The abortion debate is intensifying on multiple fronts, as pro-life lawmakers make Georgia the latest state to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected and a Pennsylvania lawmaker comes under fire for harassing pro-life activists outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia.
On Tuesday, Georgia became the latest in a string of states to outlaw abortion once the baby’s heartbeat can be detected. Americans United for Life Chief Engagement Officer Tom Shakely says these debates highlight those who understand the science of pregnancy and those who don’t.
“This Georgia bill illustrates the divide that exists between folks who, on the one hand, increasingly want to deny scientific and medical reality and other folks who want to recognize it,” said Shakely.
Shakely admits that the state laws do not actually change anything in the U.S. – at least not yet. He says the federal abortion law framework established in Roe v. Wade still supersedes state laws, but he’s hopeful that they set a precedent that will be embraced by the courts.
In Pennsylvania, State Rep. Brian Sims is under fire from pro-life groups after livestreaming himself harassing a senior citizen and three teenage girls who were praying outside a Planned Parenthood facility. Sims berated the women for several minutes, told them they ought to be ashamed, and even offered his viewers $100 to identify the pro-life activists so he could lead protests at their homes.
“He didn’t engage any of these folks to understand why they were out there, where they were coming from, whether they may have had abortions themselves, which could have led them to that place of offering alternatives. It’s just an unfortunate case of egregious political ideology trumping a human concern for a neighbor,” said Shakely.
Listen to the full podcast as Shakely responds to Sims and explains why demonstrating outside of abortion clinics is laudable.