Culture War Still Worth Waging: Fetal Pain Provides A New Battlefront

Anyone who knows me knows Lindsey Graham is not my favorite Senator. But I am going to thank him anyway for backing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the Senate. The House of Representatives has already passed the law.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday” last weekend, Mr. Graham noted that protecting pain-capable unborn children from the horror of abortion “is a debate worthy of a great democracy.”

There is substantial medical evidence that unborn children are capable of experiencing pain by at least 20 weeks post-fertilization. Abortions performed at this stage of pregnancy use a variety of techniques, including a method in which the unborn child’s arms and legs are twisted off by brute manual force, using a long stainless steel clamping tool.

While most of us can hardly imagine undergoing a dental procedure without the benefit of anesthesia, the law of the land under Roe v. Wade condones this violent dismemberment of unborn children without any regard for their rights or humanity. Common decency demands that this be changed and that these unborn babies be protected.

I’m not sure we’re such a great democracy, but Graham is absolutely right that it is a debate worth having. And it involves several benefits not only due to the chance of winning this particular legal battle, but also because of the opportunity to gain ground in the culture war.

First, even though abortion should be illegal because it is homicide, not because of the possibility of pain, pushing this law points to the humanity of the child. As soon as you admit that there are humanitarian concerns in committing an abortion, you begin to push back against the “blob of tissue” delusion.

Second, it has a real shot. Sixty-four percent of Americans support laws ending abortions on babies who can feel pain. Two thirds of women favor such laws.

Third, whether we win or not, this gives us a chance to remind people of how abortion is a special fetish for Democrats. We have a governor in Virginia who is on record as promising to defend abortion clinics no matter what problems are found in them. Obama’s opposition to saving the lives of babies who survive abortions. The New York Democratic mayor wants to drive crisis pregnancy centers out of business. The Democrats can be forced to pay a high price for publicly siding with death.

I’m not saying that political propaganda is the reason we should support the law, but I do want to motivate people to realize there are multiple advantages to pushing for this. Even if we force Democratic Senators to vote in favor of baby torture, we will have won a good consolation prize. Even more if force Obama to use his veto.

It seems like every day we see Obama or the Senate pushing some new leftist cause—for example, the right to sue your employer for firing you or failing to promote you. It is time we gave some return fire for something that is actually ethical.