RESURRECTING A HEARTBEAT BILL THAT PROTECTS ALL BABIES
By Dr. Patrick Johnston
February 8, 2013
A Daring Eulogy
Many of my fellow pro-lifers will scold me bitterly, as if I dared to start the wave at Grandma’s funeral. But I must be honest in my eulogy. The Heartbeat Bill has breathed its last in the Ohio Statehouse, and not all pro-lifers are in mourning over it.
What Senator Niehaus and Heartbeat Bill Leaders Have In Common
Senate President Tom Niehaus, who's responsible for refusing to let the Bill come up for a vote, claims to be pro-life, but reasoned that if the Heartbeat Bill passed and the Supreme Court overturned it, it would "undermine all of the good work the right-to-life community has done." He worried that the Heartbeat Bill would become one more obstacle to protecting the babies whenever we do get a pro-life majority on the High Court.
Personhood Ohio leaders are familiar with such arguments, for these same arguments have been leveled against us by pro-life leaders. Too many fear that if the Supreme Court were to overturn the Heartbeat Bill or the Ohio Personhood Amendment, it would strengthen the precedent set by Roe v. Wade.
What is the premise of these arguments against the Heartbeat Bill and the Personhood Amendment? They are built upon a belief that states have an obligation to submit to judicial tyranny. Even if judges rule contrary to the Constitution and contrary to the law of God, Niehaus and the pro-life critics of the Heartbeat Bill and the Ohio Personhood Amendment believe states should bow to tyrannical and unconstitutional dictates.
Although Niehaus and the Heartbeat Bill leaders are at odds on the Heartbeat Bill, unfortunately, in many ways they both adopt the same philosophy of submission to judicial tyranny. Niehaus' belief that the Supreme Court reigns supreme over the law of God and the law of the land - the Constitution - provoked him to bury the Heartbeat Bill, but the same belief led Heartbeat Bill leaders to write a Bill that betrayed our pro-life principles in many ways.
How did the Heartbeat Bill betray our pro-life, Christian principles? It
1. justified the killing of babies for the health of their mother;
2. it exempted accomplices.
3. If the abortionist did not document a heartbeat in the medical record, then the abortion was not even a crime. This virtually guaranteed that abortionists would not document the fetal heartbeat.
4. The crime of killing a child with a documented heartbeat was designated a fifth degree felony, which made killing a dog more severely punished than killing a baby.
The Heartbeat Bill actually dehumanized the preborn child, further inscribing into the law the very same godless standard of morality and justice that brought us a Holocaust of 55 million babies in the first place.
Heartbeat Bill leaders and supporters marketed the Bill as an abortion ban, which is why it garnered so much grassroots support. Why didn't they just let it be an abortion ban? Why then did they add these exceptions, compromises, and caveats? Do they believe that abortion is justified for maternal health? No, they don't. Do they believe it should be a crime to do an abortion even if the abortionist doesn't document the heartbeat in the medical record? They do. Do they believe accomplices are exempt, or that they commit murder? They believe women who get abortions commit murder. Do they believe life begins with a measurable heartbeat, and that younger babies are not worthy of protection? They believe life begins at conception and that all are worthy of protection. Do they believe that the preborn are people in the eyes of God and the Constitution, or do they believe them to be subhuman? They believe that the preborn baby is a full person from the moment of his or her beginning. Why then all the pathetic exceptions and compromises? Here's why: to increase the likelihood of the legislation surviving the judiciary.
Exposing the Failed Pro-Life Strategy That Birthed the Heartbeat Bill
The failed pro-life strategy that birthed the Heartbeat Bill must be exposed, lest it be conceived again. We must abandon attempts to get a pro-life majority on the Supreme Court. Let's face the facts. The High Court of nine justices that gave us Roe v. Wade included seven Republican appointees. There were eight Republican appointees on the Supreme Court when they reinforced legal abortion in the Casey case in 1993. George W. Bush gave us Sam Alito, who issued a radical abortion ruling before his appointment to the High Court, declaring New Jersey's partial-birth-abortion ban to be unconstitutional, citing Roe v. Wade approvingly in the process. John Roberts, Bush' other appointee, has now made headlines siding with abortion-funding Obamacare.
