By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
September 2, 2022
“Pro-life North Carolinians who rejoiced at the overturning of Roe v. Wade in late July must understand that the fight for life isn’t over,” says the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “In fact, the battle will heat up even more between now and November’s election, and voters must hold state level politicians accountable.”
“I am not convinced that Republicans are now ready to fudge on the issue of abortion. But make no mistake about it, they will be tested as never before. Abortion is a watershed issue for evangelical Christians,” Creech added.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that abortion is not a federally protected right sent the question of abortion back to the states, and North Carolina very quickly became a magnet for abortion-seekers as several surrounding states imposed stricter limits on the deadly procedure. Republicans, who hold a majority of seats in the state Legislature, did not immediately entertain laws to narrow abortion access, presumably because Gov. Roy Cooper opposes any such legislation, and they knew they lacked the required super-majority to override a gubernatorial veto. But on Aug. 17, U.S. District Judge William Osteen Jr. reinstated a state law banning abortion after 20 weeks, since the injunction against the ban, issued by Osteen in 2019, had been based on Roe v. Wade.
Whether Republicans, who are hoping to gain enough seats for a supermajority in November, will act quickly to further protect life remains to be seen, as the GOP has not put forth a clear position on the matter.
N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) has said he would support a heartbeat bill that would ban abortion as soon as a baby’s heartbeat can be detected in the womb, which could be as early as six weeks after conception. Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) has said the state has “an absolute interest in regulating the incidence of abortion” after the first trimester, which would be around 12 weeks. Both support exceptions for cases of rape or incest and situations in which the life of the mother is at stake. And both say they want to discuss the matter further with their GOP colleagues.
Across the nation, Republicans have come under fire for not stepping up to the plate now that Roe v. Wade is null and void. As elections draw near, some appear to be cowering before liberal opponents who have made abortion a campaign issue claiming that conservatives will pass extreme bans with no exceptions whatsoever.
Joshua Arnold wrote this week in The Washington Stand that too many Republicans are listening to the media, shying away from the issue and letting Democrats frame the debate.
Political commentator George Will told the media, “What Republicans are learning is that the American people are about where Europe has come down on the subject. That is no abortion after 15 or 20 weeks, exceptions for rape, incest or life of the mother. That would preserve the right to about 97 percent of the abortions that occur in the United States.”
But Creech pointed out that Europe is “certainly no example of virtue and morality” and should not be the standard voters measure by.
“Pro-lifers didn’t work for fifty years to overturn Roe v. Wade just so we would get a ban that still allows 97 percent of abortions to be performed. No! There must be more,” he said. “And if Republicans are unwilling to have a starting point that goes further, then why should we work our bums off to help them get supermajorities in both chambers?”
“In good faith, we support them now in that effort,” he added. “Again, this is a watershed issue, one by which we determine all other issues – and the integrity of Republican claims to be pro-life will be on the line.”
Similarly, Arnold urged Republicans to step up their game. “Public opinion, momentum, law, and justice are on the side of protecting unborn life,” he writes. “What else are Republicans waiting for?”