Last night I dreamed that a group of extreme Democrats introduced legislation to ban concealed carry on college campuses and standard capacity ammunition magazines. I was appalled that they would do this, yet a still small part of me was glad, because I knew such laws would never pass, never be obeyed and that the Democrats were relegating themselves to electoral oblivion for years to come by doing so.
Then I woke up and realized it was actually a group of 19 Republicans (16 of whom are male) who introduced a bill to make abortion a Class 3 felony, a law which will never pass, never be obeyed, and which by its very nature legitimizes the “War on Women” claim that is used against Republicans so successfully in elections; and that will continue to relegate the GOP to minority status while the Democrats run this country into the ground.
Many of the arguments that were used against the gun control bills last year could be used against HB14-1133 – it is unconstitutional, it is unenforceable, it penalizes otherwise law abiding citizens, it does nothing to improve public safety, and so on.
I personally don’t like abortion. It is a painful decision for a woman and possibly for the man who fathered the fetus. In a perfect world, every baby conceived would be born into a loving, caring family who would care for it until it reached adulthood. This is not a perfect world. The facts are that 51% of the population in this country is female and almost 80% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal to some extent.
Nobody knows when “ensoulment” occurs. Medical science does enable later term fetuses to survive outside the womb. It is for these reasons that I support limitations on late term abortions to circumstances where the mother’s life is unquestionably in danger. Just as society has accepted that there can be limitations on the First Amendment right to free speech and the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, so I believe this limitation on late term abortions is a reasonable one.
In the larger picture, the Republican Party is accused of being “out of touch”, a “party of old white men who are going to die off”, waging a “war against women”, being about “God, guns and gays” and other things. The Democrats control the White House in large part because they were able to successfully leverage the “war against women” mantra to scare off enough female voters who might otherwise have voted for Mitt Romney. I believe that prohibiting all abortion is a form of violence against women.
There are two waves of history that the social conservatives in the GOP are bucking – one is abortion, the other is gay marriage. Abortion has been around since the dawn of time, and is going to be part of the human experience until we evolve to reproduce differently. It is in no small part due to gay rights that the progressive movement gained a foothold in and turned Colorado blue and is now spreading nationally. It is due to her stance on abortion that Texas has Wendy Davis on a run for governor and is giving the progressive movement in that deep red state a boost.
Meanwhile, the United States has entered a period of “post-constitutional soft tyranny” as Mark Levin calls it. The federal government is out of control, the national debt is already unsustainable and grows more so every day, the progressives and liberals are working very hard to make government the largest force in the everyday lives of all Americans, our foreign policy is in shambles, our president believes he can “rule” by executive order and decreeing illegal changes to the Constitution and already enacted laws, Americans overseas are killed by terrorists and the administration lies about it and covers it up afterward. The government spies on its citizens while soldiers continue to die in Afghanistan in a forgotten war whose military and strategic necessity at this point is questionable at best.
This country is divided as it has not been since the mid-1800s. The difference of opinion over the size, scope and proper role of government in our lives has never been more prominent. The divide between libertarians like me and progressives is deep and vast. There are so many issues facing this state and country that fighting losing battles over abortion and gay rights is not only futile, it is reckless.
Instead of this bill, I would rather see a bill presented that would allow for teachers and school administrators who are legally qualified CHP holders to carry concealed weapons. While programs like Safe2Tell and others certainly have their place, they are no substitute for armed resistance when there is an active shooter incident. Such a bill would enhance the safety of children already born.
Finally, the Republicans in the General Assembly should ask themselves “Do you want a Republican victory in November 2014? Do you want to take the United States Senate, recapture the Colorado legislature and governorship, and gain ground in other states?” If the answers to these questions are “Yes”, I think that the Republican Party should abandon its opposition to all except late term abortions and concede that same-sex couples have as much right to marriage as heterosexual couples do. I think HB14-1133 and the mindset that produced it will do as much damage to Republicans next November 4 as we hope the 2013 gun control laws will do to Democrats. Please, let’s focus on the existential issues facing this country.
By Richard D. Turnquist
January 17, 2014