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Ray Haynes

The Sun is a Little Brighter, the Air a Little Cleaner

When the Supreme Court, in 1973, raised the issue of abortion from a state to state decision to a Constitutional one, it stained the Constitution and did violence to the concept of federalism. No matter what you may think of abortion as a practice or procedure, there is nothing written in the Constitution close to granting a Constitutional right to an abortion. Indeed, Roe v. Wade even perverted the concept of a “right to privacy,” also not in the Constitution but used to justify the invalidation of a number of state laws on a variety of different issues. Once again, no matter what my opinion of the policy of those laws may be, whether the Constitution bans them or not is a completely separate question.

That being said, today, the Sun is a little brighter, and the air is a little cleaner, as my daughter said to me in a text today. The stain of the federalizing of abortion law is dead, and, God willing, will stay that way. For me, it feels like 40 years of political activity has been vindicated. It was worth the effort to get to this point. Now the real fight begins.

For all of my time in the Legislature, most of my effort on the question of life was to get an issue to the point where a court could intervene. According to the Supreme Court, I didn’t have any input into the question of abortion, the Supreme Court decided that power had been removed by the founders who wrote the Constitution. When stated in that context, it is obvious the previous position of the Supreme Court was absurd on its face, but that was the fight I faced. Along the way, I tried to do little things to cut down on the number of taxpayer paid abortions, or to make things difficult for abortion providers (who are the lowest form of medical practitioners, that is, the most incompetent doctors, the doctors most likely to commit malpractice, or be disciplined by the medical boards), but, for the most part, those efforts felt like an exercise in futility.

And the left fed that feeling. They would literally laugh at our attempts to control the evil of abortion and take every effort to undermine our small efforts whenever they could. Many of my colleagues would simply give up on the fight because they felt that effort would yield no results. I left the Legislature feeling as though I had failed on the question of life.

Today I feel calmer, more assured, ready to take up the fight again. Today, the real fight begins. House by house, neighborhood by neighborhood, town by town, city by city, county by country, state by state, those of us who believe in life have to step up and persuade our neighbors to support state legislators and executives who believe in, and want to protect, life. That is the fight for the next 50 years. To create a real pro-life majority in legislatures and state governments across the country.

California is lost, but not a lost cause. We are suffering the moral, economic, and social dysfunctions that come from a political leadership that thinks not only that there is a right to kill our children, but also that the practice should be encouraged. Our political leadership believes that your money belongs to them (and they have the right to take it through taxation), that your safety is not important (because they believe that keeping those who wish to do you harm on the street where they can actually do that harm), and that our neighborhoods and streets should be overrun by those who have allowed drugs, alcohol, and/or sloth to dominate their lives. Our houses cost too much, our schools are falling apart and failing our children, our freeways are collapsing, our gasoline costs way too much, and we are running out of water, electricity, and food. Yet our political leadership is whining about banning guns and killing babies. If they focused on really fixing the problems they were hired to fix, we would all be better off.

We have won this battle in the abortion fight for the moment, but not the war. For today, we bask in the sunlight of victory in this battle. Tomorrow we rise up to continue the fight here in California, and every state in the country. Our children and grandchildren are depending on us to win this war.