for decades. When the nearest abortion provider is 300 miles away, and there’s a mandatory 24-hour waiting period after you get there, and you already work two jobs and have to borrow a car for the trip, abortion might as well be illegal.
Some supporters of the South Carolina law propose an exception for pregnancies caused by rape and incest. This is another hypocrisy—if abortion is murder, why the polite exceptions? Because they make such punitive laws politically palatable. Anyone who proposes to restrict abortion of any kind should be intellectually honest and demand that all abortion be prohibited.
South Carolina—not enough commitment to eliminate the murder of actual humans, not enough caring to educate its actual children, not enough compassion to give families free contraception and medical care. But enough empty rhetoric, blind religious devotion, disrespect for true democracy, and hatred for sexual expression that it can focus its attention inside women’s wombs. As dawn breaks on this year’s Easter, God is surely weeping.