Republicans Aren’t Making Any Friends With Unrealistic Abortion Bans 

JuliaDorian /
JuliaDorian /

A funny thing happened on the way to the polls in November 2023. Millions of voters decided that abortion access was a far greater concern than the economy, crime, or border security, and their concerns effectively stopped what should have been a sweeping Republican victory. 

In some states, like Texas, leaders and lawmakers allow personal beliefs to cloud their judgment. It’s a highly controversial and politically charged argument and one that conservatives believe they can legislate into submission. 

Nearly all conservatives are anti-abortion, but even the most hard-core Republican understands that sometimes abortion is merciful to both the mother and the baby.  

Of course, conservatives oppose abortion as a form of “birth control,” but banning the procedure without regard for a woman’s situation isn’t winning any support amongst undecided voters. 

When Roe v. Wade was overturned, liberals immediately turned to fear-mongering. They painted pictures of back-alley abortions and maternal death, whipping pro-choice advocates into a frenzy.  

Pro-life advocates understood that the only thing “overturned” was the federal government’s part in abortion, a role that even Nancy Pelosi expressed doubts about when the law was first enacted in 1973. 

However, state leaders are making progressive fantasies and fear reality. It’s devastating, it’s unprecedented, and sometimes, it’s cruel. 

Kate Cox, a Texas mother-to-be, was 21 weeks along when she received heartbreaking news. Her baby was diagnosed with Trisomy 18. 

Trisomy 18 is a chromosomal disorder that occurs when a baby has three copies of chromosome 18 instead of the usual two. This additional genetic material disrupts normal development and leads to serious health problems.  

These babies are born with heart defects, kidney malformations, and other structural abnormalities in their organs. They require intensive medical care, surgeries, and ongoing interventions. Feeding difficulties are common, and many infants may need assistance with breathing. 

The prognosis for infants with Trisomy 18 is extremely poor. Many do not survive past the first few weeks or months of life due to the severity of their health complications. 

A Trisomy 18 diagnosis usually occurs between 10 and 14 weeks of pregnancy, meaning that for some women, the diagnosis falls outside a first-trimester abortion ban limit.  

For Cox, the time had run out. 

Texas law criminalizes performing an abortion after six weeks of gestation. Known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, the law prohibits abortions once cardiac activity can be detected, which is typically around six weeks into a pregnancy. It’s too early for most women to realize they are pregnant, but more importantly, it’s too early to perform testing to ensure the baby is viable. 

Exceptions to this law exist only if the person seeking the abortion has a “life-threatening physical condition aggravated by, caused by, or arising from a pregnancy.” Cox, who met these requirements, was advised by her doctor that abortion was the best decision for her situation. 

Cox was forced to go to court to petition for an abortion. Already reeling and heartbroken from the devastating news, she was told that she could not legally receive the procedure in her home state. The heartbroken woman had to travel across state lines to terminate her baby’s life. 

Cox has become the poster child for the progressive push against strict abortion laws. States like Texas do not make allowances for incest, rape, or an unviable baby. Had Cox stayed in her home state to be surrounded by her family’s support, she would have been forced to follow through the remainder of her pregnancy, knowing that she would watch her baby die within the first few weeks of its tenuous life.  

Emotionally, it is cruel to force a woman to endure labor when it’s already been determined that the baby will face death soon after drawing its first breath. On top of that, the baby would require constant and costly medical support to help it survive. 

Republicans consistently lose the abortion argument. It’s important to fight for the unborn, but at what cost? With the nation spiraling out of control, regaining conservative control of the White House and Congress is more crucial than at any other point in the nation’s history. 

Thoughtless cruelty bolstered by strict and unyielding abortion laws is not a winning strategy. To pull a Republican candidate across the finish line means appealing to independent voters and moderate Democrats, who have made it clear repeatedly that unilaterally abortion bans lose votes. 

If Republican lawmakers can’t find a way to distance their personal views on abortion from politics, there won’t be a nation left for the babies they are trying to save.