Now we've got to put up with Obama's radical communist appointees for the next four years. So, pray tell, when in the next thousand years do we expect to get this magical pro-life majority on the High Court? Our failed pro-life strategy has us begging for crumbs at the child-killing altar of judicial tyranny until Jesus comes, and never, ever actually abates the wrath of God against us for the shedding of innocent blood.
A Variation of Immorality Is Still Immorality
American Right to Life rightly pointed out on their website, "Just like Roe v. Wade, heartbeat bills regulate the age at which a child can be killed, showing them to be violations of God's command, Do not kill the innocent, and therefore unconstitutional.... The 2012 Ohio Heartbeat Bill is fundamentally a variation on the immoral Roe ruling." How can a variation of immorality be anything but immorality?
“But If We Can’t Save Every Baby, Shouldn’t We Save the Ones We Can?”
Here, the pro-life leader levels the rebuttal, “But when we can’t save every baby, shouldn’t we at least save the ones we can?” Of course – as long as you don’t have to kill babies in order to save some babies. It’s never right to do wrong to do right. God’s enduring command, Do no murder, takes precedent over circumstances, pragmatic considerations, and situational ethics. American Right to Life addresses these common justifications for abortion exceptions and compromises on their website, and their answers are so good that I’ll let this link suffice.
It’s Time for State Nullification of Federal Tyranny
Ohio doesn't owe federal courts unconditional allegiance. The Supreme Court is not God, and they have no more authority to defy God's law and the Constitution than they do to kill their mates. Chief Justice John Marshall said, "A law repugnant to the Constitution is void." A man-made law that violates God's law is sin. We must stop defying God's law in submission to them, as Ohio does in allowing innocent babies to be slaughtered within our borders. Ohio doesn't have to ask the federal courts for permission to do what God requires, and God requires Ohio's leaders to do justice to protect the innocent people under their authority within their lawful jurisdiction. In matters of loving our neighbors as ourselves - including "the least" of God's children - "it is better to obey God than man" (Acts 5:29).
As so many of us mourn the failure of the Heartbeat Bill, let us go back to the drawing board for a strategy that is working all across the nation right now to defy tyranny - nullification. For example, dozens of states have legalized medical marijuana in defiance of two Supreme Court decisions that declared states had no right to violate federal drug policy. States are resisting the federal government on gun control and Obamacare. Why can't pro-lifers be at least as courageous in stopping the Abortion Holocaust as pot-smokers are to smoke pot, or gun-owners are to keep their AR-15s? Pro-life organizations and leaders should begin to work for legislation that is exactly what they marketed the Heartbeat Bill to be - a statewide abortion ban. Abandon all exceptions to the divine commandment forbidding murder, lest we lose God's blessing in pursuit of man's.
If the legislature is going to be so corrupt that they will refuse to let the Heartbeat Bill come up for a vote for fear of the Supreme Court overturning it, then let us bypass them and take it straight to the people via ballot initiative, where 50.1% of Ohio's voters can protect 100% of the babies. Then, if the court dares to overturn our 100% abortion ban or Personhood Amendment, we prosecute the murderers anyway. That's nullification! It's how the states ended slavery in defiance of the High Court's Dred Scott decision and Congress' Fugitive Slave Act.
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Let us we rally to a battle that if won would actually abate the wrath of God against Ohio. With God, all things are possible - especially His will, and it is not the will of our Father in heaven that one of these children should perish. Not one. Can we pray and act in accordance to His will, and quit aiming for counterfeit alternatives to please man?
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� 2013 Patrick Johnston - All Rights Reserved