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The problem of ethical schizophrenia

These days it takes a lot to shock me, but sometimes it happens. Take, for instance, this headline that ran in the Washington Post last week: “Clergy gather to bless one of the only U.S. clinics performing late-term abortions.”

Yes, you read that right. Not “clergy gather outside to condemn one of the only U.S. clinics performing late-term abortions,” but the complete opposite — so-called ministers entering the facility to bless it.

The motley crew doing their deeds at the Bethesda, Maryland, facility included four “Christian” pastors and a rabbi. A Hindu priest who RSVP’d didn’t make it. According to the article, their primary means of blessing the new facility was “praying” for the well-being of the doctors, nurses, and patients: “Keep them safe and keep them strong. And may they always know that all that they do is for Thy glory.” 

Perhaps it’s no coincidence this atrocity happened on the same day a pain-capable abortion ban bill failed to pass in the U.S. Senate, although we have a pro-life majority in both the House and the Senate, as well as a President willing to sign pro-life legislation.

With the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’s failure looming, U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., took the mic and put things into perspective for his fellow lawmakers. He explained that the United States is one of only seven countries that allow elective abortion after 20 weeks, and that we’re tied with China and North Korea for the title of most permissive abortion regime on earth.

“If our rhetoric about human rights should mean anything, it should mean we don’t want to be on a human rights worst list with North Korea and China. That’s where we are today,” Sasse stated.

But impassioned speeches are seemingly no match for the deep commitment of Democrats and Progressives for abortion on demand. That number would include my representative, Bennie Thompson, who shamelessly voted nay to the measure.

Thompson stands among those who continue to push for late-term abortions, the kind that involve lethally injecting and dismembering highly developed, possibly-viable fetuses. The kind that polls show the majority of Americans are against, including more than half of Democrats and more than half of self-described pro-choice Americans.

Thompson also voted against The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 4712), legislation that passed the House on Jan. 19.

Here’s why House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA., said H.R. 4712 is necessary: “If a baby is born after a failed abortion attempt, he or she should be given the same medical care as a baby born any other way. In line with our longstanding commitment to empower women, mothers will never be held criminally accountable. However, doctors who fail to provide medical care to newborns will be held criminally accountable. There is absolutely no ambiguity here. This is about protecting babies who are born and alive, and nobody should be against that.”

But Thompson is, and his vote proved it — even though today via sonograms we can look inside a womb and see a baby. Even though today’s medical technology enables babies born at 22 weeks gestation in hospitals to survive. Even though it’s ethical schizophrenia.

Thankfully, Mississippi’s other Congressional representatives are on the right side of the aisle on these issues. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to encourage them to keep up the good work as the Born Alive Bill awaits a Senate vote.

And on the home front, State House Bill 1510 is one to watch. Authored by Brookhaven’s own Becky Currie, the “Gestational Age Act” would create the earliest ban on abortion in any state in the U.S. by pushing back Mississippi’s current limit to 15 weeks. Members of the Republican-controlled House on Friday passed the measure by a vote of 79-31.

That means H.B. 1510 will soon give the Mississippi Senate an important test of its moral integrity.  It also means pro-life Democrats (there are some) will face increasing pressure from their own party to continue a barbaric trajectory.

Woe to them.

Kim Henderson is a freelance writer. Contact her at kimhenderson319@gmail.com.