As the Midterm Apocalypse was sliced and diced on the Day After, pundits noted the “Kavanaugh Effect,” whereby Senate Democrats who joined in the smear-and-delay campaign against then-nominee Brett Kavanaugh lost their bids for reelection in states that had supported President Trump in 2016. On the other hand, Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, moistened finger in the wind, had crossed the aisle at the last minute, supporting Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, and voters from his state favored him by three percentage points. Lindsey Graham dubbed this “Kavanaugh’s revenge.”
Such analysis may be a bit of an exaggeration of what happened, but there is no denying that the seating of Brett Kavanaugh on a U.S. Supreme Court that is the most conservative and originalist one in recent memory had a major effect on two largely unheralded measures decided on November 6—measures that may prove profoundly decisive regarding the most fundamentally contentious political issue of our time.
Sentient observers know that the entire Kavanaugh circus—the incredible 11th-hour allegations, the parades with pink genital headwear, the handmaiden costumes, Spartacus, the Flake elevator stunt, the Ciceronian Susan Collins moment—was about one thing: abortion. For the first time since the back-stabbing disappointment of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, it now seems that overturning Roe v. Wade is a possibility. Cagey and vague, Kavanaugh dodged the pointed questions posed by Feinstein & Co., but pro-lifers remained confident that, if confirmed, the conservative Catholic would deliver the right vote, should the opportunity arise.
For that moment to arrive, a case involving “abortion rights” must be heard by the Court. This means states with conservative majorities must push the conventional limits and work to restrict abortion further. Such actions would, in turn, stimulate the Pavlovian response in feticide activists (almost always Planned Parenthood and the ACLU) to challenge the state restrictions in court. And up the ladder of the courts they will climb.
On Midterm Night, two states pushed back decisively against the Culture of Death and won. Both cases involved amendments to state constitutions.
West Virginia voted to amend its constitution with the following sentence: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.” This is important, because state constitutions routinely protect the “right to privacy,” which then becomes the ridiculous basis for the legal protection of gruesome tiny-child murder. This is the putrid emanation of 1965’s Griswold v. Connecticut, which paved the way for Roe. Thus, West Virginia’s amendment pulls the rug out from under the notion that the constitutional protection of citizens from home invaders and spies also guarantees a woman’s right to kill a preborn infant living in her body.
Alabama passed a virtually identical amendment to its state constitution—and by a much wider margin—but with two additional clauses. The first declared that it is the state’s duty to protect “the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life”; and the second recognized the state’s burden to “ensure the protection of the rights of the unborn child in all manners and measures lawful and appropriate.”
Alabama Rep. Matt Fridy sponsored the amendment in the state legislature and explicitly said that “We want to make sure that at a state level, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, . . . the Alabama Constitution cannot be used as a mechanism by which to claim that there is a right to abortion.”
These two states have successfully followed the example of Tennessee, which amended its constitution in 2014 to clarify that “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion.” The decent people of the Volunteer State knew that their own constitution—as interpreted by liberal judges—was being used against them to block restrictions on abortion passed by their own representatives and signed by their duly elected governor. In 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that the Tennessee Constitution enshrines a right to privacy, and that this right to privacy includes the right to kill preborn babies. On this basis, the judges overturned legislation requiring a 48-hour waiting period before having an abortion and an obligation to have abortions beyond the first trimester in hospitals. With the 2014 amendment, that absurd and immoral “constitutional” basis was blown away.
Predictably, Tennessee’s amendment was challenged in court and began wending its way through the appeals process. In January 2018, the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, located in Nashville, ruled in favor of the amendment. And on October 1, nearly one week before Kavanaugh was sworn in as an associate justice, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal, thus allowing the amendment to stand.
As West Virginia, Alabama, and Tennessee—free of the fiction that privacy means legalized infanticide—pass more restrictive laws pertaining to abortion, they will be challenged. Abortion activists cannot help themselves.
In fact, they already have the ball rolling elsewhere. In May, the Iowa legislature passed a bill banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected—which means a child is safe inside his mother if he can make it to six weeks. The usual suspects immediately challenged the bill in court, hysterically claiming that it is “extremely harmful to women” as well as “blatantly unconstitutional.” My goodness, argued the ineptly named “Planned Parenthood of the Heartland,” some women might not even know they’re pregnant and in need of killing their odious offspring until well after its heart starts beating! One month before the law was to take effect, an Iowa judge placed a temporary injunction on it, and the case will undoubtedly climb the ladder.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who enthusiastically signed the “Heartbeat Bill,” retained her office on Midterm Night.
Whenever the Roe showdown takes shape and approaches, we may expect the media and Democrats to intensify their drumbeat of vile accusations and general absurdities. Back-alleys, dead women, little unwanted future criminals, patriarchy, Hitler, Nazi, slavery—they will hurl all of these slurs, along with their favorite, racist. After all, we are talking about Southern states and “white supremist” Iowa. Pink-hat parades, feminist riots, obnoxious demonstrations in government buildings, a Netflix Original Series or two, an Oscar-winning abortion movie, celebrity threats to move to Canada—this is the foreseeable future, as the sine qua non of the Sexual Revolution, abortion-on-demand, nears the federal dock. Kavanaugh may need to obtain a Kevlar wardrobe.
In the meantime, the GOP has retained the Senate, expanding its conservative majority and strengthening its ability to prevail when Trump requires “advice and consent” regarding his next SCOTUS nominee. And pro-death Democrats will remain transfixed by their own rhetoric, which compels them to defend the diabolical with actions that bring their cherished sacrament of death closer to blessed ruin.