The U.S. House last week approved the Women's Health Protection Act, which would legalize abortion up to birth across all states regardless of whether the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade. Melanie Israel of The Heritage Foundation calls it a dangerous bill that is actually a "radical proposal to mandate unfettered abortion access in federal law."
"It would undermine medical providers' conscience rights and religious liberty for people who don't want to participate in abortion procedures," she begins.
The bill is so broad that Israel finds it difficult to imagine any pro-life law would survive it.
"It would not allow things like an ultrasound requirement before getting an abortion. It wouldn't allow a reflection period," she points out. "It wouldn't allow a prohibition on abortion for reasons of sex selection or if a child is diagnosed with a disability such as Down syndrome."
Pray that judges will agree: Protect these babies
Some pro-life Missourians are asking for prayer over a case at the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
"We put out an e-blast [last week] to all pro-life embers across the state of Missouri to pray for the judges as they consider allowing this law to go into effect," says Susan Klein of Missouri Right to Life. "We just encourage all pro-life people and anybody who is following this to really pray for the judges to do the right thing in this case."
Passed in 2019, House Bill 126 seeks to ban abortions at the eighth week of pregnancy. It also bans abortions for babies with Down syndrome.
"These babies are precious and they have every right just to have the same right to life as any other baby in utero," says Klein. "So, this protection that we have in House Bill 126 will give protection to these babies from being singled out to be aborted just basically simply because they have Down syndrome, and we do not support that."
According to Klein, Missouri is "a very pro-life state" – and she adds: "We're doing everything we can to protect babies and to protect these women from the abortion industry."
A decision from the full 8th Circuit in St. Louis is not expected for several weeks. A three-judge panel upheld an injunction from U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs prohibiting Missouri from enforcing the law, but the full court decided to hear the case.
The bill would also allow courts to add to that list as they see fit. Presently, however, there are not enough votes in the Senate to defeat a filibuster. But if Democrats manage to do away with that political procedure, then it will only take a majority vote for passage.
Roughly 1,300 pro-life laws have been passed since the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationally in 1973, and 500 of those were passed in the last decade alone, largely on the state level. But the Women's Health Protection Act bill would negate them all.
"People in the states, through their elected representatives, want those laws to be in place," the pro-lifer asserts. "This bill would directly take away people's ability to have a say in pro-life policy making, and so it's really a fundamentally anti-democratic bill."
In fact, more and more people are being vocal about their disapproval of abortion to elected officials.
Students for Life of America (SFLA), which has chapters on school campuses throughout the nation, most recently showed up in Rochester, New York to protest approval of a new Planned Parenthood in a Brighton medical park.
"I was out there with a team of awesome students, the northeast regional coordinator, and the Rochester Abortion Free Cities campaign committee organizer," accounts SFLA spokeswoman Kate Maloney. "We had over 900 peace crosses to represent the fact that 972 pre-born human lives are lost every day due to the abortion violence at Planned Parenthood."
The pro-lifers did, however encounter some opposition, including from an elderly gentleman who approached Maloney after the event to politely tell her she was dumb.
"Our students are super resilient, and honestly, whether it's a negative or a positive conversation, being out there to advocate against abortion is awesome," Maloney asserts. "Even if it's just one mind that we change or one person that we help, it's always worth it."
Students for Life is increasingly showing up at such events to promote the life message, as they realize their generation is the most impacted by abortion.