LegalWorks Apostolate - Counsel for a Culture of Life

Why Abortion Regulations Matter

Our "concern" with under-capitalized abortionists

By Stu Nolan

The horror stories out of Pennsylvania seem to have breathed new life into efforts to regulate abortion as rigorously as a genuine medical procedure. For some reports from this latest front in the Culture Wars, you might examine the efforts in Texas, North Carolina, and even, of all places, Maryland.

My sense is that the average pro-life advocate is not as enthusiastic for such measures as perhaps we ought to be. It is admittedly difficult to celebrate a measure aimed only at protecting a mom while ignoring the plight of her child. Yet, these regulations are important means of protecting the unborn -- and not only because they protect the mothers (not to downplay in the least the inherent good in protecting moms).

Reporters usually undermine any consensus for regulatory oversight of abortion mills by noting that in many states the mills would be "forced to shut down", making abortion unavailable locally, in the event the mills were held to standards common throughout the medical profession. The Press usually suggests that the loss of these abortion mills would be unfortunate.

If the "loss" of an abortion mill makes it more difficult for a women to access abortion, the popular press never seems too concerned with why such abortion mills would be at risk of shutting down. To paraphrase a once-infamous line from Hillary Clinton, "Why should we be concerned with every under-capitalized abortionist in America?"

Why should we be concerned about the potential closure of a facility that cannot satisfy basic regulatory hurdles expected throughout the medical profession? Shouldn't we be more concerned that such a facility has been able to avoid regulatory oversight for such a long time?

We are all supposed inherently to recognize that the protection of clean air and water and wildlife are worth the loss of a few jobs here and there. Yet, we are not supposed to casually accept (much less, celebrate) the closing of an abortion mill.

Would journalists write the same way with respect to a regulation that might force the closing of a coal mine or a timber harvesting operation? Unlikely. But whereas the coal mine and the timber harvesting operation employ people and yield goods that benefit all of society, an abortionist manufactures only death.

There is a crowd out there who never met an abortion they didn't like, and that crowd wants us all to think abortionists are providing a great public service, a public service that might become tragically less available if regulations impose even the most basic standards of care.

But the truth is that the abortion industry is a big business, like all industries aimed at maximizing profits and minimizing costs. Moreover, its profiteers prefer a low cost environment to a high cost environment. Indeed, if abortionists were forced to act a little more like real doctors and could not simultaneously maintain fat profits, they might well close up shop.

So be it.

*** Update ***

The Texas House has approved sweeping measures to regulate abortion.

*** Further Update ***

The Texas Senate has approved the House bill to protect the unborn.

Here is the text of the bill that Governor Perry, a major proponent of the law, is expected to sign into law.

Gregory Laughlin offers a useful critique of the new law that, as he explains, does indeed have flaws.

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