Now, 17 years later, abortion is neither safe — especially for the infant whose life is being snuffed out — nor rare.
That’s why the Texas legislature passed a bill requiring that abortion providers have a doctor with admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics. It also prohibits most abortions after the 20th week of a pregnancy, when scientific evidence shows the infant is able to feel pain.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 not to block implementation of the law while it is on appeal before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
That’s as it should be. Too often courts at both the state and federal level have stepped in to halt laws, frequently abortion laws, passed by elected representatives. If anything, the courts should respect the will of the people over those, such as Planned Parenthood, that have a vested interest.
The Texas law gained national attention when Democratic state senator Wendy Davis successfully filibustered against it, blocking a vote before the legislature’s adjournment deadline. Gov. Rick Perry brought the lawmakers back for a special session, and the law was passed.
The Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights but whose statistics are considered reliable, reported in 2011 that 50 million abortions were performed in the United States from 1973, when the Supreme Court issued its landmark Roe v. Wade decision, through 2008, the latest year for which it had statistics. In that last year, 1.2 million abortions were performed.
How many inventors, doctors, artists, scientists and Nobel laureates were among them?
We will never know.