OPINION: Republican Governors Must Use Their Newfound Boldness To Uphold Sanctity Of Life

Pro-choice supporters pose for photos outside the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center in St. Louis, Missouri, May 31, 2019, the last location in the state performing abortions, after a US Court announced the clinic could continue operating. - A US Court on May 31, 2019 blocked Missouri from closing the clinic. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Over the past several months, Republican governors have grown in their willingness to boldly pass conservative laws. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Greg Abbott of Texas, and others have signed bills outlawing Critical Race Theory in public schools, increasing border security, and enacting constitutional carry.

Perhaps for the first time in decades, Republican governors are legislating as if their states’ policies matter far more in protecting their citizens’ rights than any law from the federal government. Because they do.

The spirit behind this trend is best summarized by Abbott’s response to the Biden administration’s rampant failures. In June, the governor signed a resolution “asserting Texas sovereignty under the 10th Amendment over all powers not granted to the federal government by the US Constitution.” 

Abbott and his fellow Republican governors rightly recognize that stemming unfettered illegal immigration, ensuring that children are not indoctrinated into racism, and removing barriers for self-defense are critical policy moves. However, few governors have taken similarly meaningful steps to end abortion — by far the nation’s greatest threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

For the past five decades, abortion — the legalized murder of preborn image-bearers of God — has claimed at least 61 million American lives. By far, abortion is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Throughout the last half century, Republican governors have operated under the presumption that Roe v. Wade — the 1973 Supreme Court case alleging that the Due Process Clause permits women to murder their own children — is gospel truth. In reality, the Court’s opinion is not even law — if it were, the Biden administration would not be trying desperately to codify it.

The judicial branch was never designed to create statutes. Rather, the executive branch enforces the laws passed by the legislative branch. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist #78: “The judiciary … has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of society; and can take no active resolution whatsoever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.” 

At certain points in American history — for better or for worse — the executive branch has elected to withhold such aid from the Court. In 1832, it posited that the state of Georgia could not take Cherokee land without violating federal treaties. President Andrew Jackson replied: “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”

In contrast, modern pro-life laws are passed under the assumption that they must comply with Roe v. Wade.

After two generations of pro-life activism, there are probably more types of pro-life laws than ways to end a preborn child’s life. In Ohio, mothers can kill their babies — as long as the abortion clinic gives them a “proper burial” afterward. In Tennessee, mothers can kill their babies — as long as they don’t have Down Syndrome. And in Texas, abortion could one day become illegal — if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Meanwhile, states are willing to defy actual federal law passed by Congress and signed by the President. Several — such as Doug Ducey’s Arizona and Greg Gianforte’s Montana — permit their residents to use marijuana recreationally, even though the federal government considers it a Schedule I substance. 

Republican state officials may outwardly assent that all babies — no matter their size, level of development, or chromosome count — are equally worthy of protection. However, their negligence in equally protecting all preborn life tells a different story. Indeed, Republican legislators in states like Oklahoma and Indiana have already nixed bills in committee that would have truly outlawed abortion.

In the present day, what better reason could there be to defy the Supreme Court and the federal government than to protect the inalienable, God-given right to life for preborn babies — 3,000 of whom are injected with poison, chemically burned, and ripped to shreds on a daily basis? State and local governments — and the Americans who elected them — are willing to defy the federal government to smoke weed, but not to protect children. What does that say about the moral state of America?

The gauntlet that Americans ought to throw before their governors — especially when political headwinds are encouraging the boldest conservative policies in a generation, and especially for the governors with presidential ambitions — is the immediate and uncompromising abolition of abortion.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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