By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
March 28, 2019
North Carolina lawmakers have less than two months to put new abortion laws in place or to appeal Monday’s federal court ruling striking down the state’s 46-year-old statute that prevents abortions after 20 weeks.
The Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, called the decree from U.S. District Judge William Osteen in Greensboro “an unconstitutional decision based on an unconstitutional ruling by the United States Supreme Court.”
“A child in the womb at 20 weeks can recognize its mother’s voice. It’s capable of feeling pain,” Creech told the media. “The procedure of abortion on an unborn child past 20 weeks is a brutally violent death of a human being.”
“History now condemns public officials who once defended slavery basing their arguments on the erroneous Dred Scott, and history will one day condemn those who defend what all people will someday recognize to have been the wanton killing of innocent children precipitated by Roe,” he added. “Moreover, the Judge of all the earth will not suffer his own judgments to be indefinitely overruled by those who believe the laws of men are greater than his own. The Sixth Commandment has never been repealed.”
Osteen’s ruling came at the behest of Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union. He stayed the order for 60 days to leave room for an appeal or the adoption of new laws, although it is unclear what those laws could look like since the judge deemed any “week- or event-specific” abortion ban as out of bounds.
It is also unclear whether state Attorney General Josh Stein will defend what has been the law of the land for nearly a half century.
“Will he pick and choose as did his predecessor, Roy Cooper, about what to defend and what not to?” Creech asked. “Stein’s position as a state Senator was definitively pro-choice.”
According to Vote Smart, between 2011 and 2013, Sen. Stein voted against three bills aimed at regulating abortion and a fourth that requires high schools to include information about abortion risks in their health curricula. He did not vote at all on the 2015 legislation that requires a 72-hour waiting period before abortion except in cases of medical emergency, the measure that likely prompted the legal challenge filed in 2016 and ruled on this week.
Stein’s office issued a statement Tuesday saying that he was reviewing the ruling.
The defeat of North Carolina’s longtime abortion law almost certainly nullifies current efforts to limit abortion to 13 weeks, a bill submitted last month by Rep. Keith Kidwell (R-Chocowinity).
“Since the Supreme Court’s decision of Roe v. Wade, more than 56 million unborn children have died by abortion. Sadly, the Supreme Court declared it could not resolve ‘the difficult question of when life begins.’ This is why I have written and introduced what I am calling the NC Quickening Bill (Feeling of Life),” Kidwell said at the time.
Rev. Creech said Kidwell’s bill, though it would have saved lives, runs contrary to most pro-lifers’ beliefs that life starts at conception as opposed to the “quickening” view that relies on fetal movements in the uterus as evidence of a living soul.
He expects a separate abortion-related bill, the Born Alive Protection Act, to get more traction in the N.C. General Assembly.
Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth) filed Senate Bill 359 Tuesday to require that, when a baby survives an abortion, health care practitioners “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”
“We just want to make sure that in North Carolina that we don’t have those problems that we’ve heard about in New York and Virginia,” Krawiec told the Rev. Creech during an interview this week. “We want to make sure that in North Carolina if they are born alive that they will be treated as the person that they are; they will be treated humanely, they will be treated and be cared for — transport them to a hospital or whatever is necessary to give them the care that they would give to any other infant that was born in that hospital.”
Krawiec said she can’t imagine anybody being opposed to her bill.
Continue to follow state and national efforts to protect the unborn on the Pro-Life section of the Christian Action League’s website.