By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
December 2, 2021
The Dispatch reports that Davidson County Commissioners passed a resolution that supports prohibiting abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The resolution, which passed unanimously on November 23, endorses the passage of HB 31 – Detected Heartbeat/Prohibit Abortion by the North Carolina General Assembly.
This year, HB 31 was given a serial referral to be considered by three House committees, Health, Judiciary, and Rules, but was never taken up for consideration by any committee.
The resolution states the “presence of a heartbeat is a universal and scientific indicator that life does exist…The United States Supreme Court case of Gonzalez v. Carhart ruled as a ‘finding fact’ that a living person is legally recognized as existing from the time a heartbeat is detected even if the person is unborn…The existence of a heartbeat is a specific and scientific determination that is defendable and is not based on the changing and ambiguous concept of ‘fetal viability’…The Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees every person ‘life, liberty and property’ as well as equal protection under the law…”
Fourteen state legislatures have passed heartbeat bills, but only Texas has been allowed to enforce the one it passed. There is also a growing movement by local governments across the country to pass resolutions or ordinances that seek to defend the unborn child.
According to LifeNews.com, “To-date, 41 cities and towns in Texas, Ohio and Nebraska have passed Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances that protect unborn babies’ right to life and ban abortions. Ordinances are enforceable legislation, while resolutions are statements of support.”
In North Carolina, Yadkin, Wilkes, and Davie counties have passed pro-life resolutions similar to the one that passed in Davidson County. Local governments have reportedly discussed pro-life resolutions in Lincoln and Swain counties and the town of Shelby.
Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court took up the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case involves a 2018 Mississippi law that restricts abortions after 15 weeks. The question before the court was whether, under the Constitution, a state might prohibit elective abortions before viability. Mississippi rightly argued states should be allowed to do this because nothing in the Constitution actually supports a right to abortion.
In the landmark case of Roe v. Wade in 1973,the High Court ruled states could not prohibit abortions before viability, which is defined to be between 24 to 28 weeks. In the 1992 landmark case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the High Court said states could regulate the question of viability. Still, they could not enforce an “undue burden,” which Justices defined as “a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.”
“Those decisions by the Supreme Court provided a hole big enough for a locomotive to run through,” said Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “Dobbs v. Jackson challenges the two landmark cases, and according to the way oral arguments went during the court’s hearing of the case on Wednesday, I think there’s a good possibility both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey could be overturned.”
“Can you imagine it? What so many Christians and other pro-life Americans have prayed and worked to see for nearly 50 years could soon be a reality. I think every church needs to set aside a Sunday to pray for a favorable ruling,” he admonished.
Rep. Larry Potts, a co-sponsor of HB 31 in the North Carolina House and a Representative for Davidson County, told The Dispatch he believed all life is important and begins with conception. He said he knew that abortion was very controversial, but society must protect the unborn.
“Having unprotected sex comes with consequences,” said Potts, “the mother and the father made that decision, the baby didn’t have any choice, and I believe the right to life is one of the most basic rights there are.”
Potts also said the outcome of Dobbs v. Jackson would undoubtedly impact the ultimate success of bills such as HB 31 and the many local resolutions passed in North Carolina and ordinances in other parts of the country.
Generally speaking, in June, the High Court usually announces its decision in high-profile cases, like Dobbs v. Jackson.
“No matter what they decide,” said Creech. “Their ruling will be huge. A favorable decision could mean the question of abortion would be thrown back to the states, resulting in numerous states banning abortions. Or, it could be a terrible setback for the pro-life movement. This is why we must pray – pray – pray. It’s a matter of life and death for so many yet to see the light of day.”