Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Losing by Default

Although our Nation is becoming more pro-life, especially among teenagers, little political progress is being made. When state legislators pass pro-life laws, activist courts typically block them from ever going into effect, and some state officials fail to appeal those bad rulings. Our side cannot win by not showing up in court, and abortion-on-demand will continue if judges' rulings against pro-life legislation are not appealed. Many of these state officials claim to be pro-life at election time, but then quietly capitulate to abortion clinics where it counts most – in court. A notable exception was when Texas officials swiftly appealed a ruling against their sonogram law last year, and the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit promptly rendered a splendid decision reinstating the law. As a result, women in Texas now have the right to be shown sonogram images of their unborn children before they have an abortion.

But that willingness to defend pro-life laws on appeal is lacking almost everywhere else. Obviously it does little good to pass a pro-life law if state Attorneys General and other officials are unwilling to defend them fully through appeal. Last fall a federal court in North Carolina blocked a law there that was similar to the law in Texas, but apparently no one appealed. The result is that thousands of hours in effort by pro-lifers in enacting that good law failed to save any babies. More recently, a federal court in Mississippi blocked a good law prohibiting abortions there unless the physician has local hospital privileges so he can handle any complications. A similar law has worked well in Missouri for years, but no immediate appeal was filed in Mississippi so the law has not accomplished anything.

Passing pro-life legislation is not enough. The laws must also be defended when challenged in court.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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