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‘No Lives Matter’ in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, liberals argue abortion is pro-life.

Mike Pence Addresses GOP Lincoln-Reagan Dinner In New Hampshire
(Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Did you know that killing babies actually makes it easier to save their lives? Neither did I, until I opened Monday’s paper. 

Here in New Hampshire, abortion is illegal after twenty-four weeks. However, our House of Representatives just passed H.B. 224, removing the state’s ability to prosecute doctors who perform abortions after that twenty-four-week mark. Of course, the mother can’t be charged either. So, while it’s still illegal to procure and/or perform the abortion, nobody can be punished for doing so. You’ve heard of a victimless crime? Well, this is a criminalless crime.


Naturally, a swathe of liberal Republicans (led by presidential aspirant Chris Sununu) supported H.B. 224. And, incredibly, some of them claimed that H.B. 224 is actually pro-life

Among them is Rep. Dan Wolf, one of the bill’s sponsors. He claims that he was inspired to cross the floor ten months ago, after his daughter was rushed to a local hospital for an emergency C-section. As Rep. Wolf told the House,

The baby was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck four times. The baby survived because she didn’t have to drive an hour to Dartmouth or an hour and a half to Boston. We cannot allow the decline in good medical services to put our daughters at risk.

It’s a terrible story that appears, thank God, to have a happy ending. But you might be wondering, “What on earth does it have to do with abortion?” Your guess is as good as mine. So, let’s try to puzzle it out.

Clearly, Rep. Wolf is arguing that, if doctors could be charged for performing illegal abortion, they would leave New Hampshire. That much is clear. Why he thinks that would be the case is not. 


Does he think that most OBGYNs are simply incapable of resisting the urge to perform abortions? If so, that’s a strange argument, given that only 23 percent of OBGYNs work for practices that perform abortions. Also, fewer than one percent of abortions occur after the twenty-four-week mark. Only a small minority of doctors—and an even smaller minority of pregnancies—would be impacted by this law one way or the other.

So, I don’t think that’s Rep. Wolf’s concern. What’s more likely is this: He fears that doctors will be charged with murder in the event that they kill an unborn baby, either by accident or double effect, while providing life-saving care to its mother. New Hampshire’s “restrictive” abortion laws would force OBGYNs to flee the state, fearing for their own freedom and safety.

Liberals in both parties make this argument all the time. Ruth Marcus gave a slightly different version earlier this week in the Washington Post, in response to an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling on the state’s abortion laws.

But this argument is absurd and insulting; further, it’s preventing us from having a serious debate about abortion.

Say that a woman experiences acute appendicitis while in the third trimester of pregnancy. And say that a surgeon tries to perform an appendectomy, and—through no fault of his own—the baby dies. Now, what do folks like Rep. Wolf or Ms. Marcus think will happen next? Do they really believe that conservative Christians will demand that the doctor will be charged with murder? 

First of all, this has nothing at all to do with the first principles upon which pro-lifers stand. We say that it’s wrong to deliberately take an unborn child’s life, as it would be for any other human being. We’re trying to extend existing laws about murder to protect the unborn. We are not saying there is no such thing as an accidental death. 

Take another example. If a brain surgeon is trying to remove a patient’s tumor, and the patient, through no fault of the surgeon, dies on the operating table, we don’t say that he should be charged with homicide. That simply isn’t how we define homicide. Likewise, we wouldn’t say that the doctor in the first example, who (also through no fault of his own) fails to save both the mother and her child, is a murderer. Once again, we’re not trying to change any laws. We’re simply applying extant protections on human life to include the unborn.

Second, we know full well that prosecuting a doctor who accidentally terminates a pregnancy—again, either by mistake or double effect—while trying to save the mother will result in worse healthcare, not only for women, but also for the unborn. And we don’t want that. 

It’s extremely hard to convince liberals of this second point. That’s why folks like Rep. Wolf think they’re “pro-life” by supporting unlimited access to abortion. They really do seem to think that actual pro-lifers don’t really care about mothers or babies, that as far as we’re concerned, no lives matter. That this is all just an excuse to prosecute doctors—especially OBGYNs. That we are trying to ban abortion in hopes that more babies will die. This sounds like a farce, because it is. Yet it’s exactly what a liberal means when he says that pro-abortion people are the real pro-lifers. Are they deliberately misrepresenting the pro-life movement—or do they have no clue what we actually believe? Are they lying, or just stupid? I couldn’t possibly say. After all, I am a Christian.