California’s abortion policies are among the most liberal in the nation. Moreover, few people comprehend both how abortion laws work and the true meaning of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). Sadly, California takes Roe to its appalling logical conclusion.
Most Americans believe, incorrectly, that Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) legalized abortion in the first trimester only. After that, as the story is told, abortion is rare and limited to “hard cases” — rape, incest, life of the mother, severe fetal deformity.
The reality is that these propositions, which most Americans believe, are fatally false when facts are brought to light. Neither of those beliefs are the reality of what the case brought about.
Roe v. Wade, as modified by Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), legalized abortion even after viability if necessary to protect a woman’s life or health, which includes “all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age.” Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, 192 (1973). Before viability, no abortion ban is possible. Since it is difficult to imagine a reason a woman might have for aborting her child that would not fall into one of these categories and since it is the abortionist, not a mental health professional, who makes the determination of health, Roe/Doe/Casey mandated abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy– in every state.
Consequently and in ignorance of the true meaning of Roe, Americans were outraged upon hearing that New York State in January 2019 legalized abortion beyond twenty-four weeks of pregnancy if necessary to protect the health of the mother. However, New York’s statute takes Roe-Doe at its word; the public has simply been misinformed by the press.
But it didn’t stop there. Erosions of human rights rarely do.
America received another shock a little over a week later when Governor Northam of Virginia stated that under a bill being considered in his state, a child born alive after a failed abortion “would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.” The Governor, a pediatric neurosurgeon, seemingly forgot that, even under Roe/Doe/Casey, children born alive are in fact persons under the law and possess the right to life. They are not supposed to be left for dead on a cold table, or thrown in the trash. Yet according to Northam, infanticide is a “decision” that “should be made by providers, physicians, and the mothers and fathers that are involved” and not a despicable act that has been rejected by decent members of civilized societies for centuries.
As repugnant as these two instances are, California has surpassed them. The Golden State has removed the health exception fig leaf and will pay for abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy, without any medical necessity whatsoever. The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) confirmed in their response to a Public Records Act (PRA) request made by the California Prolife Council (CPLC) in January that this is indeed their practice.
Even more disturbing is the manner in which DHCS resorted to Orwellian doublespeak in its response to a follow-up PRA in which CPLC asked for a report giving the gestational ages of aborted children. While DHCS acknowledged that doctors are required to report gestational age on the form they submit to that agency, yet somehow “DHCS does not collect that data.”
Excuse me? Could it be California wants to keep the public uninformed about late-term abortion?
DHCS did supply CPLC with reports from 2009-2016 that reveal the abortion procedures which received taxpayer funding in the past. California has funded three procedures used in second trimester abortions and one — the hysterotomy — that is used in second and third trimesters.
But since “DHCS does not collect that data” on gestational age that abortionists are nonetheless required to provide, California taxpayers cannot verify just how many viable, even third trimester, babies the State has paid to have killed for no reason. Predictably, with respect to any purported health justification, “DHCS does not collect that data” either.
California fares no better on the issue of children born alive after a failed abortion attempt. Even though, under California law such babies must be given the same medical care as a child born spontaneously, it appears that no one in Sacramento is guarding this particular hen house. When asked for information on the numbers of children born alive, methods of enforcement of this law, etc., the response again was “DHCS does not collect the data or information requested.”
Not to be deterred, we found that the California Department of Public Health (DPH) told Congress in response to a Congressional Request for Information in 2013, that child welfare was responsible for overseeing the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) program, which includes similar protections for the unborn as the state law.
So we sent a PRA request to California’s Department of Social Services (DSS) asking similar questions about born alive infants. The State Office of Child Abuse Prevention responded that they “are not in possession of responsive documents that specifically pertain to infants born alive after an abortion.”
Ironically, they suggested we speak to… DHCS. Meanwhile, the DSS web site indicates that they are indeed responsible for enforcement of CAPTA. Without meaningful state oversight, the reporting of instances of medical neglect of born alive infants is left to whistleblowers, who can choose to act, or not.
So there you have it. California has displayed the truth of Roe/Doe/Casey in full bloom, in all its gory glory. The Supreme Court mandated abortion on demand, out of whole cloth, throughout all nine months of pregnancy, no health reason necessary, no protections for the unborn at all.
And in California, it’s all brought to you by your own hard-earned tax dollars, like it or not. DHCS collects no data on gestational age or health justifications for abortions so there is no possibility of hiding behind the fig leaf that late-term abortions of viable babies only occur in the “hard cases.” The State has willed itself ignorant by refusing to “collect that data.” It simply has no idea. If the poor child manages to survive the attempt on her life and is born alive, neither DPH, nor DHCS, nor DSS pay any mind since apparently killing innocents in the womb is of no more moral significance than kidney removal. These are merely “uterine contents” after all.
How is a decent member of society to respond?
- Concerned citizens can join the Unborn Sanctuary Resolution movement — and formally state their opposition to the destruction of such babies through local government. Although we cannot overturn Roe locally, we can reject its premise that the unborn are mere “uterine contents” to be discarded in the trash rather than precious lives made in the image of God.
- We can educate ourselves on the truth of Roe/Doe/Casey and on the positions of the major political parties — and vote accordingly. The overturning of Roe and the defunding of abortion are political acts requiring pro-life politicians to confirm originalist judges and life-affirming policies. The Democrat Party unequivocally defends abortion and provides no exceptions. The Republican Party, in contrast, “affirm[s] the dignity of women by protecting the sanctity of human life” and opposes government funding of the killing of unborn children.
We need a super-majority of pro-life politicians, not pro-death ones, as we currently have in Sacramento. We need a super-majority of judges on the US Supreme Court that will uphold the original meaning of the Constitutional protections of the Fourteenth Amendment for all persons, regardless of their political connections. We need an electorate that will commit itself to seeing these things through with every vote cast. The lives of hundreds of thousands of “uterine contents” a year depend on it. They are in reality babies, after all.